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Know Before You Enroll
Posted on : 2013-09-15

Before you take on debt or pay to enroll in a school or training program, do your homework first.student_debt.jpg Here are 10 important tips to help you protect your money.

1. Free and low-cost adult education and training options are available. Visit nyc.gov or call 311 and ask about free and low-cost adult education and job training options. You can attend classes at the Department of Education, City University of New York (CUNY), public libraries, community-based organizations, Workforce1 Career Centers, and more.

2. If a school or training program sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

3. Research, research, research. Consider multiple schools before deciding which one is right for you. Ask for information on graduation and completion
rates, student loan debt, and whether or not the credits you get will transfer to other schools. Sit in on a class, ask to speak to former students who have completed the program, and visit nyc.gov to read reviews from real students in the NYC Training Guide. Ask to see a list of employers that hire graduates, and call those businesses to ask their opinion of the school. You should also research the general field you’re interested in to make sure it’s the right fit and there’s potential for job availability and growth.

4. Avoid unlicensed schools. Some schools are operating illegally. If you go to an unlicensed school, you can’t take exams to become licensed in many fields such as nursing. Visit nyc.gov or call the New York State Education Department at (212) 643-4760 or (518) 474-3969 to check if a vocational or trade school is licensed. Remember, even if a school has a license, it might not be well run, so research the school before you sign up. Call 311 or visit nyc.gov to file a complaint about an unlicensed school.

5. Don’t sign up the day you visit a school. Before you sign up, you need to understand how much the program will cost and how you will pay for it. Do not make such an important decision on the spot! Take your time, and research the school. Visit nyc.gov for the NYC Training Guide to learn more about specific schools and programs.

6. Never sign anything you don’t understand. If a school pressures you to sign a contract or agreement on the spot, walk away. You have the right to bring home important forms so you can read them more carefully and review them with people you trust.

7. Ask for the school’s tuition cancellation policy in writing. The policy should describe how you can get a refund if you need to cancel or withdraw. However, once you have signed up, it can be tough to get your money back.

8. Be careful of taking on a lot of debt. Some schools charge tens of thousands of dollars. Often, the “financial aid” that is available isn’t free money, but rather loans you have to pay back—with interest. School loans last a long time, and there’s a limit on how much money you can borrow. Loans can also lower your credit score if you don’t pay them back on time. Make sure you understand the terms and will be able to make the payments. Remember that free and low-cost education and training options are available. See tip #1!

9. Avoid schools that “guarantee employment” after you graduate. A school can’t guarantee that you’ll get a job when you graduate. Many times, the schools that make these types of promises don’t actually place you in a job.

10. You have the right to file a complaint. Did you enroll in a school or training program but didn’t get what you were promised? Call 311 or visit nyc.gov to file a complaint.

Are you in debt from school? Visit nyc.gov or call 311 and ask for an NYC Financial Empowerment Center, where you can get free one-on-one professional financial counseling.

AFFIRMATION SCRIPTURES Study and Apply - Part Three
Posted on : 2013-09-15

I am a success and not a failure, for I am created in God’s image. Therefore, I am worthy of love, I am a delight to God’s heart. I am made with a future; His plans for me are good and give me a hope. (Genesis
I am worthy for I am the crown of creation, the finishing touch of God’s masterpiece. I am his precious handiwork. A chosen people, set apart as a royal priesthood that belongs to God. I have been called out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)

I am strong and covered by God’s power. Therefore, I will not walk in weakness for God’s grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I will be anxious for nothing I will not live under the bondage of fear. The peace of God that passes all understanding, will keep my heart and my mind in Christ. (Philippians 4:6-7)

I am a new creation in Christ; free from the failure and bondage of my past therefore I walk in the newness of live. (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4)

I have been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. I have been saved and called (set apart) according to God’s doing through His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and by the renewing of the Holy Spirit.. (2 Timothy 1:7, 9; Titus 3:5)

I have a right to come boldly before the throne of God (the throne of grace) to find mercy and find grace in time of need. And I have been made complete in Christ. I belong to Him. (Hebrew 4:16; Colossians

I am an expression of the life of Christ because He is my life and I am one of God’s living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house. (Colossians 3:4; 1 Peter 2:5P)

I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God in Christ, and I have been given the Holy Spirit as a pledge guaranteeing my inheritance to come. (2 Corinthians 1:21; Ephesians 1:13-14)

I can do all things through Christ for He is my strength and I have been justified—completely forgiven and made righteous because I died with Christ and died to the power of sins’ rule over my life. (Philippians 4:13; Romans 5:1; 6:1-6)

I have been given exceedingly great and precious promises by God by which I am a partaker of the divine nature (God’s nature). I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved. (2 Peter 1:4; Colossians 3:12; 1
Thessalonians 1:4)

The Bible is a treasure house of spiritual truths for the believer. The above scriptures are a start on showing you who you really are in Christ since your spiritual birth. They are daily truths to stand upon
and build your life upon since you were born into God’s family by faith in Christ. I encourage believers to make their personal list of scripture affirmation truths in a notebook and daily read them. Your list will be

on going, and there will always be a “Just right” scripture for your every need. Search them out! They help summarize your scriptural identity and position in Christ and form the foundation for your freedom in Christ.

“God is the Perfect Parent” was sent to me via Internet years ago when I was counseling. It has helped parents going through the “teen” years with their children. The simple truth and promises allow us to see beyond our noses and enables us to not make quick judgments, but seek His heart in disciplining our children.

As you read this, keep your heart open and may God’s love and insight give you wisdom and clear understanding. May you walk in His mercy, grace and forgiveness for your children are precious in God’s sight. And so are you! Therefore, as God deals with His children, may we learn from His example.


I am loved apart from anything I do or don’t do.

God is always there for me. He is never too busy. 

God disciplines me in love because I am his deeply loved child.

God is aware and feels deep compassion for all of my pain, sorrow, and tears.

I belong. As God’s precious child I belong to his family. 

God never forgets me, not even for a moment.

God always keeps his promises to me. 

I can totally trust God.

God always tells me the truth.

God continually works out all my situations for my good.

God totally understands me.

God delights in me just the way I am.

God’s plans are always to prosper me, not to harm me.

God gently guides me, taking me in His arms and holding me close to his heart.

God does not withdraw His love from me.

Black Teens Prepare For Leadership Roles
Posted on : 2013-09-11

Posted in The Tablet 10 February 2012. Tags: Black Teens, Leadership Roles, Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns

page1_image1.jpgSeminarian Dwayne Davis speaks to teenagers from 10 parishes who gathered in St. Bonaventure parish, Jamaica, for a Leadership Conference conducted by the diocese’s Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns. Young people participated in seminars that dealt with leadership skills, spirituality, and job preparation.

More than 80 young people from 10 parishes attended the annual Youth and Young Adult Leadership Conference conducted at St. Bonaventure Church, Jamaica, by the Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns.

The leadership conference began in 2008 to expose inner-city youth and young adults to various leadership and success skills as well as to assist them in developing a deeper relationship with God and the Church.

It provides young people with an opportunity to observe clergy as well as presidents and VPs of diverse backgrounds working for the one mission of building up the Church and world, preparing leaders for the present and the future.

The day began with prayer and ice breakers lead by seminarian Dwayne Davis, after which each participant was able to choose between two breakout sessions: Leadership and Spirituality led by seminarian David Athanasius from the Diocese of Rockville Centre; and College Forum and Success Skills led by Davis from Brooklyn who also serves as president of the National Black

page2_image1.jpg Later, the participants gathered to hear Brother Gregory McMullen speak on Public Presence and Relationships. Brother Gregory impressed upon the youth not to let negative influences guide their paths but rather they should look to Christ for all beings are created in the image and likeness of God. The session with Brother Gregory was one of the high points of the day in that the young people where able to relate and share some of their stories which were very moving for all. The keynote speaker was Father Chris Piasta, O.F.M., a Franciscan priest who is administrator of St. Joseph’s Church, Jamaica; chaplain of Our Lady of the Skies Chapel at John F. Kennedy International Airport; and adjunct professor at St. John’s University. He spoke about the various types of communication and how important communication is in everyday life.

The final breakout session focused on purpose, mission and vocation as it relates to males and females. The youth were divided into male and female groups. The young men had a questionand-answer interaction with retired Auxiliary Bishop Guy Sansaricq; Father Kevin Abels, diocesan vocation director; and the seminarians.

page3_image1.jpgThe young ladies had a session with Angela Lewis, director of religious education at St. Bonaventure/St. Benedict the Moor parish, Jamaica.

The day ended with a Holy Hour and rally with Bishop Sansaricq and the Jovenes de Valor band. The youngsters were encouraged to spend time with the Lord, adoring and praising Him.

Seminarian Mark Bistol also gave a powerful witness talk. Overall, the day was spirit-filled and it provided the young people with encouragement to aspire to become leaders now and in the future.



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