Having trouble reading this newsletter? View as a web page instead.


Be a Futures and Options Intern: Apply Today for the 2014 Summer Internship Program

Lou Peralta, Office Manager at Golden Seeds with summer 2013 intern Sashelle Nunez

Futures and Options offers paid, mentored internships to NYC residents, who are high school students, 16-19 years old. Students must be able to work 25-40 hours a week during the summer and commit to attend weekly career readiness workshops. To learn more details about our internship program’s different opportunities, please visit our website.

Futures and Options interns work in a variety of employment sectors including finance, small business, technology, real estate, retail, nonprofit and government. They also attend work-readiness workshops and career exploration field trips.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact F+O program coordinator, Clare Harwood at charwood@futuresandoptions.org.

Spots are filling up quickly; students are encouraged to apply online today!


Specialized Internship Opportunities

Futures and Options offers internship programs to students interested in working in specific industry sectors.

The Urban Leadership Fellows Program – Apply Today

In collaboration with The Municipal Forum of New York, Inc., Futures and Options offers NYC high school seniors, who have a strong academic record and an interest in finance, six-week, paid, mentored internships in the municipal finance sector. Fellows are also eligible for scholarship opportunities and ongoing career development opportunities. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Rebecca Dougherty at rdougherty@futuresandoptions.org. The application deadline is Monday, April 7. 

Summer Service Learning Program


Bridge To Work provides high school students with a combination of work-readiness training, career exploration in the nonprofit sector and service-learning. Students volunteer with four different NYC nonprofit organizations, attend three work-readiness workshops and one career exploration field trip.

High school students, or students who are entering high school this September, can apply to Bridge To Work by clicking here. If you have any questions, please contact Jackie Avitabile at javitabile@futuresandoptions.org.


Catching Up with Our First Dream Big Scholars

Thanks to our Alumni and Young Professionals Committee’s generous support, each year Futures and Options awards college scholarships to outstanding high school seniors from our programs. A Toast To Brighter Futures, the Alumni and Young Professionals Committee’s annual event raises the money to support our Dream Big Scholarship Fund. In its inaugural year, Genesis Torres-Alcantara, Esther Orekunrin and Maria Rojas received college scholarships; we were delighted to learn how they are each adjusting as college freshmen.

Genesis Torres-Alcantara
In her first year at The College of the Holy Cross, Genesis is enjoying her classes and is planning to declare a major in Psychology, Sociology or English. Her favorite class is an English class on fictional short stories, and she is currently training to become an English tutor at the Writing Center next year. Genesis is also busy as an Executive Board member of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) and volunteers at a senior center in the neighboring city of Worcester.

Heather Raftery, Executive Director of the Cornelia Connelly Center and Genesis Torres-Alcantara

“When I got to the career office they were amazed that I not only had a resume but also that it was so detailed and showed so much work experience. I have definitely used the interview skills I learned at Futures and Options at school, and overall my Futures and Options background has made me feel much more confident and prepared. The financial relief [the scholarship provided] my parents and my family was huge. Not having to worry about paying for books has really helped my transition to college life.”

Esther Orekunrin
A freshmen at City College, Esther says that her Women’s Studies course is her favorite class so far. She enjoys that her professor relates current events to women and society, opening up the eyes of the students, making them think critically about their lives, families and the world. Esther is also focusing on her pre-med courses. As a Biology major, she is working hard to maintain a high GPA and work toward her goal of going to medical school.

“As a Futures and Options intern, I learned about interview etiquette, setting goals, being on time, etc. It has all helped me as a college student because in college, there is no one to watch over you and make sure you stay on top of the work. Without a schedule, being on time and working hard, a college student can easily fall behind. However, Futures and Options taught all interns, including me, to work hard and avoid failure. The 2012 Dream Big Scholarship helped me and my family with paying for college and avoiding student loans. The scholarship taught me to not take things for granted and to continue to work harder.”

Maria Rojas
Maria accumulated enough credits to put her ahead of her peers, and this summer semester she will be a junior at Boston University. She is majoring in Communications, minoring in Computer Science and is a volunteer with the First Year Student Outreach program and a group called Speak For Yourself. Maria is also working for BUTV10, the University’s television station.

Maria Rojas with her mother

“I help in the pre-production process for Paper Trail, one of the shows. I help schedule/organize casting and source locations/assist in location scouting. It’s really exciting to work with BUTV10 because it feels like a professional set and I am a part of a team that takes it all very seriously. The Dream Big Scholarship really helped relieve some financial stress in college. I was able to buy my books and a few other school supplies. In general, Futures and Options really helped in funding the little things that I didn't realize I would need.”

All of us at Futures and Options are deeply inspired by Genesis, Esther and Maria, and congratulate them on their accomplishments at college.

To support the 2014 Dream Big Scholarship Fund or attend A Toast To Brighter Futures on April 28 at SPiN New York, please click here


F+O Students visit Fordham University

Dean Christopher Rodgers, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students at Fordham University Rose Hill, talks with students about campus life

The College Guidance Initiative, a program helping F+O’s high school students apply for college, has rapidly expanded over the past few years. Throughout the year, we hold monthly workshops on various topics such as writing strong college applications, understanding financial aid and choosing a major. This year, we added two college tours to this growing program. For our first trip, 13 students visited Fordham University on Wednesday, February 19, where they spoke with Dr. Patricia Peek, Director of Undergraduate Admission and Christopher Rodgers, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students at Rose Hill, and also took a campus tour led by Evelyn No, a current undergraduate student.

The students’ conversation with Dr. Peek gave them an understanding of Fordham’s admission requirements: tests, letters of recommendation and the interview process; they learned about tuition and available scholarship options. Students were excited to hear that Fordham participates in the Higher Education Opportunity (HEOP) program. Additionally, Fordham designates an admissions counselor for each borough of the city, so NYC students receive ample support during the application process.

Even though snow still blanketed the beautiful campus, students had an amazing time touring Fordham. Aspiring economics and finance majors were fascinated by one of the classrooms in Hughes Hall because of its similarity to the New York Stock Exchange’s trading floor. Junior Rafael Miranda enjoyed his time at Fordham, saying he envisioned himself as a student there in the future. He never imagined that Fordham, a university very close to his home, could seem as if it wasn't in the Bronx.

Shortly after the tour, Dean Rodgers spoke to students about student campus life and the benefits of a Jesuit education. The students learned about the vast range of activities on campus, from the Model UN to sports programs and the integrated learning communities, which allow students to both reside and attend classes in residence halls. Dean Rodgers told students about Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus, which is located just blocks away from the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts and Columbus Circle.  

The visit to Fordham taught students the importance of seeing a college’s campus to understand what a school is like. As senior Nahima Uddin commented, “I enjoyed finding out that Fordham has a strong campus community along with all the opportunities and resources of being in the city.”

On April 15, F+O students will tour Brooklyn College. If you are interested in attending this tour, please contact Jackie Avitabile at javitabile@futuresandoptions.org.

Futures and Options is tremendously grateful to the CME Group Community Foundation and the Manhattan Borough President’s Office for supporting our College Guidance Initiative. 



Spotlight on an F+O Intern: Zion Martin

Zion Martin and Clare Harwood

Zion Martin, who is a junior at Samuel Gompers High School, started as an intern in the education department at City Parks Foundation in November 2013. The City Parks Foundation is truly unique in its mission: it is the only nonprofit to create free and accessible arts, sports, education and community-building programs in parks throughout each of New York City’s five boroughs. Their mission and educational programs make it an ideal work environment for Futures and Options interns, providing them with a variety of different work experiences.

Zion almost immediately excelled in the professional work environment, demonstrating that he was reliable, trustworthy, punctual and a dedicated team player with excellent follow-through on projects. His professionalism stood out to supervisor Jaime Zelaya, who noticed Zion’s potential for growth within the organization: “I could tell he had a creative impulse. He’s a great collaborator, and has a love for computer technology and numbers.” Not long after working with him in the education department, Jaime asked Zion to be an intern and Peer Mentor for Youth Made Media, a multimedia and technology after school program offered by the City Parks Foundation that provides video production training, media literacy, new media, academic support and life skills training to middle and high school students.

In his new position as a Peer Mentor at Youth Made Media, Zion teaches non-linear editing to middle school students, and is a peer educator for video editing, new media, creative writing and storyboarding. “I was interested in technology and there were no programs where I lived,” said Zion. “I would love to help kids get to put [these skills] on their resume.”

The experience at Youth Made Media has been an extremely positive one for both Zion and Jaime. “Zion has been like a sponge,” declared Jaime. “He acclimates easily to changes in the work environment, his communication is clear and direct, and he always asks good questions. He’s been great with conflict resolution among his peers.”

Zion agrees that the experience has helped his communication skills. “The internship taught me not to be too shy, and to speak up and not be afraid to ask questions. It’s been a great way to broaden my view of the workforce, and meet new kids from different boroughs with different opinions,” he said.



Futures and Options Welcomes Program
Coordinator Christine Scarfuto

Christine Scarfuto joined the Futures and Options team in March 2014 as a Program Coordinator. Prior to her time at Futures and Options, Christine taught Expository Writing to incoming college freshman at Rutgers University and introductory theater and writing courses at Fordham University and the University of Iowa. She was also part of the Write-A-Play program at Florida Studio Theatre, where she led workshops at elementary schools throughout Florida as part of an in-school arts initiative designed to inspire students to write plays. She received her B.A. in English and Creative Writing from The College of New Jersey, and her M.F.A. in Dramaturgy from the University of Iowa. In addition to working at Futures and Options, Christine has a career as a freelance dramaturg and theater producer. She has recently worked with Signature Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, Playwrights Realm and the Goodman Theatre. She hails from the picturesque state of New Jersey.

F+O Supporters raise $1,000 for Upcoming Habitat Trip

Habitat F+O supporters are all smiles at Van Diemens

On Thursday, March 13, more than 45 people came to Van Diemens Cafe and Bar for a happy hour to support the 15 F+O students who will volunteer during their spring break with Habitat for Humanity in Virginia. Everyone had a wonderful time at the event, which raised $1,000 to help cover the trip’s food, transportation and other expenses. Our students are also raising money to make this trip possible, and to date have raised nearly $2,000.

To support the efforts of our student volunteers with a tax-deductible donation, please click here.

Forward to a Friend.

Copyright © 2013