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Celebrating Opportunity and Dreaming Big!

Dream Big 2012 Scholar Genesis Torres-Alcantara with Futures and Options Chairman Steve Hessler and Executive Director Patty Machir

We at Futures and Options want to thank you for making Dream Big - A Celebration of Opportunity, our second annual gala, such a success! Along with Dream Big, this year was also the second year for The Opportunity Card, our exciting shopping promotion that gives back to donors as they support our career development programs.  

With your tremendous generous support we were able to raise more than $315,000 making it possible for us to reach more students than ever before.


Our 2012 Dream Big Honorees

Dream Big is Futures and Options' opportunity to celebrate those partners who make our work possible. Our Individual honoree, David C. Johnston, of Alix Partners LLP., is an experienced turnaround and restructuring professional who combines years of experience with a commitment to helping at-risk New York City youth. Our Corporate honoree, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, has a 100-year history of counseling global clients in litigation, tax, intellectual property, and restructuring, and has been Futures and Options' longtime supporter and internship program partner.

The Municipal Forum of New York, our Partnership Award honoree, whose municipal securities industry professionals work to uphold the highest standards in financing America’s infrastructure, has teamed with Futures and Options since 1996 to provide internships through the innovative Urban Leadership Fellows Program.


2012 Dream Big Scholarship

Finally, for the first time, Futures and Options presented its inaugural Dream Big Scholarship to high school senior Genesis Torres-Alcantara to support her college education.  Many thanks to Mediabrands IPG for its generous sponsorship of this scholarship.  Congratulations to Genesis and the two Dream Big Scholarship finalists, Esther Orekunrin and Maria Rojas!

To get a glimpse of all the festivities at Dream Big, take a look at our video.


What's On: Fall 2012 at Futures and Options

The fall is always a busy time for Futures and Options, and this year is no exception. Currently, 46 high school students from all five boroughs are participating in Career Essentials. Together, they are developing career readiness skills, attending field trips at sites like Thomson Reuters and Deloitte, and learning about teamwork through contextual project-based learning activities.

At the middle-school level, 23 students from WHEELS, Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, are learning how to prepare for the world of work and future careers. WHEELS students will also take career exploration on the road with field trips to business partners such as Unilever.


Thanks to a generous grant from the William T. Grant Foundation, Career Essentials has an enhanced curriculum, which offers highly interactive and student-centric learning experiences.  The Career Essentials program guide will be finalized in early 2013, and available to other organizations.


In the Core Internship program, 16 high school juniors and seniors are working as paid interns in 14 business sites across the city. Companies like Emanate, Silverstein Properties, and Great Eastern Energy provide our interns with real world work experience and invaluable training. In addition to their work as interns, our students are attending monthly workshops to enhance their internship experiences.


To learn more about Career Essentials, please contact Matt Ellis or call 212-601-0002, ext. 106.

For more information about our Internship Program please contact Rebecca Dougherty or call 212-601-0002, ext. 108.


Staff Changes at Futures and Options!

We are pleased to announce that our Program Coordinator, Joanna Munoz, has been promoted to  Strategic Partnership Manager.  Joanna, who is excited to take on this new role, brings experience with our internship partnerships as well as the youth in our programs.  She will recruit new internship sites and develop strategic partnerships with corporations, schools and nonprofit organizations.

In addition, we would like to welcome our new staff members, Tes and Emily!
Tes Cohen and Emily Tartanella joined our staff this fall to support the Futures and Options team. Tes has joined the team as a Program Coordinator, and Emily has taken on the role of Administrative Assistant.

Tes Cohen graduated from Connecticut College where she double-majored in Psychology and Hispanic Studies.  She completed an internship at the Public Health Department of the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.  Upon graduating from college, Tes joined the Peace Corps and served as a Rural Community Development Volunteer in Costa Rica. 

Most recently she worked at Insight Cuba, an organization that provides cultural exchange programs to Cuba for Americans.  She is excited to connect students to transformative internship opportunities as well as facilitate workforce development and college guidance training for youth. 


Emily Tartanella graduated from Haverford College in 2010, majoring in English and French.  Prior to working with Futures and Options, Emily spent two years as a Teach for America corps member, teaching high school English and Theater Arts in Eastern North Carolina.

She has also spent time as a journalist, writing for The Philadelphia Inquirer, SPIN Magazine, and The Village Voice. She is excited to join the team at Futures and Options, and to work to offer opportunities to all students in the New York area.


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