BENEFITING: Futures and Options, Inc.
EVENT DATE: Sep 16, 2013
Futures and Options empowers New York City's underserved youth to explore careers and guides them to further their education and become productive citizens of the community. Providing low-income, inner city youth with meaningful job skills and workplace experiences so that they can become contributing members to the economy has been Futures and Options’ mission since our founding in 1995. We reach out to teens at risk of falling through the cracks at a formative time of their lives – before they grow into adulthood – guiding and mentoring them to develop job skills, further their education and become responsible citizens.
Futures and Options is unique because youth career development is our primary focus. We dedicate 100% of our resources to achieving excellence in this area. Through career readiness workshops, career exploration, paid internships and college guidance, Futures and Options seeks to help a specific population: underserved middle and high school youth. Our clear programmatic focus makes for efficient management and highly effective programming.
Since our inception, we have served more than 4,000 teens and coordinated internships at more than 500 businesses. In a city with a high school graduation rate of 60.9% in 2012, 99% of our seniors graduated from high school on time and 94% began college in fall of 2012. New York City’s teen unemployment rate is 35.6%, yet Futures and Options provided highly-supported paid internships for 277 high school students in FY 2013, with 96% successfully completing our program. Futures and Options youth (ages 11-19) are from middle schools, high schools and community-based organizations serving minority and economically-disadvantaged populations. Many of these institutions have insufficient resources and personnel to foster career awareness, offer post-secondary educational guidance and promote economic self-sufficiency.
Our young people come from the five boroughs of New York City. More than 67% are from low-income families and qualify for free or reduced lunch. Our student population is 59% female and 41% male; 51% of our students are African American, 27% are Hispanic, 11% are Asian/Pacific Islander, 2% are multi-ethnic, 3% are Caucasian and 6% identify as other. Additionally, 21% of our students are immigrants and 19% speak English as a second language.