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April 2018


Coming Together to Create Opportunities for Youth

A Toast To Brighter Futures 

Friday, May 4, 2018- SPiN New York

Futures and Options' Young Professionals Committee will host its 9th Annual A Toast To Brighter Futures on Friday, May 4th at 7:30 p.m. Once again, this fun-filled event will be held at SPiN New York and include an exciting and competitive Ping Pong Tournament, raffle, and more! A Toast To Brighter Futures supports our Barbara L. Christen Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships to exemplary Futures and Options high school students. For more information, please email our Development Associate Carly Taylor.  

You can become sponsor, enter the Ping Pong Tournament, buy tickets and raffle tickets by clicking here.


Strong Partners in Youth Employment

Morgan Stanley Investment in Futures and Options Intern Reaps Benefits

In 2014, as a senior at City College Academy of the Arts, Richard Disla worked as an intern at Morgan Stanley through the Futures and Options Internship Program. Supervised by, Alex Gialanella, then a vice president in Wealth Management Finance, Richard began building his network and learning essential work-readiness skills such as professional etiquette, teamwork, and how to effectively communicate. He was also getting a firsthand look at the financial sector. "After my experience with Futures and Options, I felt prepared to enter the workforce. I was fortunate to have a grasp of where I'd like my career to head, and planned to stay in the financial industry," says Richard about his time in the program. "My most valuable lesson was how to network and establish professional connections via a strong work ethic. Learning that at such an early point in my career influenced me to work hard and spearhead new opportunities."


Four years later and armed with his undergraduate degree from Baruch College Zickin School of Business, Richard was offered a fulltime job as a Financial Analyst at Morgan Stanley, working under his supervisor from 2014, Alex Gialanella, who is now an Executive Director. 

"Gaining the confidence to work and study provided me the advantage to experience different sectors of finance beyond the textbooks," Richard explains. "This kick-start into professionalism and the financial industry has been my biggest advantage thus far." Working alongside Alex in Wealth Management, Richard is "eager to embark on this new journey and continue to learn much more about finance."

For upcoming high school students, Richard offers solid advice: "My advice to all students is to constantly seek opportunities to develop their careers through different internships and development programs. Gaining experience early on will help build the confidence to seize new opportunities and build long term career plans. Best of all, it'll assist in building a network of professionals that can provide mentoring and guidance."

Congratulations to Richard on his graduation from Baruch, and for being hired as an analyst by Morgan Stanley.

To learn more about Alex Gialanella and how he launched the Morgan Stanley Internship Program, please click here.

Futures and Options works with partners like Morgan Stanley to provide young people like Richard with career development opportunities such as paid internships, work-readiness training, and career exploration activities. Together, we are preparing young people to be productive employees and contributors to our city's economy. 

Businesses, ranging from large corporations to small businesses,  nonprofits to government agencies, can investt in young people and experience myriad benefits.  To learn more about partnering with Futures and Options to provide high school students with paid internships at your firm, please contact Business Engagement Manager Kat Malek-Hood.

NYC Department of Education's Work-Based Activities for CTE High Schools

CTE Industry Scholars Program

The CTE Industry Scholars Program (ISP) interns kicked off in fall 2017, with students from 90 CTE schools across NYC.  Futures and Options, along with five organizations, is coordinating career exploration activities and paid internships in eight different industry sectors.  Futures and Options is working with students who are studying media, technology, and design.

On February 28, 2018, 103 students from 24 high schools began working as interns at 49 businesses in the tech, media and design industries. These six-week industry-specific paid internships and a variety of career development activities  help CTE ISPinterns apply the skills they are learning at school in authentic industry settings while gaining real-world work experience.

Bleu Life Media, an internship business partner in this spring's program, welcomed seven Futures and Options CTE ISP interns. For Bleu Life Media, hiring high school interns was an easy decision. Fashion Market Editor Terence McNealy, sees the impact their interns have firsthand. "For Bleu, I think the benefit we see is that we get a fresh perspective. And they are excited to get work done and it makes everyone else even more excited. They come in and really bring up the energy around here." But it is not just Bleu Life Media that is benefiting from this program: the interns are as well. Sarahi Torreblanca, a senior at Automotive High School, says she "learned to communicate with other people better, manage my time wisely, and stay more organized." For her, this experience "opened doors and helped her see different perspectives of other jobs."

Executive Editor of the Brand, George Kevin Jordan, says, "the students came to us at a really critical time of growth for our company. We are excited they are here contributing and getting their hands dirty. They are given assignments and they push through and help us continually meet our deadlines." The interns work on a variety of projects within the company, including writing for the magazine and website, graphic design, and research. Alfredo Ibarra, a senior at the High School of Art and Design, says, "Everybody understands that it is a team effort, everybody is given a certain goal, and we do our best to fulfill those goals."

The staff at Bleu Life Media intentionally include the interns in all aspects of the business. "We just had a meeting, and I make sure to include the dollar amount and what our budget is. I try to be very transparent that they are here and impacting our bottom line and doing their job well elevates our bottom line," Jordan says. In just the few short weeks the interns have been at Bleu, he already sees growth in the students: "For me, I think it is an increase in overall seriousness. Once they saw their stuff in print, there is nothing like seeing your byline or seeing your work, then all the sudden you see the seriousness of it all."

To learn more about the CTE Industry Scholars Program, its career exploration activities and hosting interns, please contact our Business Engagement Manager, Kat Malek-Hood.


Celebrating 1,176...

On March 13, 2018, Futures and Options supporters, business partners, students, and staff gathered to salute the organization's tremendous accomplishments over the last 10 years, and to thank the all those who made it possible.

In FY2017, Futures and Options touched the lives of a record 1,176 students with 223 businesses providing paid internships and career exploration opportunities for our youth.  Many thanks to our Board Chair, Stephen Hessler, and Kirkland & Ellis for hosting this event. Futures and Options is enormously grateful to our partners, supporters, volunteers, and students. As we look ahead to the next 10 years, we are excited to continue to grow and positively impact the lives of more NYC youth. 


Young Professionals Enhances our Programs

Alumni Excel Workshop

On March 12, 2018, our Young Professionals Committee (YPC) hosted an Excel Workshop for Futures and Options high school and college alumni and current students, who were eager to strengthen their skills. Led by Kyle O'Hehir, co-chair of the YPC Volunteer Committee, the workshop provided the opportunity for students to learn or improve their Excel skills, which are highly valued by employers in every sector. Each participant was paired with a volunteer from the YPC, who guided him or her through the workshop's exercises.  Students learned how to create and modify an Excel Workbook, use basic Excel features and formulas, and how to organize and calculate data. Thank you, YPC volunteers for organizing this workshop and sharing your knowledge of Excel with our students. 

Meet our Futures and Options Interns


Elaine Aboni
Brooklyn Preparatory High School, Class of 2019
Futures and Options Intern, Career Essentials Assistant
Spring 2018

Elaine Aboni, a junior at Brooklyn Preparatory High School, was a student in Career Essentials in the fall of 2016. Futures and Options hired her as a Career Essentials assistant this spring. As a student, resume writing was one of the skills she enjoyed learning most from the Career Essentials' workshops. She is taking AP English now, and says, "I am taking the resume writing skills I learned and applying it to AP English, so I am little ahead of my class which is great." Her previous experience as a Career Essentials student gives her an advantage in connecting with the current students in the program. "A lot of the students are nervous. So a few weeks ago, we did a public speaking workshop and when I was working with my group, I tried to encourage the students because I know what it is like to be nervous. I tried to show them to be confident in who they are. We are here to teach them, but I learn just as much from them as they are learning from us." Elaine also explained how beneficial it is for her to see the behind-the-scenes of Futures and Options and how everything comes together for the workshops. "It is nice to know what goes on before and after the workshops, so when I am here I know exactly what needs to be done for the workshop to be successful."

Lily He
Millennium Brooklyn High School, Class of 2018
Futures and Options Intern, Career Essentials Assistant
Spring 2018

Lily He, a senior at Millennium Brooklyn High School, participated in Career Essentials as student during the spring of 2017. One year later, she is now interning with Futures and Options as a Career Essentials Assistant, working with our program coordinators to help successfully deliver the program's workshops. During her time as a student, she was exposed to "what being a professional is like and the proper etiquette, as well other companies outside of Futures and Options." Her goal, since beginning her role as an assistant, is to bring the knowledge and experience she gained from Career Essentials to the students who are currently in the program. "I feel like encouragement plays a big part in the workshop, so I try and encourage students to speak out loud during workshops and share what they are learning." For Lily, Futures and Options played a significant role in improving her communication skills. "It really opened me up and really brought me out of my comfort zone and I have learned to speak better and properly communicate with others."

© 2017 Futures and Options. All Rights Reserved.
Futures and Options is a nonprofit career development and paid internship program for New York City youth.

120 Broadway, Suite 1019. New York, NY 10271. 212-601-0002.