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Press Release

Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, City Officials, Gray Foundation, and NYC Kids RISE Announce Save for College Program Milestone of Supporting 10,000+ Students with College Savings Funds

 

This month, the third cohort of families eligible for the Save for College pilot program in School District 30 in Western Queens received their accounts as part of “NYC Scholarship Month”  

Chancellor Carranza and City Council Members express support for the Program’s expansion based on successes of the pilot phase in District 30

From Left to Right: Fund for Public Schools CEO Julie Shapiro, School District 30 Community Superintendent Dr. Philip A. Composto, Gray Foundation Executive Director and Chair of NYC Kids RISE Dana Zucker, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Council Member Daniel Dromm, Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, The Ruby G. Allen School – P.S. 148 Q Principal Yolanda Harvey and Parent Coordinator Lysette Ramos, NYC Kids RISE Executive Director Debra-Ellen Glickstein and Director of Communications & Digital and P.S. 148 Alumna Carolina Valencia, and Council Member Francisco Moya.

 

Queens, NY – January 29, 2020– Today, New York City Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza and City Council Members Daniel Dromm, Francisco Moya, and Jimmy Van Bramer, together with  families, students, school leaders, the Gray Foundation and NYC Kids RISE welcomed the third cohort of NYC public school students into the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program. The Save for College Program, available to students in a participating District 30 (district or charter) school, regardless of immigration status or income,  now has more than 10,000 students enrolled with universal college savings accounts. This represents about 95% of all the kindergartners, first-graders, and second-graders in District 30 in Queens that have received an NYC Scholarship Account invested in a 529 college savings plan with a $100 seed. The Save for College Program is managed by the nonprofit NYC Kids RISE in partnership with the NYC Department of Education and the City of New York. 

At today’s event at The Ruby G. Allen School – P.S. 148 Q, one of the 39 participating schools in Queens, newly enrolled families activated their children’s NYC Scholarship Accounts and viewed for the first time their college savings funds. Meanwhile, P.S. 148 teachers led an activity with the students about their career aspirations and worked with them to decorate the school’s Money Tree poster, celebrating the school community’s collective efforts. Chancellor Carranza, along with school leaders and City  officials, discussed the powerful impact of the Save for College Program, the importance of saving early for college and career training, and the program’s unique model that allows for any community member, business, or individual to contribute to these accounts. 

New kindergarten parent activating her child’s NYC Scholarship Account, joined by Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, Council Member Daniel Dromm, Gray Foundation Executive Director and Chair of NYC Kids RISE Dana Zucker, a P.S. 148 kindergarten parent, The Ruby G. Allen School – P.S. 148 Q Principal Yolanda Harvey, and NYC Kids RISE Director of Communications & Digital and P.S. 148 Alumna Carolina Valencia

The event was the culmination of the first-ever NYC Scholarship Month this January, in which school communities across District 30 have been leading events and activities to support families to activate and view their NYC Scholarship Accounts as part of each school’s efforts to enhance their college- and career-going culture. NYC Scholarship Month illustrates how a universal college savings and community wealth-building platform can enable each school to enhance the college- and career-going expectations of all their students from a young age. 

The Ruby G. Allen School – P.S. 148 Q students participate in a lesson about their dreams for their future and the importance of college and career training, in context of the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program Financial Education Curriculum, taught by P.S. 148 teachers Eileen Dorizas and Alma Flener

“All New York City public school students should have the opportunities and resources they need to achieve their dreams,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.  “Through the Save for College Program, we are partnering with our local Queens organizations, businesses, community members, school leaders and families to work together and save for college and career-training. Thank you to Gray Foundation and NYC Kids RISE for this powerful partnership, which is opening doors for more than 10,000 children in our Queens community.”

“In providing universal college savings accounts to more than 10,000 students, we have reached a major milestone in our effort to support college and career-going expectations and in arming families with a real wealth-building asset that can offset the cost of higher education,” said Debra-Ellen Glickstein, Executive Director of NYC Kids RISE. “Through the combined support and investments of the public sector,  the Department of Education, our elected officials, philanthropy, businesses, community members, families, and more, students are receiving financial support, encouragement, and education from every direction. In the coming year, we hope to expand the reach of this program to provide families in other NYC neighborhoods with the support and resources to make their college and career goals more possible.”

“Over the past three years, the Save for College Program has supported our District 30 students and their families in saving and planning for post-secondary education,” said School District 30 Community Superintendent Dr. Philip A. Composto. “This program has made college and career training more accessible for so many of our students, and I look forward to working with NYC Kids RISE and the City to ensure this program can continue to serve our students and help them realize their potential for years to come.”

“Here in Western Queens we have been a springboard for the pioneering Save for College Program that has not only provided college savings accounts for more than 10,000 of our students, but also brought our neighborhoods together through events, trainings, and fundraising campaigns. Today’s event at P.S. 148 was the perfect illustration of that. With the rising costs of higher education, and the importance of building assets for college and career training as a strategy to help reduce educational and wealth disparities, the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program offers a meaningful solution. That’s why in the weeks and months ahead, I will be working with my colleagues in the Council, the Mayor’s Office, and NYC Kids RISE to expand this program to new communities in our City,” said City Council Member Daniel Dromm.

“As the Save for College Program continues to grow, the impact college savings accounts will have on the lives of these students is clear,” said City Council Member Francisco Moya. “For the past three years, we have been privileged to have the pilot program for this innovative model right here in Western Queens and we hope to ensure that this program not only remains, but grows to serve our kids and families for many years in the future.” 

“All too often your household income determines your future. The students and families participating in the NYC Kids RISE’s Save for College pilot program are able to save for college and be part of a community of school leaders and professionals of all backgrounds,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “I am proud to support this life-changing program as it continues into its third year, and will continue to support it so it can help tens of thousands more students in the years to come.”

“Here in Western Queens, more than 10,000 students of all backgrounds – regardless of immigration status – have a college savings account, all thanks to the NYC Kids RISE Save for College pilot program. Beyond providing children with funds for their educational future, this initiative has created a model that allows for the whole community to contribute to students’ higher education while also arming local families with more resources and information to save for their educations. This is the type of innovative approach we need in communities across Queens – and across our City,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides.  

“When we invest in our children’s futures early on in their lives, it’s also an investment back into our community. I commend Mayor de Blasio, the Department of Education and NYC Kids RISE for expanding the Save for College Program into P.S. 148 and across School District 30, and for giving more families in our district an opportunity to succeed,” said State Senator Jessica Ramos, who represents Jackson Heights.

Assembly Member Cathy Nolan said, “For many New York children, higher education requires enormous cost and sacrifice, which could limit what is possible. The Save for College Program helps families and children save for college over time so they can pursue their dreams. For these reasons and many more, I am committed to doing what I can to ensure the sustainability of the Program in School District 30 so that generations of New Yorkers can benefit. The power of this program is something I hope we can replicate in districts across New York City so that every family can save for their child’s future.”

“With college tuition perpetually increasing with no relief in sight, it is clear that we must take action to make college accessible for everybody that would want to attend,” said Assembly Member Michael DenDekker. That’s why I am proud to collaborate with NYC Kids RISE to provide students in our community with college savings funds. Our children are the future, and we have a responsibility to invest in them.”

New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Lorelei Salas said, “Our communities thrive when families are supported with the right information, resources, and opportunities. For the past three years, NYC Kids RISE’s Save for College Program has done just that – meeting students and their parents just where they are, and opening access to not just a wealth-building asset, but also an entire culture of college and career training expectations. This is exactly the kind of program communities across New York City could benefit from, especially at a time of increasing college costs and student debt.”

“Through the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program, our students and their families have a tangible account that represents so much more than just a financial investment in their future. These accounts demonstrate that their community – their school, neighbors, and City – support their dreams so that what they envision for their futures is not limited by their financial circumstances. Through NYC Scholarship Month, financial empowerment, college-access events and workshops throughout the year, our school is working with NYC Kids RISE to support a culture of college and career access that will follow these students for years to come,”  said The Ruby G. Allen School – P.S. 148 Q Principal Yolanda Harvey

“This program exemplifies the Gray Foundation’s dedication to expanding access to education and opportunity for low-income youth in New York City. As we welcome our third cohort of families into the Save for College Program and surpass the milestone of more than 10,000 students enrolled, we are proud of the results our partnership with the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Education, and the schools and families of District 30. NYC Kids RISE has created a unique model that provides families with a holistic and early introduction to the college preparation and college savings process that we hope to see grow and benefit many more children in NYC,” said Dana Zucker, Executive Director of the Gray Foundation. 

Research shows that a low-income child with a dedicated college savings account is three times more likely to enroll in college and more than four times more likely to graduate. As of this month, NYC Kids RISE has deposited more than $1.6 million into participating students’ NYC Scholarship Accounts as an early investment in each child’s educational success. As part of this community-driven wealth-building initiative, all 39 participating schools have been equipped with customized financial education lessons for students starting in kindergarten, as well as college- and career-themed activities and workshops for entire families. Local organizations, businesses, corporations, and other supporters have also raised and contributed more than $400,000 to increase the funds in participating students’ NYC Scholarship Accounts.


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. 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. Following the three-cohort pilot launched in 2017, NYC Kids RISE hopes to expand the program to reach all NYC public schools. 

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Carolina Valencia, NYC Kids RISE | cvalencia@nyckidsrise.org; 718-806-7872

Anna Durrett, Global Strategy Group | adurrett@globalstrategygroup.com; 415-203-1455

  


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