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Make an Investment in New York City Youth:
Hire a Futures and Options Intern


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

Since 1995, nearly 4,000 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 have an impact in the life of a young person, 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 2014 Annual Report.

Opportunities to be a Futures and Options internship partner are available for summer 2015. If you’re interested in learning the details about these partnership opportunities, please fill out our Business Partnership Questionnaire, or contact:

Amber Zuberi
Strategic Partnership Manager


Spotlight on the 2013 Barbara L. Christen Scholars


Each year, thanks to the support of the Alumni and Young Professionals Committee, Futures and Options selects several exemplary students to receive scholarships providing financial assistance during their first year of college. The Barbara L. Christen Scholarship, named in memory of our founder, is awarded to students who have participated in Career Essentials and/or the Internship Program who will attend college the fall following their high school graduation.

In 2013, the scholarship were awarded to Janelle A. Lawrence, Bre’Annah Braithwaite and Shondel Nurse. We caught up with Bre’Annah and Shondel, who are currently in their second semester of freshman year, to learn how they are adjusting to college life.


Bre'Annah (right) at Dream Big - A Celebration of Opportuniy in 2014, where she was presented with
her college scholarship.

Bre’Annah Braithwaite

Bre’Annah is in her first year at SUNY Potsdam, where she is a Business and Administration major. Her favorite class, so far, has been her Public Speaking class.

She advises Futures and Options students who will be heading to college this year to get involved in campus activities. “It becomes easier to get known around campus, and you really make a name for yourself,” she said. “But overall it’s a great way to make friends.”

She said the scholarship was very helpful toward her college expenses, giving her the opportunity to fully commit to her academics. “I was able to feel secure when I started school and not feel like a starving college student. Even though I still have many semesters to come, my first year of college has been more successful because of the scholarship. I was able to focus on school and not have to worry about other things.”

Shondel received her college scholarship at Dream Big - A Celebration of Opportunity in 2014.

Shondel Nurse

Shondel is a freshman at the University at Buffalo. Though she won’t be able to officially declare a major until sophomore year, she is an intended Psychology major and is considering a minor in Education.


“My Futures and Options experience greatly helped me in my college career,” she said. “Above all, the internship experience taught me valuable networking skills, and career workshops helped me build resume writing and interviewing skills.”  She will be interning in one of Buffalo’s Public Schools in the fall of 2015.


She advises college-bound students to make sure they’re maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “Sleeping helps refresh your brain. Pick sleep over an all-nighter every time, but be sure to get a sufficient amount of studying done.” She stressed that students should definitely attend all of their classes. “Cutting class causes more stress later.”


“The scholarship I received from Futures and Options was definitely helpful toward my college expenses. I was able to purchase textbooks and pay off my tuition balance.”


To support the Barbara L. Christen Scholarship, please join us at A Toast To Brighter Futures.



The sixth annual A Toast To Brighter Futures will take place on Monday, April 27th at SPiN New York. Join us for a great night of networking with Futures and Options alumni and supporters. The event features a competitive ping-pong tournament, a three-hour open bar serving beer and wine, and an exciting raffle.


The event is sponsored by our Alumni and Young Professional Committee and benefits the Barbara L. Christen Scholarship Fund. The Barbara L. Christen Scholarship Fund supports the college education of exemplary Futures and Options high school seniors who plan to attend college in fall 2015. Purchase your tickets by April 13th to receive an early bird special price.


Futures and Options Alumni Give Back as
College Success Mentors


At Futures and Options, few things make us happier than having our alumni volunteer as mentors in our programs. We have several opportunities for graduates of our programs to work with our young people and help them shape their educational and professional paths, including the College Success Program. This year, six of the program’s 16 mentors are Futures and Options alumni.


“I wanted to participate in the College Success Program to pay it forward. I met my mentor, Zarius Durant, through my Futures and Options internship. He has managed to guide me through the early stages of my life, and I would love to help do the same for others,” said Mahfug Houssain. Mahfug is currently an analyst for the partner payments at Sirius XM Radio. He said his Futures and Options internship with Colgate Palmolive helped him identify his strengths, and led him to pursue a career in finance.


Several of the mentors in the College Success Program are upperclassmen or recent graduates of college themselves. Dashawn Walker graduated from Bowdoin College in 2014. “Given that I recently graduated college, I thought that I would be the perfect person to give some recent insight on what it takes to be successful and things that they could learn from my mistakes,” he said. “I also wanted to support an individual whose shoes I was in a couple years back.”


Donald DeeJay Butler is currently a senior at Mercy College, and is also working as a test prep instructor for K-12 and pre-college at Kaplan. For him, volunteering as a mentor was a natural fit. “Helping out young people is something I just do,” he said. “It’s what I do for a job, and it’s what I intend on spending the rest of my life doing.”


If you are interested in learning more about being a mentor in the College Success Program in fall 2015, please contact Corey Ogilby.



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