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Thank You! Thank You! A Toast To Brighter Futures Raises Nearly $15,000 for College Scholarships!

On Monday, April 28th, F+O’s Alumni and Young Professionals Committee hosted its 5th Annual A Toast To Brighter Futures at SPiN New York. Everyone had a fantastic time at the event, which featured a super exciting ping pong tournament and raised $14,490 to support our Dream Big Scholarship Fund!


The Futures and Options Ping Pong Tournament champions Michael Rizzo, Richard Levine, Zach Price, and Alec Kirschner bested Harry Clarke, David Harris, Divesh Mehra, and Andrew Kraft in the hotly contested finals. The other semi-finalists teams included F+O college students Linus Ling and Reinaldo Cuni and F+O alum Damani Corbin with Keith West. Four F+O student teams competed in the Tournament.

Thank you to our fantastic Host Committee for all their help on this year’s Toast !  

Molly Battles, Julie Cantor, Damani Corbin, Andrea Cuevas, Janay Daniel, Latisha Daughtry, Rebecca Dougherty, Erick Espinoza, Heather Godsmark, Clare Harwood, Steve Hessler, Isabel Hittleman, Candice Homan, Michael Jetton, Cynthia Marian, Conor McCoy, Joanna Munoz, Amanda Pusey, Michael Rizzo, Zabier Rodriguez, Poonam Shah, Steve Sperber, Sherika Sterling, Elaine Wu, and Rebecca Yeh.  

And, we are beyond thrilled to have the support of our generous sponsors: Ned and Debby Flynn, Steve and Stephanie Hessler, Mark Kornfeld, Patty Machir, Mesirow Financial Consulting, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Michael and Regina Rizzo, and Christian Sullivan.

Many, many thanks for your tremendous support!  

F+O Welcomes Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley intern Delilah Marto with mentor Connie Fishbein

Spearheaded by Alex Gialanella and Jeannine Ali, Morgan Stanley is partnering with Futures and Options to provide an exciting experience to talented New York City high school students interested in the financial industry. On March 24th three students began a twelve-week finance/investment banking internship in different investment banking industry groups at Morgan Stanley. Now in their sixth week of work, the interns report an overwhelmingly positive experience. “Everyone I’ve met at Morgan Stanley is so friendly and open to teaching me what they do,” reflects Richard Disla, a senior at City College Academy of the Arts, who is interning in the Financial Advisor Compensation group.

Last week, the interns visited Morgan Stanley’s Westchester offices, where they toured the trading floor and heard presentations by executives from different divisions of the firm. Erika Apupalo, an intern in the Wealth Management group, says, “Each speaker presented me with a new outlook of the industry and helped me think about the kind of area that I might be interested in looking further. In particular, I would like to learn more about Morgan Stanley’s newer division of Banking and Lending and the initiatives it is undertaking to further implement itself in the new market.”

Intern Delilah Marto learned from the presentations about the significant opportunity for growth that the company offers its employees. The Stuyvesant High School senior says, “I am really amazed by how strong mobility is at the firm. So many of the people who work [at Morgan Stanley] have moved around within the firm, which I think is really great because that is one of the greatest ways to expand your knowledge and gain experience while still remaining within the same firm.”

Now back in the Manhattan offices, the interns, with the help of their Morgan Stanley reporting managers and peer mentors, continue to learn financial computer programs, create and update reports, and sit in on important meetings. Erika comments, “It’s fun that each day there is something new to do and learn.”

Futures and Options would like to extend its thanks to Morgan Stanley for making this partnership possible, especially Alex Gialanella, Jeannine Ali, Edward Wastell, Michael O’Brien, Paul Caminiti, Francis Doehner, Karen Simpson, and Connie Fishbein.


Student Volunteers Build Porches and
Bonds in Virginia

F+O students and program coordinators on location at their Habitat for Humanity site in Virginia

Over April’s spring break, a group of 14 F+O students traveled to Cape Charles, Virginia – a small town on the Eastern Shore – to further Habitat for Humanity’s vision of a world where all people have access to safe and affordable housing.

The group consisted of young people from all five boroughs, nine high schools, and numerous F+O programs. They were selected based on their enthusiasm for the project and their willingness to take on new challenges. In addition to committing to a week of service, the students raised much of the money to cover the costs of the trip – nearly half of the budget came from student fundraising!

Once in Virginia, the group stayed at a local church and spent their days building a home for a mother of three. They worked together on new and challenging tasks, such as digging post holes, nailing hurricane rafter brackets, leveling posts, and attaching porch floorboards. In addition to the volunteer work itself, students engaged in workshops on volunteerism and discussions about how to continue being of service. By living and working together, students learned the real meaning of teamwork – and by the end of the week they had a front and back porch to show for their efforts!

Student volunteers hard at work building
porches with Habitat for Humanity


The students returned to New York with new friends, a connection to the people of Cape Charles, pride in their contribution, and the knowledge that they have the power to help people in need and to affect change in their communities.

Thank you to all of the wonderful supporters who helped make this trip possible.


Tackling the College Search Process

F+O College Guidance Initiative participants and F+O
program coordinator Jackie Avitabile during their trip to Brooklyn College

Our College Guidance Initiative workshop on Friday, April 11th focused on helping our students tackle the daunting college search process. The many factors to consider when choosing a college can feel overwhelming to a young person, so our workshop helped students break down the important elements to consider when choosing a college. After reviewing factors, such as location, selectivity, size, culture, academics, extra-curricular activities, etc., our students perused online college search engine sites and looked through college search guidebooks. Each student received a spreadsheet where they could keep track of the various colleges they were interested in. At the end of the workshop, there was a question-and-answer session, and each student received the book Colleges that Change Lives: 40 Schools that will Change the Way You Think About College.
On Tuesday, May 15th, 13 students attended the College Guidance Initiative trip to Brooklyn College. The students ranged from freshmen to seniors, some just beginning their college search, and others deciding which college to attend in the fall. Despite the rain, the students and F+O staff were given a tour of Brooklyn College’s beautiful campus, exploring academic buildings, the library, and athletic facilities. The students came prepared with insightful questions and learned more about the college’s academics, study abroad opportunities, residential life, and career services. The students were excited by the college experience, and many of the younger students said they would like to apply when their time comes.

The College Guidance Initiative holds monthly workshops that are open to all F+O high school students. Our next workshop on Adapting to College and Choosing a Major will take place on Friday, May 16th from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. The following workshop on Writing Strong Applications will take place on Wednesday, June 11th from 4 to 6 pm. Please reach out to Jackie Avitabile at javitabile@futuresandoptions.org to RSVP for either workshop.

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. 



Make an Investment in the New York City Workforce: Hire a F+O Summer Intern Today!

At Futures and Options we believe that an early investment in youth work-readiness will pay dividends for New York City today and for years to come.

Since 1995, underserved high school students have explored careers through Futures and Options Internship Program. Through our model program, high school students gain access to paid highly-supported internships, work-readiness training and mentoring from caring adults. At the same time, businesses are connected to a pipeline of promising, motivated and diverse youth.

As a Futures and Options internship partner, your company will be introduced to talented diversity candidates and be recognized as a leader in the New York City business community.

To learn which of your peers have taken part in this exciting opportunity, please visit our website and review our 2013 Annual Report.

If you’re interested in exploring partnership opportunities for summer 2014, please contact:

Joanna Munoz
Strategic Partnership Manager


Apply Today for the 2014 Bridge To Work Program

A Bridge To Work participant serving food at St. Peter's Church

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 F+O 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. Applications for the Summer 2014 Bridge To Work are due by June 21, 2014. If you have any questions, please contact Jackie Avitabile at javitabile@futuresandoptions.org.


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