October 2019 – 250 Queens Students Benefit from Parent-to-Parent Community Scholarship Announced at P.S. 92 in Queens
$15,000 contribution from local NYC parents builds on existing college savings accounts created through NYC Kids RISE and provided to all public school students in Queens’ School District 30, starting in kindergarten
From left to right: P.S. 92 Principal Pasquale Baratta, P.S. 92 PTA president Rosa Mar, School District 30 Community Superintendent Dr. Philip A. Composto, College Opportunity Fund Advisor Lisa Cowan, NYC Kids RISE Executive Director Debra-Ellen Glickstein, P.S. 92 Parent Maribel Aparicio, New York City Council Member Francisco Moya with P.S. 92 Families and Students during the Parent-to-Parent Community Scholarship Event at P.S. 92, in Queens, NY
Queens, NY — October 10, 2019 — Nearly 250 first- and second-grade students at P.S. 92 Harry T. Stewart Sr. in Corona, Queens will benefit from new scholarship funds, announced the evening of Thursday, October 10, to support their college and career access. New York City Council Member Francisco Moya, School District 30 Community Superintendent Dr. Philip A. Composto, College Opportunity Fund advisor and NYC public school mother Lisa Cowan, P.S. 92 parent leaders, P.S. 92 school leaders, and NYC Kids RISE came together to celebrate this new contribution, made possible by a grant from the College Opportunity Fund at Brooklyn Community Foundation. The $15,000 grant puts an additional $60.48 into each of the NYC Scholarship Accounts of 248 participating students, the latest investment in these students’ educational futures through the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program.
P.S. 92 PTA President Rosa Mar with her daughter and P.S. 92 Parent Maribel Aparicio with her son during the Parent-to-Parent Community Scholarship Announcement
Expert Panel featuring P.S. 92 Alumna Daissy Rojas, College Finance Expert Sandy Jimenez, and NYC Kids RISE Staff Arli Cornejal, Carolina Valencia and Murray Abeles
These students are part of the group of more than 6,600 students enrolled in the Save for College Program across School District 30–about 95% of all current first- and second-graders in this school district. Each student automatically receives an NYC Scholarship Account invested in a 529 college savings plan, and NYC Kids RISE and the community have deposited more than $1.1 million into those accounts to date. At P.S. 92 alone, families and the community have come together to build more than $60,000 in savings for these 248 young students’ future college and career training expenses.
City Council Member Francisco Moya said, “Investing in our children is investing in our future and there is no better way of doing so than supporting access to college and career training for all families, regardless of their immigration status or income. I was proud to join the P.S. 92 community — our Superintendent, school and parent leaders, and students — to celebrate the limitless possibilities for these students. As the author of the New York State DREAM Act, which recently went into effect, I am proud to support both of these initiatives to make higher education more attainable and affordable for all New Yorkers. Thanks to support from Lisa Cowan from The College Opportunity Fund and NYC Kids RISE, these P.S. 92 students will know that their communities and people throughout the city are invested in their success.”
College Opportunity Fund Advisor and NYC public school mother Lisa Cowan said, “As a parent, I always wanted my kid to survive and thrive and did what I could to provide opportunities, resources, and support that would set him up for success. At the same time, it is glaring that not every kid has the same opportunities. Our nation’s higher education system is just one of many places where we see stark inequality of access to opportunity by race, income, and neighborhood. That’s why I joined other local parents in my community to invest in the College Opportunity Fund at the Brooklyn Community Foundation, so that we could expand economic opportunity and equity for all children in our City. Saving for higher education is not something that parents have to do alone. It’s something, as New Yorkers, we can do together through the Save for College Program. I hope more parents throughout the City will join this effort.”
School District 30 Community Superintendent Dr. Philip A. Composto said, “I was proud to join the P.S. 92 community to celebrate this latest investment in our students’ futures. School District 30 is the first school district to launch the Save for College Program with NYC Kids RISE. Together, we are using this program to enhance the college- and career-going culture at each of our 30 elementary schools, toward our goal of post-secondary readiness for all of our students. Thank you to Lisa and the College Opportunity Fund for investing even further in our schools and this community.
NYC Kids RISE Executive Director Debra-Ellen Glickstein said, “Parents supporting parents–communities supporting one another to support every student–this is the essence of the Save for College Program. Knowing that the whole community is working together to ensure economic success for all students goes a long way. By joining together to support the education and career training of our young people, we are letting students know that we believe in them and their futures. We are grateful to Lisa Cowan and the parents who joined her to contribute to this Community Scholarship. We hope that other parents may be inspired by them by launching more Community Scholarship campaigns in their neighborhoods.”
P.S. 92 Principal Pasquale Baratta said, “I’m proud that our school is one of the founding schools participating in the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program. When I see our students enter school every day, I think of the potential for greatness possessed by each and every one of them, regardless of background or circumstances. The Save for College Program and this latest investment by the College Opportunity Fund play a vital role in showing children that they can and should dream big.”
P.S. 92 PTA President and parent of a second-grader in the program, Rosa Mar said, “What parent doesn’t want what’s best for their child? I know that to help make my child’s dreams come true, I need to instill whenever I can that this is possible through education and saving. Thanks to the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program, my child is one of the many students in first and second grade at P.S. 92 with an NYC Scholarship Account. My community is one of supporting each other, and the families in the Save for College Program are grateful to have Lisa and the College Opportunity Fund be a part of it as we support the future education and success of our children.”
This contribution to these young students’ college funds is made possible by the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program, a universal scholarship and savings initiative launched by the nonprofit NYC Kids RISE in 2017 in School District 30, Queens, in partnership with the City of New York and the NYC Department of Education with founding support from the Gray Foundation. Each NYC Scholarship Account was opened with a $100 seed investment from NYC Kids RISE, with additional opportunities for matching funds and contributions from organizations, businesses, and community members.
The presentation of the Community Scholarship contribution was followed by an expert panel discussion on how elementary school families can prepare for college and career training from an early age. The panel featured P.S. 92 Alumna and NYC Public School Teacher, Daissy Rojas; and College Finance Expert from the Goddard Riverside Community Center, Sandy Jimenez. It also included NYC Kids RISE team members: Murray Abeles, Chief of Administration and Finance; Arli Cornejal, Community Engagement Assistant; and Carolina Valencia, Director of Communications & Digital, who moderated the discussion.
Community Scholarships are a way for communities to leverage their unique neighborhood assets, institutions, and traditions to visibly and tangibly support their children’s educational futures. By enabling local stakeholders (businesses, neighbors, civic organizations, etc.) to support the NYC Scholarship Accounts in the ways and amounts that make sense for them, Community Scholarships are a customizable way to demonstrate community-wide support for every child’s future, encourage families to continue planning and saving for higher education, strengthen local ecosystems of success, and build generational wealth in neighborhoods. Research shows that a child in a low-income household with a college savings account of just $1-$500 is three times more likely to go to college and more than four times more likely to graduate than a child without an account.
CONTACT: Carolina Valencia – firstname.lastname@example.org; 718-806-7872
About the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program
The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program provides families, schools, and communities with a way to work together to save for their children’s futures. It’s a scholarship and savings program designed to make college and career training more accessible and achievable for all NYC public school students, starting with all kindergartners in School District 30 in Queens—regardless of their family’s income or immigration status. The Save for College Program is a tool that families, along with their schools and neighbors, can use and customize in the way that best fits into their lives and best supports their dreams for their children.
About NYC Kids RISE
NYC Kids RISE is a nonprofit organization working to expand economic opportunity and equity by providing families, schools, and communities with a way to work together to save for their children’s education. Building on the dreams and expectations that families have for their children’s futures, NYC Kids RISE aims to make attending and graduating from college and career training more achievable for all NYC public school students—regardless of where they come from or how much their families have in the bank.
NYC Kids RISE manages the Save for College Program in partnership with the NYC Department of Education and the City of New York, with founding support from the Gray Foundation. Following the three-cohort pilot launched in 2017, NYC Kids RISE hopes to expand the program to reach all NYC public schools.
About the College Opportunity Fund at Brooklyn Community Foundation
Established in 2019 through donations from New York City parents in response to the national college admissions scandal, the College Opportunity Fund is a donor advised fund at Brooklyn Community Foundation that supports organizations and initiatives aimed at expanding college access for low-income families as well as advocating for systemic change.
About the Gray Foundation
The Gray Foundation is committed to improving the lives of low income children in New York City. The Foundation partners with leading nonprofits to provide access to education, healthcare and opportunity for children across all five boroughs. In addition, the Foundation is focused on accelerating research, improving treatment and raising awareness for individuals who have inherited BRCA mutations. Jon and Mindy Gray founded the Gray Foundation in 2014.