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May 2018

Opening Doors for High School Interns

Kirkland & Ellis Interns Meet Judge Shelley C. Chapman at the Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court 

On Tuesday, April 10, our four high school interns who work at Kirkland & Ellis LLP toured the Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court. Thanks to Kirkland & Ellis Partner Susan Golden, who organized the trip, the interns, along with Hannah Kupsky, a junior paralegal, and Senior Recruiting Specialist Diana Haggerty, received a guided tour of the courthouse. Brent Bush, the Court's senior case administrator, started the tour at the office of Eddie Andino, the Deputy Clerk of the Court, where the students learned about how bankruptcy cases move through the court system from the perspective of the Court rather than the law firms. Mr. Andino also explained the various operations of the Clerk's Office. The interns also received a brochure about the history of this landmarked building. The students then visited the Help Desk, Training Room, Intake Room, and Mail Room to see what happens "behind the scenes" and to learn how the Court processes the enormous amount of paperwork it receives.  Mr. Bush explained that bankruptcy is not a bad thing because it can often help people and corporations to get back on their feet, which is something he witnesses daily.

The most interesting and noteworthy stop was Judge Shelley C. Chapman's courtroom where the interns observed an emergency Temporary Restraining Order hearing in the largest bankruptcy case in history, the Lehman Brothers case. After the hearing, the interns met with Judge Chapman, who encouraged them to go behind the bench where she sits in the Courtroom and then invited everyone into chambers. Judge Chapman explained the Lehman Brothers case in more detail as well as the other types of cases she works oversees and adjudicates. Her calendar includes more than big, high-profile cases like Lehman Brothers. She also handles individual's bankruptcies and she explained how different and rewarding that is.

Judge Chapman shared her personal background. Her grandparents came to the United States as immigrants and she grew up with very little. She was the first in her family to go to college. She showed pictures of herself with Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor and President Clinton, her medals from her marathons, and other keepsakes she has collected over the years. Judge Chapman told the interns to stand behind her desk so they could see the view from her window:  the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. For her, looking at these two historical landmarks reminds her of where she came from and why she feels tremendously fortunate to dispense Justice every day.

Each intern was especially inspired by Judge Chapman's story and her passion for her work. However, for our students their meeting with Judge Chapman is more than her story; they saw her commitment, professionalism, and ethics in the Courtroom and beyond. We are immensely grateful to Kirkland & Ellis's Susan Golden and Jozette Chong for organizing this field trip and to the Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court and to Judge Chapman, Brent Bush, Eddie Andino, and their colleagues at the Court for their sharing their time with our students.

Futures and Options Young Professionals Committee's
9th Annual A Toast To Brighter Futures 

Thank you to all our generous supporters who helped make our 9th Annual A Toast To Brighter Futures a huge success! With a sold out Ping Pong Tournament and over 200 supporters, we are thrilled to announce we raised over $44,000 of support for the Barbara L. Christen Scholarship Fund!

Our students come from low-income families, which makes paying for college a challenge. That is why, we established the Barbara L. Christen Scholarship Fund. This college scholarship is named in honor of Futures and Options founder, Dr. Barbara L. Christen. Since 2012, we have awarded college scholarships to students who attend schools such as Boston University, College of the Holy Cross, University of Pennsylvania, Harvey Mudd College, Fordham University, and St. John's University.

Thank you for your generous support of Toast and The Barbara L. Christen Scholarship Fund!


Partners in Empowerment

CUNY and Futures and Options Roll Out Pilot Excel Training Program

Thanks to funding from the Pinkerton Foundation, Futures and Options and CUNY piloted an Excel Training Program for high school students who also attend Career Essentials. The pilot program, which was launched in February, provides 50 NYC high-school students with work-readiness training and career exploration opportunities through Career Essentials, along with Microsoft Excel training.

CUNY provides 12 weekly Excel workshops and Futures and Options provides the 13 Career Essentials workshops for 25 College Now students and 25 Futures and Options students. College Now, a free college transition and dual enrollment program, is a major partnership between CUNY and NYCDOE enlisting 18 colleges and over 420 NYC public high schools in its mission to help students successfully transition to college. 

The Excel Training is teaching students basic Excel features, such as how to create, save, and modify an Excel workbook, use formulas to calculate, and organize data. The student's final project will be to use Excel to prepare a monthly budget. Successful students will receive a certificate from the Borough of Manhattan Community College attesting to their skill level in Excel. Through Career Essentials, students learn important professional and interpersonal skills, explore careers, and build their peer and professional networks. Success in both Career Essentials and the CUNY Excel Training will give students the opportunity to participate in the Futures and Options Internship Program this summer. 

Thank you to the Pinkerton Foundation for helping to launch the Futures and Options / CUNY pilot program, which better prepares young people for the workforce.


Young Professionals Enhance our Programs

Financial Literacy Workshop

On April 26, 2018, our Young Professionals Committee (YPC) provided a Financial Literacy Workshop for Futures and Options alumni and students at Morgan Stanley. The workshop was led by YPC members Pavan Rangachar, Alex Gorman, John Whitman, and Erin Stackowitz. Students learned basic financial literacy skills including banking, paychecks, budgeting, and creating their own personal budget plan. Thank you to our YPC members who led this workshop and the volunteers who shared their knowledge with our students.

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Futures and Options is a nonprofit career development and paid internship program for New York City youth.

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