New York Needs You: Connecting Ambition with Opportunity
First-generation college students drop out at 5 times the rate of their peer group - only 11% graduate (Pell Institute, 2011). Eighty-five percent are from low-income families, and these students are more likely to begin their college experience at a community college. For students without professional role models or family legacies, even those fortunate enough to progress through college face the difficult challenges of selecting, securing, and succeeding in summer internships that lead to full time jobs on the path to promising careers. To successfully break the cycle of poverty, we need more underserved youth graduating from college and successfully transitioning into careers with upward mobility.
New York Needs You aims to build a movement of like-minded individuals who believe that one day there will be no barriers to economic mobility for students with ambition and ability. By mobilizing, training, supporting and rewarding volunteers we will ensure that students from low-income backgrounds attending under-resourced colleges have the support, information and access necessary to realize their career aspirations.
In order to accomplish this goal, NYNY has developed three reinforcing programs, and aims to replicate these programs in other cities and states across this country.
The Fellows Program
NYNY’s flagship program, the Fellows Program provides intensive, holistic support to help first-generation college students achieve their college and career ambitions.
The Fellows Program is a highly-selective program for high-achieving, low-income, first-generation college students. Through holistic mentorship and a structured career development curriculum, the Fellows Program is designed to foster continuous college enrollment, internships and job offers upon graduation from four-year institutions. Fellows also receive a professional development grant and numerous in-kind services. NYNY’s preliminary results to date are strong, with 96% of Fellows still in college and 98% having secured an internship (versus 73% and 27%, respectively, for their peer group).
To learn about eligibility requirements or to apply for the NYNY Fellows Program, please click here.
NYNY is piloting a geographic replication of the Fellows Program in northern New Jersey! Visit New Jersey Needs You for more information.
The Career Development Program
New York Needs You envisions a future where career exploration is an integral and valued part of the American college experience. By deploying teams of our volunteers on college campuses, we can reach more students with career-focused education and exposure.
The Career Development Program (CDP) is a 10-session career exploration seminar series run in partnership with college career centers and student clubs. The series demystifies industries while preparing students to choose a career path and search for and secure summer internships. Building on the success of the selective Fellows Program, CDP expands NYNY’s services to a broader base of students; all seminars are free and open to the general student population on partner campuses. This program is being piloted on three community and four-year college campuses beginning October 2012.
The Technology Initiative
As we grow, offering online resources will help us reach exponentially more students while supporting in-person programs.
NYNY is proud of our success to date and eager to make additional impact in a way that has no size limitations. To achieve this goal, we are building an online tool to guide students through the process of securing internships during their time in college. This publicly-available online resource will benefit both a broad base of students and current NYNY Fellows. A unique feature of our site will be the support and encouragement of virtual career coaches comprised of NYNY volunteers. Our site is currently in the design phase, with development beginning in 2013.