Seamless Diners Contribute more than $300,000 to NYC Students’ Educational Futures
NYC Kids RISE Save For College Program Community During P.S. 69 Jackson Heights’ Kindergarten Step-up Ceremony and Community Scholarship Presentation (from left to right): Jessica Burns, Vice President of Brand Marketing & Creative for Grubhub; Dr. Philip Composto, District 30 Community Superintendent; Martha Vazquez, Principal of P.S. 69; Sami Naim, Director of Public Policy for Grubhub; Dana Zucker, Chair of NYC Kids RISE and Executive Director of the Gray Foundation; Murray Abeles, Chief of Administration and Finance, NYC Kids RISE; Debra-Ellen Glickstein, Executive Director of NYC Kids RISE; Sameera Udin, Senior Manager, Community Engagement & Partnerships, NYC Kids RISE; and Jennifer Diaz, Director of Constituent Services, and Christy Suquitana from the Office of Assembly member Catalina Cruz..
On the heels of the 2018-2019 graduation season, NYC Kids RISE announced the deposit of over $300,000 into the NYC Scholarship Accounts of School District 30’s kindergarten and first-grade students thanks to Seamless, New York’s largest and favorite takeout app, through its “Donate the Change” feature. To celebrate Seamless’ 20th anniversary, diners were able to round up their order totals and donate the difference to support NYC Kids RISE during the month of February.
The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program, a universal scholarship and savings program that launched in District 30, has now deposited more than $1.1 million into these NYC Scholarship Accounts as an early investment in these students’ college and career training futures. During the kindergarten graduation ceremony at P.S. 69 Jackson Heights, Sami Naim, Director of Public Policy for Grubhub (which owns the NYC-based Seamless brand), and Jessica Burns, Vice President of Brand Marketing & Creative for Grubhub, presented a $300,000 check on behalf of its diners to the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program Community, represented by Dr. Philip Composto, District 30 Community Superintendent; Martha Vazquez, Principal of P.S. 69; Dana Zucker, Chair of NYC Kids RISE and Executive Director of the Gray Foundation; Debra-Ellen Glickstein, Executive Director of NYC Kids RISE; Murray Abeles, Chief of Administration and Finance at NYC Kids RISE; and Jennifer Diaz, Director of Constituent Services, Office of Assemblymember Catalina Cruz.
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 college and career training futures. Through the Save for College Program, NYC Kids RISE has automatically opened a dedicated 529 plan account for more than 6,400 District 30 students–95% of all kindergarten and first grade students in that Queens school district–since the program’s launch in 2017. The Seamless “Community Scholarship” of more than $300,000 is the first citywide example of how the entire community is coming together to save together for students’ education using these accounts. Corporations, local businesses, schools, civic associations, and other stakeholders can come together to build assets and support students’ aspirations for success through the Save for College Program.
“Throughout its 20-year history, Seamless has been committed to serving restaurants, diners, drivers, and, most importantly, the local community,” said Sami Naim, Director of Public Policy for Grubhub. “We were thrilled to mobilize our diners to give back to a fantastic organization like NYC Kids RISE each time they ordered, making a huge collective impact to benefit kids in their local neighborhoods and throughout New York City.”
Once a child is enrolled in the program, their families can view their NYC Scholarship Account online, open their own college savings account, and start saving alongside their scholarship account over time. At the same time, their communities can contribute to groups of these NYC Scholarship Accounts to further increase the savings in each child’s account and demonstrate support for every child’s success. Earlier this year, Center of Hope International and Community Church of Astoria hosted the first-ever neighborhood based Community Scholarship, the Concert for College, raising more than $20,000 for kindergarten and first-grade students in eight schools across District 30.
“The Save for College Program is a key piece of District 30’s commitment to ensuring every student is prepared to attend college and career training, and achieve academic and economic success,” said Dr. Philip A. Composto, District 30 Community Superintendent. “From integrating financial education early on in District 30’s school curricula to ‘Community Scholarships’ from entities like Seamless and exceptional efforts such as the Concert for College, we are creating a true college-going culture across the District 30 community, regardless of a family’s economic or immigration status.”
“The Save for College Program encourages families to begin planning for college and career training early on, enabling anyone and any entity to support students’ dreams and educational futures,” said Dana Zucker, Chair of NYC Kids RISE and Executive Director of the Gray Foundation, a founding supporter of the Save for College Program. “We are thrilled to reach this milestone and to have deposited more than $1.1 million across the NYC Scholarships Accounts of over 6,000 students in District 30. This progress speaks to our mission of creating ways for families to save together and reinforce the dreams and expectations that families, their children’s school, and their neighbors have for their kids’ educational futures.”
“Community Scholarships are a new way for NYC’s communities to leverage their unique neighborhood assets, institutions, and traditions to visibly and tangibly support every child’s educational future,” said Debra-Ellen Glickstein, Executive Director of NYC Kids RISE. “NYC Kids RISE is humbled to be working with the New Yorkers in District 30 and across the City to build up savings for every child. We are grateful to Seamless for its pioneering leadership as our first corporate Community Scholarships partner.”
“As a proud P.S. 69 graduate, I’m thrilled to be back at my school to announce this investment in our community’s next generation,” said Murray Abeles, Chief of Administration and Finance at NYC Kids RISE and P.S. 69 alumnus. “I know how much my family and I would have benefited from something like the Save for College Program when I was a P.S. 69 kindergartner. It’s an honor to celebrate today with District 30’s kindergarten and first-grade students and their families, who are already on the path to college and career training.”
“The P.S. 69 community is proud to celebrate this latest investment in our kindergarten and first-grade students’ educational futures by members of our community and supporters throughout New York City,” said Martha Vazquez, Principal of P.S. 69 Jackson Heights. “Planning and paying for college and career training can seem overwhelming or out of reach for many parents. But thanks to our school and our community’s work together, with NYC Kids RISE, each kindergartner and first-grader is already on their way to building savings for their future.”
“This Community Scholarship contribution from Seamless diners is an important and inspiring early investment in these NYC students’ educational and financial success,” said Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner and NYC Kids RISE Ex-Officio Director Lorelei Salas. “As the cost of higher education continues to rise and New Yorkers continue to face significant student debt, I am proud to be working with NYC Kids RISE, our City partners, and communities throughout the city to enable every NYC public school student to have dedicated financial assets for their education as a foundation for their future.”
“Congratulations to P.S. 69 Jackson Heights and all of District 30 on this exciting milestone in our community’s work to provide educational and economic opportunities for all of our kids,” said Theo Oshiro, Deputy Director of Make the Road New York. “Make the Road is proud to partner with NYC Kids RISE to make sure all families in our communities know that the Save for College Program is for them, regardless of their immigration status or financial circumstances, and take full advantage of this opportunity to build up savings for their children’s education.”
“These scholarships will put thousands of public school students on the pathway to college here in Queens,” said NYC Council Finance Chair Daniel Dromm. “As a former NYC public school teacher, I know that higher education is often out of reach for many low income families. Programs like these help break those barriers down. I thank Seamless and NYC Kids RISE for their work on this important initiative and am pleased to offer them my full support. These early investments in our children will pay off in dividends.”
“I applaud the District 30 community for all of their work in order to advance the success of our students during the first two years of NYC Kids RISE’s pilot phase,” said Assembly Member Catalina Cruz. “We are truly honored to have this program in our community, as students and their families are able to plant the seeds for higher education and invest, along with the community, in our children. We look forward to the ongoing, amazing work that NYC Rise RISE will continue to do in our District and citywide.”
During the month of February, Seamless partnered with NYC Kids RISE to enable their diners to round up their orders and “Donate the Change” toward students’ NYC Scholarship Accounts. The more than $300,000 raised will be deposited to the NYC Scholarship Accounts of participating students of District 30 schools in the neighborhoods of Astoria, Ditmars, East Elmhurst, Hunters Point, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside in Queens, NY.
There is no cost to participate in the Save for College Program, and starting in Fall 2017 every kindergarten student enrolled in public school in District 30 was automatically enrolled in the program unless their family chose not to participate. NYC Kids RISE and its partners hope to build on the successes of the program’s first two pilot years to expand the program citywide, providing a universal, community-driven wealth building platform for every child in the New York City public school system. More information about NYC Kids RISE and the Save for College Program can be found at nyckidsrise.org.
CONTACT: Carolina Valencia – [email protected]; 718-806-7872
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 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.
Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB) is the nation’s leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace with the largest and most comprehensive network of restaurant partners, as well as the largest diner base. Dedicated to connecting diners with the food they love from their favorite local restaurants, Grubhub strives to elevate food ordering through innovative restaurant technology, easy-to-use platforms and an improved delivery experience. Grubhub is proud to work with more than 115,000 restaurant partners in over 2,200 U.S. cities and London. The Grubhub portfolio of brands includes Grubhub, Seamless, LevelUp, Tapingo, AllMenus and MenuPages.