Where They are Going
We proudly celebrate our amazing scholars: Congratulations to our college-bound graduates!
Strong Partners in Youth Employment
JPMorgan Chase & Co.: The Fellowship Initiative
JPMorgan Chase & Co. has demonstrated a significant commitment to advancing youth employment and has supported Futures and Options efforts to increase opportunities for young New Yorkers.
The company is currently investing over $350 million in workforce development around the world. Through their New Skills at Work Initiative, JPMorgan Chase & Co. launched a five-year, $250 million global initiative to leverage their resources, expertise, and global reach to help inform and accelerate efforts to support demand-driven skills training. Additionally, they created a program to expand skills-based education for young people. This $75 million initiative, New Skills for Youth, is expanding high-quality career focused education programs that lead to well-paying jobs and long-term careers. Last year, the firm announced a $17 million commitment to summer youth employment programs, providing funding for young people to get jobs in over 20 cities.
This spring, JPMorgan Chase & Co. furthered its support for Futures and Options by launching a new joint effort to prepare young men of color for college and career success through The Fellowship Initiative. This national program provides intensive academic and leadership training to help young men of color from economically distressed communities complete their high school education and prepare them to excel in colleges and universities. The Fellows go through a rigorous application and interview process, as the program is highly selective. Along with participating in programming on Saturdays, Fellows are matched with JPMorgan Chase employees who serve as their mentors for three years.
The Futures and Options team conducted three workshops in conjunction with academic workshops provided by JPMorgan Chase. Our workshops included information on interviewing, resume writing, and networking, as well as a comprehensive packet of all the information given out at the end of the program. Career Gear also provided each Fellow with the opportunity to get a new suit for their future interviews and jobs.
Through this program, nine Fellows earned a paid, internship that includes support from a career mentor. JP Morgan Chase & Co.'s collaboration with Futures and Options provides NYC underserved youth with the skills they need for future success and employment. We are grateful for the support from JPMorgan Chase & Co., which advances the empowerment of New York City's underserved youth as they explore careers, further their education and become productive citizens.
Sustained Commitment to New York City's Youth
Recognizing Voya's Commitment to Futures and Options
Voya Financial® is tremendously dedicated to providing New York City's youth with meaningful support, and is an unwavering partner of Futures and Options, supporting our organization in a variety of ways. The company hires interns through our Internship Program, which gives our students hands-on work experience in the financial sector. Additionally, Voya hosts career exploration field trips, where our students meet Voya's working professionals while they practice and build their communication, interpersonal, and networking skills, as well as gain a better understanding of the business environment.
This year, Voya awarded a $10,000 college scholarship to one of our Futures and Options alumni, Misha Caleb. This fall, Misha will be a sophomore at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she is studying international business. Misha grew up in Bronx, NY, and attended high school at Brooklyn Institute for Liberal Arts. Motivated by watching her mother handle challenges as a Guyanese immigrant, Misha used the extracurricular opportunities presented to gain work and leadership experience before she even finished high school. Congratulations, Misha! We invite you to watch this exciting video of Misha accepting the Voya's scholarship award.
Thank you to all at Voya Financial for your continued generous support of Futures and Options and our students!
Students Shine in Career Essentials
Each semester, the students in Career Essentials participate in a project called Create-A-Company. Once separated into teams, the students are tasked with creating a fictional company from scratch. Each team must develop the components of its company, including a business description, marketing plan, and staffing policies. At the end of the semester, the teams present their company ideas to a group of volunteer "investors," similar to the structure of Shark Tank.
This spring's Career Essentials students went above and beyond in creating their companies and presenting their work. Through their weekly Career Essentials workshops, they learned a variety of skills including team building, public speaking, organization, and time management. Many of these skills shined during the students' presentations. A winning team from each cohort of students is selected by the volunteer panel of judges. This spring's four winning teams were Muse Me, Got-2-GoNYC, Luxe, and Your Match.
Hats off to our budding student entrepreneurs and thank you to our volunteer judges who make this experience especially meaningful for our students.
Opening Doors for NYC Youth
Khandker Ahamed, a junior at City College of New York, participated in Futures and Options in summer 2016 as an intern at Ventura Associates LLC.
When Khandker moved to the United States, he did not speak English very well and worked extremely hard to catch up with his peers. He says, "It really helped shape me, both personally and professionally, to work so hard to achieve what I wanted." He realized you should "never bring yourself down just because someone else does not know your value" and he kept this mindset throughout his high school and college experience. One of the most valuable lessons Khandker learned from Futures and Options "is to never be scared to ask for help."
"Futures and Options opened the door for me. The program allowed me to explore and build relationships with people who were able to direct me to the right path." Since his time in the Internship Program, Khandker has been working hard to achieve his goal of becoming an entrepreneur who helps change and improve the educational system.
Currently, Khandker is participating in the University Innovation Fellows program, which is led by professors at Stanford University. The program is designed to help foster innovation and entrepreneurship at City College and 230 schools throughout the world. As one of the co-founders of FloraMind, an educational organization that provides digital tools and in-person workshops to improve mental health literacy and well-being for the youth, Khander is taking a giant step toward his goals. Through the New York Business Plan Regional Competition, the Zahn Innovation Center's Startup Competition, and Echoing Green's The Future of Work Social Innovation Challenge, FloraMind won a total of $26,500 in funding to begin implementing its programs.
Congratulations to Khandker and his team at FloraMind!
Young Professionals Committee Hosts Annual Alumni Social
On Wednesday, June 20th, Futures and Options' Young Professionals Committee hosted their annual Alumni Social at Stuytown Park. Futures and Options alumni and members of the Young Professionals Committee gathered to celebrate their successful year, network, and enjoy a beautiful summer night over pizza. It was a great chance for our alumni to catch up with each other, as well as meet new members of the Futures and Options community.
Thank you, Carlos Vazquez, for making it possible for us to hold this event at Stuytown Park.