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In answer to our question:
Can you please clarify if the alumni can select individual students whose accounts to fund, or is it by elementary school class, or some other way of determining which students get the funds?
How much autonomy do the alumni have in determining who gets the funds they donate?
The following answer was provided:
NYC Kids RISE works with campaign-specific partners to determine the groups of students that receive Community Scholarships. Additionally, NYC Kids RISE targets its own fundraising and partnerships to increase assets in the NYC Scholarship Accounts of historically disadvantaged communities, with a focus on communities of color and low-income communities.
In many instances, community leaders will spearhead the community scholarship campaign, and they’ll have a group of target students in mind. In this example, the alumni have chosen to give back to the 1st and 2nd graders who now attend the elementary school they attended when they were kids.
The money from the NYC Public School Alumni Community Scholarship campaign will go to the 1st and 2nd graders of the alum’s alma mater who have NYC Scholarship Accounts.
The original release follows below:
CHANCELLOR DAVID C. BANKS, CHIEF EQUITY OFFICER & COMMISSIONER SIDEYA SHERMAN, GRAY FOUNDATION CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER DANA ZUCKER, AND NYC KIDS RISE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DEBRA-ELLEN GLICKSTEIN ANNOUNCE NYC PUBLIC SCHOOL ALUMNI COMMUNITY SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS THROUGH THE NYC KIDS RISE SAVE FOR COLLEGE PROGRAM
Former students from 31 public schools across the five boroughs have committed $65,000 to the NYC Scholarship Accounts of more than 4,000 of today’s first- and second-graders, to date
New annual effort encourages New Yorkers to contribute to the college and career futures of NYC public school students and invest in their communities
Call to contribute to elementary school students’ college and career funds
NEW YORK, NY — NYC Public Schools Chancellor David C. Banks, NYC Chief Equity Officer and Mayor’s Office of Equity & Racial Justice Commissioner Sideya Sherman, Gray Foundation Chief Executive Officer Dana Zucker, and NYC Kids RISE Founding Executive Director Debra-Ellen Glickstein, today announced that Alumni from NYC Public Schools, with NYC Kids RISE, have launched a first-of-its-kind vehicle for New Yorkers to give directly to students from the school communities that helped get them where they are today: the NYC Public School Alumni Community Scholarships. This pioneering effort demonstrates how NYC public school alumni can tangibly invest in the futures of students, serve as positive role models, and showcase the diverse avenues of achievement for our students.
The inaugural 2023 class of New Yorkers who are organizing NYC Public School Alumni Community Scholarships for current students at the elementary school they each attended, consists of 34 alumni from 31 elementary schools across the city. Collectively, the contributions organized by these alumni total $65,000, to date. Each alum raised a minimum of $5 per student. View the full list of the Inaugural 2023 NYC Public School Alumni Community Scholarship campaigns. All contributions will be matched by Coleman Family Ventures and the Gray Foundation, and go to the NYC Scholarship Accounts of first and second graders at their former elementary schools.
Other public school alumni and anyone interested in supporting the college and career futures of elementary school students in New York City neighborhoods can contribute to students’ NYC Scholarship Accounts through a donation to NYC Kids RISE. For information on how to provide an NYC Public School Alumni Community Scholarship for students at your former elementary school, contact [email protected].
“We are thrilled to launch the inaugural cohort of NYC Public School Alumni Community Scholarships and tap into the incredible power of our city’s former public elementary school students,” said NYC Kids RISE Executive Director Debra-Ellen Glickstein.
“Working with public elementary schools across the five boroughs through the Save for College Program, communities support students with a wealth of social and economic capital. This initiative gives alumni a way to share that capital, make higher learning more accessible for future generations, and allow children to see neighbors investing in their futures.
“Every year, as New Yorkers think about giving back to their communities, we hope that they see the clear benefit of how investing in the success of each child through the universal Save for College Program means growing the wealth and well-being of their entire community.”
“The inaugural cohort of NYC Public Schools alumni—an incredibly powerful, significant, and diverse constituency—leading these Community Scholarships, showcases how alumni can tangibly invest in the futures of students and serve as positive role models through the Save for College Program,” said NYC Public Schools Chancellor David C. Banks.
“Building on New York City’s initial $100 investment in students’ NYC Scholarship Accounts, and the additional rewards families can receive over time, I am excited about how this groundbreaking initiative will inspire other individuals, organizations, and institutions within and across every neighborhood to support our students’ bright and bold futures.”
“The commitment of the over 30 alumni across all five boroughs to organize and build social capital for youth through these Community Scholarships demonstrates the opportunity the Save for College Program provides for all New Yorkers to contribute to our children’s futures,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright.
“Through this community tool, neighbors can leverage their resources and assets to help narrow the racial and economic wealth gap for students across New York City.”
“I am grateful to the NYC Mayor’s Office of Equity & Racial Justice, NYC Kids RISE, and the alumni who have come together to provide a jumpstart to the college and career dreams of our young students through the inaugural NYC Public School Alumni Community Scholarship, regardless of their immigration status,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana J. Almanzar.
“As an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, my journey has been filled with great opportunities and challenges that have made me the person I am today. These scholarships send a powerful message to all children that their community is pulling for them to succeed.”
“‘Tis the season for giving, and what better way to give back than by making a difference in our children’s lives,” said NYC Chief Equity Officer and Commissioner Sideya Sherman, NYC Mayor’s Office of Equity & Racial Justice.
“With inaugural NYC Public School Alumni Community Scholarships spanning elementary schools in all five boroughs and across diverse neighborhoods—from the South Bronx to Sunset Park and Washington Heights and Brownsville—we’re sending a clear message to our youngest New Yorkers that we believe in them, and the many avenues of achievement possible for all students.”
“Through the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program, over 30 alumni have embraced this opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the well-being of the children in their communities,” said New York State Senator Cordell Cleare.
“I am proud to celebrate this occasion for New York City schools, with over 4,000 students set to benefit from a substantial boost to their NYC Scholarship Accounts.”
“The NYC Public School Alumni Community Scholarships embody the community spirit I aspire to foster in Harlem and throughout our city,” said New York City Council Member-Elect Yusef Salaam.
“It underscores the power of collective effort in uplifting one another to address poverty in our Black and brown neighborhoods. I commend the dedication of our community members who are steadfast in their commitment to turning our children’s dreams for college and career training into a reality for the next generation.”
“As a K-12 public school graduate, I am thrilled that we have created a way for NYC alumni to give back to students at their former elementary schools,” said Dana Zucker, NYC Kids RISE Board Chair and Gray Foundation Chief Executive Officer.
“This is a remarkable example of how individuals, groups, and networks can utilize the Save for College Program as a platform to positively impact our youngest students. Congratulations to the 34 inaugural alumni who are mobilizing Community Scholarships to inspire students in our community.”
Through the NYC Public School Alumni Community Scholarship, NYC Kids RISE also aims to strengthen connections between alumni and local schools through sharing social capital.
NYC Kids RISE will work with participating alumni to create messages to share their college and career journeys with current elementary school students of their alma maters. The alumni messages will be an opportunity to increase student awareness about the diverse pathways and careers available.
For example, alumni will show how an interest in math can lead to a career in finance, or an interest in student government could lead to a career working in government.
At the heart of the Save for College Program, NYC Kids RISE works closely with communities to create and share social and financial capital, whether through after-school programs, job readiness and career training, or access to financial tools and capital to reach their educational and financial goals.
The NYC Public School Alumni Community Scholarship is part of the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program, a community tool New Yorkers can use to build wealth in their neighborhoods and support the college and career dreams of their children, no matter their family income or immigration status.
Every student enrolled in NYC public elementary schools, (including participating charter schools) starting in kindergarten, automatically receives an NYC Scholarship Account invested in a NY 529 Direct Plan with an initial $100.
Families can receive up to $175 in additional rewards for their children’s NYC Scholarship Account when they complete steps in the Program – when they activate the account, open their own college and career savings account, and start saving their own money in the ways and amounts that make sense for them.
Community Scholarships, a central element of the Program, are a way for local organizations, businesses, houses of worship, neighbors, and other New Yorkers, institutions, and systems to raise and direct money to students’ future college and career training.
Anyone can contribute to and/or launch a Community Scholarship, and each one reinforces expectations of students’ success and shows children that their community supports their dreams.
“I am so proud that through the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program, students in Harlem across Community School District 5, have over $1.3 million across their NYC Scholarship Accounts—attributed in large part to Community Scholarships,” said Harlem Community School (District 5) Superintendent Sean Davenport.
“I am thrilled to see former students from our schools building on the opportunity this Program provides to invest in our youngest students’ future success and support college and career readiness.”
“The Mary McLeod Bethune School embodies the legacy of service and scholarship. Our very own alumna, Amelia Adams, is an inspiration to the legacy and words of Mary McLeod Bethune and our commitment to academics, creative arts, leadership and service,” said Cynthia Barr, Principal at P.S. 92 The Mary McLeod Bethune School.
“I am grateful for Amelia’s investment in our first and second graders’ futures and how her efforts show that our community, in partnership with the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program, is supporting a strong foundation for our future leaders. I hope that one day one of my students will stand before another class or learners and pledge the same support.”
“It is an honor to be back at my elementary school and give back to the community that helped me get to where I am today. When I was a student here, I loved learning new things and how I could make a difference in my community,” said Amelia Adams, an alum of P.S. 92 The Mary McLeod Bethune School, who has contributed to the P.S. 92M Alumni Community Scholarship for the NYC Scholarship Accounts of first and second graders at her former elementary school.
“Today, I co-founded a company working with leaders across government to support my neighbors in New York City and beyond. I am thrilled to now have this opportunity to pay it forward to Mary McLeod Bethune students through the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program.”
“When my daughter grows up, she wants to be a doctor. Learning about the P.S. 92M Alumni Community Scholarship and the success of a former student who sat at the same desk in her classroom was so inspiring,” said Shaniqua Smith, a parent of a second grader at P.S. 92 The Mary McLeod Bethune School.
“When we see additional money in her NYC Scholarship Account, my daughter’s dreams feel even more within reach. Thank you, Amelia Adams, for supporting my child’s future!”
Investments from the inaugural NYC Public School Alumni Community Scholarships build on the belief that NYC Scholarship Accounts should be viewed not merely as personal financial assets, but as community-driven savings accounts.
The alumni contributions build on other Community Scholarships across the city: To date, more than $4 million has been funded through 44 Community Scholarships received by students participating in the Save for College Program.
This school year, approximately 65,000 kindergarten students will be able to activate and view their new NYC Scholarship Accounts in January 2024.
About NYC Kids RISE
The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program is a community tool New Yorkers can use to build wealth in their neighborhoods and support the college and career dreams of their children.
The public-private-community partnership provides NYC public school students, starting in kindergarten, with financial resources for higher education and support from their communities to achieve their goals.
Students also receive age-appropriate financial education in the classroom through related curriculum extensions. To date, more than 145,000 students across New York City have accumulated over $21 million across their NYC Scholarship Accounts for their educational futures.
NYC Kids RISE is a nonprofit organization managing the Save for College Program in partnership with NYC Public Schools and the City of New York. In the fall of 2017, the Save for College Program launched as a pilot in the communities of Queens School District 30 through a partnership between NYC Kids RISE, the NYC Department of Education, and the City of New York, with founding and ongoing support from the Gray Foundation. Starting in the 2021-2022 school year, and every year going forward, students in eligible grades enrolled in an NYC public elementary school (including participating charter schools) automatically receive an NYC Scholarship Account invested in a NY 529 Direct Plan account with an initial $100 and opportunities to earn more through early rewards, unless their families choose not to participate.
Banner Image: Child following a star. Image Credit – Dieterich01