Who We Are
Opening Doors to a Future of Boundless Options
Since 1995, Futures and Options has empowered New York City's underserved youth to explore careers through career development and paid, mentored internships. We reach out to teens at a formative time of their lives, guiding them to further their education and become contributing citizens.
Our model program enables New York's underserved youth to gain much-needed access to the economic mainstream, work-readiness training and support from caring adults.
At the same time, private and nonprofit businesses are connected to a pipeline of promising, motivated and diverse young people.
Together with our business and community partners, we are building the workforce of tomorrow. Our career development program makes it possible for underserved, motivated teens to acquire the applied skills and higher education to successfully contribute to a global 21st Century economy.
Who We Are
Futures and Options recruits youth who attend schools that lack sufficient resources to provide educational and career guidance:
- Over two-thirds of Futures and Options participants come from low-income families; 76% qualify for free or reduced lunch.
- In FY2016, our student population was 44% African American, 28% Hispanic, 10% Asian/Pacific Islander, 13% multi-ethnic, 4% Caucasian and 1% other.
- Our student population in FY2016 was 56% female and 44% male.
- Our programs serve middle, high school and college students.
New York City's underserved teens could easily fall through the cracks. It is imperative that we work together to continue providing the kinds of internship and career development programs that enhance their education and career trajectories.
Since our inception, Futures and Options has served more than 5,000 New York City teens and coordinated internship placements at more than 500 private and nonprofit businesses in New York City, with 90% of all participants successfully completing their internships, graduating from high school and pursuing higher education.
Founded in 1995 as a pilot project of the Alliance for Downtown New York, our program was incorporated as a nonprofit in 1999 and has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor as a model youth workforce development program.
Through the years, Futures and Options has enhanced its programs to meet the needs of New York City's underserved youth -- and of our communities. In 2007, we designed and piloted a Pre-Internship Program, which has grown to serve 400 young people and has been renamed Career Essentials. We've expanded our College Guidance Initiative to include a series of workshops for both junior and senior high school students as well as one-on-one college counseling. We also offer the CE Alumni Network and College Success Program to help our students build on the skills they have learned in the Internship Program and Career Essentials.
How We Use Our Resources
Fiscal Year 2016