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Futures and Options Ping Pong Tournament is a SMASH!


On Monday night, April 29th, at our 4th Annual A Toast to Brighter Futures, Futures and Options hosted its first Ping Pong Tournament at SPiN New York.  The tournament was a fantastic addition to our annual Alumni and Young Professionals fundraising event, which surpassed its goal by raising $12,870 to support our Dream Big Scholarship.  Many, many thanks for all the tremendous support! 

Our hats are off to the 16 student and adult teams that played in our Tournament! Congratulations for your excellent play – you created lots of excitement and fun for players and spectators alike.  Tournament champions Yogi Saxena and Felipe Osorio bested Futures and Options’ board member Zach Goodman and his teammates Tom Woiteshek, Peter Henle, and Jeremy Schneider in the hotly contested Finals.   

Thank you to our fantastic Host Committee for making this year’s Toast such a success! 

Robert Baehr, Molly Battles, Julie Cantor, Tes Cohen, Damani Corbin, Rebecca Dougherty, Matt Ellis, Heather Godsmark, Zach Goodman, Clare Harwood, Candice Homan, Michael Jetton, Eddie Lempenski, Adam McCoy, Joanna Munoz, Stephanie Perry Winther, Amanda Pusey, Poonam Shah, Paul Teske, Meena Thever Wojcik, and Elaine Wu.

And, we are beyond thrilled to have the support of our wonderful sponsors! Our huge thanks to: Robert Baehr, Steve and Stephanie Hessler, Stephanie Perry Winther and Jens Winther, Colin Hannaway, Patty Machir, Eric Brielmann and Jamie Moser, Susan Bruder and Poonam Shah.

Futures and Options Selected for
Morgan Stanley's 2013 Strategy Challenge

On April 3, 2013, Morgan Stanley announced that Futures and Options is one of 12 nonprofit organizations chosen for the firm’s fifth annual Strategy Challenge, its signature skills-based volunteer program providing pro bono strategic consulting to nonprofits with capacity-building potential. The nonprofits are based in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco and work on causes ranging from children’s health to economic empowerment. Morgan Stanley employees use their professional expertise and skill sets to develop strategies that help the participating nonprofits achieve their mission in more effective and efficient ways.  Morgan Stanley teams are made up of high-performing employees from various divisions across the firm. A senior Morgan Stanley advisor and a coach from The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit consulting firm, also provide additional support.

Futures and Options will work with our team of Morgan Stanley volunteers on an eight-week project that will enable us to gain a better understanding of our cost structure and program outcomes.  By answering key questions relating to program costs, outcomes and services, we will be in a much-improved position to make essential decisions regarding program development, our allocation process, partnership funding, staffing and expansion planning. Ultimately, we hope that this project will enable us to reach more youth in the NYC community and beyond.

The Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge culminates in a day-long final event where teams present their recommendations to a senior panel of leaders from Morgan Stanley, Bridgespan and selected nonprofits.  The panel will choose a winning team as well as two other finalists.  This final event also provides an opportunity to celebrate the success of the intense strategic work and for the community to engage with and learn from recommendations of all the teams. 

Futures and Options is honored to be selected for the 2013 Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge.  Our most sincere thanks go to our Morgan Stanley volunteer team, Alex Gialanella, Hersh Khadilkar, Erica Mui and Melanie Stephens, as well as Managing Director Dan Kosowsky and Bridgespan coach Cliff Emmanuel.


Futures and Options Students Give Back with Habitat for Humanity

This March, 13 Futures and Options students traveled with three staff members to Franklin, West Virginia for their spring break to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.  For months before the trip, students met to discuss housing issues and the importance of an organization like Habitat for Humanity and worked hard to raise money to go on the trip.  

Futures and Options high school students and staff admire their finished product.

We met on a cold Sunday morning in Brooklyn and traveled across snowy mountains in West Virginia before arriving at the Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Center.  On Tuesday, we began work at Kenny and Brenda’s house, which was in need of a handicap ramp and a deck.  When we arrived all we saw was a snowy yard, and when we left four days later, there was a deck and ramp built with almost all the floorboards done.   Students learned about the benefits of group living and responsibility by helping to cook dinner, cleaning after themselves, and sharing space with two other groups that were also staying in the Volunteer Center. 

Stephanie Albaraccin, a sophomore at Manhattan Hunter High School, tests out a power tool.

Overall, this trip was an excellent opportunity for some of our students to experience a culture different from their own, give back to a family in need of assistance, and be inspired to continue to do service for the rest of their lives.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this trip happen, through both your financial and emotional support.

By Matt Ellis, Program Coordinator

To view more pictures from the trip, click here.


Know a Great Internship Candidate?

Do you know an outstanding NYC high school student looking for a meaningful summer internship? Send them our way! Spots in our summer program are filling up quickly; encourage them to apply online today!

To be considered, students must be NYC residents, 16-19 years old, in 10-12th grade, and able to work 25-35 hours a week during the summer.

For more information about the Internship Program, contact Rebecca Dougherty at rdougherty@futuresandoptions.org.


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