MDRC’s John Martinez Featured at September 25 Hill Forum: How Children and Youth Are Faring After Hurricane Maria


On September 20, 2017, the lives of hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans were devastated by Hurricane Maria. Puerto Rico’s poor and their children bore the brunt of Maria’s destruction. Puerto Rico has the highest level of childhood poverty in the United States. While children are generally resilient, the lives of those who lived through Maria are far from normal. Emotional scars have not healed, families have been uprooted, schools are not fully operational, and the economy remains weak.

The Youth Development Institute of Puerto Rico will host a Capitol Hill briefing, “One Year After Maria: How Children and Youth Are Faring After the Hurricane,” on September 25. A panel of social policy experts, including MDRC’s John Martinez, will address the socio-economic and health impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico’s youth and children; the challenge that childhood poverty poses to long-term economic development; and what can federal and local governments and the nonprofit sector do to lift Puerto Rico’s youngest population out of poverty and enhance their well-being.

Cosponsored by Congresswoman Jenniffer González Colón (R-PR) and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), the event includes these panelists:

  • Dr. María Enchautegui, Economist and Acting Director of the Department of Economics, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras

  • Anitza Cox, Director of Analysis and Social Policy, Estudios Técnicos

  • John Martínez, Director of Program Development, MDRC

  • Dr. Gustavo J. Bobonis, Economist and Professor of the Department of Economics at the University of Toronto; Principal Investigator, Puerto Rico Self Sufficiency Project

  • Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais, Senior Advisor, U.S. Emergencies, Save the Children

Registration for the event is free.