Rise Light & Power Announces $25,000 Community Scholarship for Fifth Graders in Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria, and Woodside Houses
August 22, 2022
Rise Light and Power announced at Queensbridge Houses’ Family Day this Saturday, alongside local community leaders and resident association members, a Community Scholarship for students enrolled in the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program.
“We are grateful to partner with organizations like NYC Kids RISE and to support their work on behalf of young people in Northwestern Queens,” said Clint Plummer, CEO of Rise Light & Power. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and efforts like the Save for College Program are important investments in the education they need to make a difference in cutting-edge industries like renewable energy.”
“As we gather together at Queensbridge Houses’ Family Day, we celebrate the future of our children, who they are now and who they will become. The Save for College Program is a mechanism by which we can all work together to invest in our community,” said Debra-Ellen Glickstein, Founding Executive Director of NYC Kids RISE. “Thank you to Rise Light & Power for this meaningful contribution. Thank you to all families, community, government, business, faith and education leaders who continue to remind our children what is possible.”
NYC Kids RISE has invested the $25,000 Community Scholarship in the educational future of every participating fifth grade student residing in Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria, and Woodside Houses in Queens, putting an additional $126 into each of the 198 rising fifth graders’ NYC Scholarship Accounts. These students were part of the inaugural class of students participating in the Save for College Program, which started as a pilot in 2017 across 39 public schools in geographic School District 30 communities. As of the 2021-2022 school year, the Program has expanded citywide to reach every public school kindergartener each year going forward.
To date, there are nearly 1,000 students living in Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria and Woodside Houses with an NYC Scholarship Account and nearly $400,000 in financial assets has been accumulated in their college and career accounts to date. The Rise Light & Power Community Scholarship is the latest contribution to the NYC Scholarship Accounts of participating fifth graders, which includes the initial $100 seed funding from NYC Kids RISE, any rewards families have received to date (including for saving their own money in their connected college and career savings accounts), and other Community Scholarship contributions. Other Community Scholarships have included Funding Long Island City’s Futures, the Concert for College, the Nina Adams Community Scholarship, and the Community Scholarship powered by Sterling National Bank, among others.
Community Scholarships—a core component of the Save for College Program—enable local organizations, businesses, neighbors, and other institutions and larger systems to direct funds and fundraise for students’ educational savings, leveraging local assets to build financial wealth in and with communities that have historically faced systemic barriers to wealth-building. These assets can meaningfully reduce the amount of student debt families take on, increasing long-term wealth-building potential and combatting trends that have contributed to wealth inequality and the racial wealth gap. By visibly and tangibly demonstrating community-wide support for every child’s future, Community Scholarships can also reinforce expectations of success throughout a neighborhood.
Fifth grade students receiving the Rise Light & Power Community Scholarship will graduate high school by 2030, which is the year that New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act has set a mandated goal of 70 percent renewable energy generation as it seeks to reach a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040. In support of these ambitious climate goals, Rise Light & Power recently announced a visionary proposal to redevelop Ravenswood Generating Station—New York City’s largest fossil fuel power plant, just steps from Queensbridge Houses—as a hub of renewable energy. Renewable Ravenswood will continue to provide reliable electric power for up to 20 percent of New York City, enable a just transition for the plant’s union workforce, and deliver a landmark victory for environmental justice.
“I am so grateful that communities can come together and contribute to the NYC Scholarship Accounts of students through the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program. It really helps a lot as it is sometimes hard for us to save for our kids ourselves and there is so much uncertainty in the world,” said Rachel Marcus, parent of Faith, a rising fifth grader at P.S. 111Q. “Faith was thrilled to see that through various Community Scholarships, including this Rise Light & Power Community Scholarship, there are a lot of people and organizations that believe in her and her dreams.”
“Community Scholarships are a key component of the Save for College Program, allowing organizations and businesses to play a role in tackling inequality and ensuring that all students have the means to pursue their dreams,” said Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor, Senior Pastor, Center of Hope International and Co-Founder and CEO of Urban Upbound. “Fifth graders in Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria, and Woodside Houses are part of the first class of students with NYC Scholarship Accounts ever. As they get ready to start their final year of elementary school, this $25,000 investment further reinforces expectations for their success. I look forward to others following the lead that Rise Light & Power has taken to invest in our children through the Save for College Program.”
“For our children to achieve their full educational potential, they need to know that the people around them have their back,” said Corinne Woods-Haynes, President of the Queensbridge Houses Resident Association. “It’s been so rewarding to be part of building the Save for College Program at Queensbridge Houses. I salute the 1,000 students across Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria, and Woodside Houses that now have NYC Scholarship Accounts for their educational futures. Thank you to Rise Light & Power for their additional investment in the NYC Scholarship Accounts for our fifth graders across the four developments. Dollars add up and it takes all of us!”
Through the Save for College Program, students in eligible grades that are 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 seed allocation and opportunities to earn more through early rewards (unless their families choose not to participate). Their families can open and connect a college and career savings account that they own for the benefit of their child, and communities can contribute to groups of these NYC Scholarship Accounts as both a targeted and universal platform for community-driven asset-building in every neighborhood. Students also receive age-appropriate financial education in the classroom through related curriculum extensions.
About Rise Light & Power
Rise Light & Power is a Queens, New York based energy asset manager and developer, and is actively transforming its core asset, Long Island City’s Ravenswood Generation Station, into a new clean energy hub, Renewable Ravenswood. By redeveloping New York City’s largest power generating facility, Rise will permanently replace fossil fuel power with homegrown renewable energy, while providing a just transition for its existing union workforce and economic opportunities for surrounding communities. Renewable Ravenswood, core to Rise’s growth-oriented strategy, is at the forefront of the ambitious clean energy transition taking place in New York State and will continue to provide reliable and cost-effective electricity for New York City for decades to come. Rise Light & Power is a wholly owned affiliate of LS Power. For more information, please visit www.riselight.com.
About the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program
The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program is a public-private-community partnership that provides families, schools, and communities with a way to work together to save for and invest in their children’s futures. It’s a universal scholarship and savings platform designed to make college and career training more accessible and achievable for all NYC public school students—regardless of their family’s income or immigration status. NYC Kids RISE, a nonprofit organization, manages the Save for College Program in partnership with the NYC Department of Education and the City of New York. Learn more at nyckidsrise.org.
Announcement of Rise Light & Power Community Scholarship at Queensbridge Houses’ Family Day on Saturday, August 20th, 2022.
Pictured from left to right: Debra-Ellen Glickstein, Founding Executive Director, NYC Kids RISE; Corinne Woods-Haynes, President, Queensbridge Houses Resident Association; Eva Trimble, Chief Operating Officer, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA); Dinneal Mcleod with her daughter Winfrey, a rising P.S. 111Q fifth grader; Wil Fisher, Manager of External Affairs, Rise Light & Power; Rachel Marcus with her daughter Faith, a rising P.S. 111Q fifth grader; Ebony Young, Deputy Queens Borough President; and Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor, Senior Pastor, Center of Hope International and Co-founder and CEO of Urban Upbound.
Photo credit: Jonathan Patkowski for NYC Kids RISE.