Kingsborough’s CUNY Fatherhood Academy Program Names New Director

Kirk Francis, KCC CFA Program Director

Kingsborough Community College named Kirk Francis as its new Program Director for the CUNY Fatherhood Academy (CFA) program. Francis is the newest addition to the Workforce Development, Strategic Community Partnership and Continuing Education Division.

Francis has extensive social service project management and leadership experience working with young men in various program settings. For several years he managed a similar program at New York Youth at Risk, and most recently, worked as a Unit Manager for Talbot Hall a Treatment and Assessment center of the NJ Department of Correction and has a behavioral therapist in the youth advocate program at the Department of Child Protection and Permanency.

“Kirk brings great enthusiasm and experience to his new role,” said CEWD Director of Operations Christine Zagari. “His ability to connect with young men, provide guidance and a caring and listening ear, will greatly benefit our program. We anticipate that the CFA will continue to grow under his leadership, while we work to help our participants remain focused on their educational or workforce goals while maintaining strong relationships with their children.”

Francis, who holds a Master’s from Rutgers School of Social Work, joins Kingsborough as the CUNY Fatherhood Academy director, a free, 16-week high school equivalency and college prep program for resident New York City fathers, ages 18 to 28. CFA promotes responsible parenting, college readiness, and work among unemployed and underemployed fathers. Kingsborough is one of two CFA expansion sites named in 2015 due to its extensive experience with similar programs and populations, its strong program model, and a commitment to providing significantly leveraged resources.

“The CFA program at Kingsborough is an essential program for young fathers,” said Francis. “In addition to the important programmatic elements of the CFA, Kingsborough’s caring and dedicated staff have further enhanced the program, assuring that the young men remain engaged and connected, a number of them choosing to take advantage of the educational opportunity available to them.”

Of the 25 participants enrolled in Cohort I, 23 retained; 4 enrolled at KCC, and 15 are employed. For the College Prep Cohort I, four enrolled, four were retained, and three are employed. In Cohort II, 22 enrolled; 18 retained, one applied for Fall 2017 enrollment at KCC, and seven are employed. In College Prep Cohort II, six enrolled, five were retained, and two applied for fall 2017 admission.

The KCC Office of Student Affairs supports CFA by providing referrals to on-campus resources including the Men’s Resource Center, Single Stop, Career Services, and the Child Development Center. Participants may receive benefits screening, money management resources, legal assistance, childcare, as well as health and nutritional information. They also have access to resources to aid in their personal

growth and development, career exploration and preparation, diversity, and advocacy. CFA recruits participants through established and new partnerships with community-based organizations, non-profit organizations including the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Brooklyn Public Library, and Coney Island Workforce I, among others.

About the CUNY Fatherhood Academy at Kingsborough

The Fatherhood Academy adopts many protocols, relationships, and resources adapted for Project Rise, a full-service high school equivalency program for disconnected young adults. The NYC Center for Economic Opportunity and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City’s federal Social Innovation Fund grant fund CFA at CEWD and two other New York City sites.

About the Center for Economic and Workforce Development

The Center for Economic and Workforce Development offers workforce training and college readiness programs to residents of Brooklyn, foremost, and beyond the borough. The Center provides New York’s under- and unemployed residents with the training and skills necessary to advance their current careers or continue toward achieving higher educational goals. Since 2006, the Center for Economic and Workforce Development at Kingsborough Community College has been awarded over $14 million by the United States and New York Departments of Labor, the Center for Economic Opportunity/Social Innovation Fund, City University of New York, and private foundations to support educational and workforce training programs.

About Kingsborough Community College  

At Kingsborough, the community comes first, and as Brooklyn’s only community college, we promote student learning and development as well as strengthening and serving a highly diverse borough. Kingsborough provides a high-quality education through associate degree programs that prepare students for transfer to senior colleges or entry into the workforce. More than 16,000 full- and part-time students attend KCC annually for credit and non-credit bearing courses in liberal arts and career education. Kingsborough also serves an additional 20,000 students in its expanding continuing education and workforce development programs on- and off-campus.


Dawn Walker (718) 368-5060 / (917) 588-6305