Since 1995, Futures and Options has empowered New York City's underserved youth to explore careers through career development and paid, mentored internships. We reach out to teens at a formative time of their lives, guiding them to further their education and become contributing citizens. Our model program enables middle and high school students to gain much needed access to the economic mainstream, work‐readiness training and support from caring adults. At the same time, businesses are connected to a pipeline of promising, motivated, and diverse young people. Our career development programs make it possible for determined, talented teens to acquire the applied skills to successfully contribute to a global 21st‐century economy. Since our inception, Futures and Options has served more than 9,000 New York City teens and partnered with more than 500 businesses in New York City, with more than 95% of all students graduating from high school on time and pursuing higher education.
Our flagship programs are:
- The Internship Program provides paid, mentored internships and engaging relevant career-readiness workshops to teens 16-20 years old. Students acquire transitional work-readiness skills, hands-on work experience, gain entry to small businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, and multinational corporations, all while earning money.
- Career Essentials provides work-readiness training and career exploration to middle and high school students. Students attend weekly workshops on topics like: prepping for an interview, time management, and resume writing. They also go on career exploration field trips to diverse companies in New York City for a firsthand look at the working world.
Our supporting programs are:
- College Guidance Initiative offers group workshops to prepare high school students for the college application and selection process, including the financial aid process. One-on-one assistance with applications and college selection is also available.
- High School Success provides continued work-readiness and career exploration activities to high school students who have graduated from Career Essentials and the Internship Program. These students may also work with a college-aged alumna/ae mentor to help them navigate college applications, selecting a college, and choosing a major.
- College Success supports our students in their first years of college by providing working professional mentors who offer guidance as the students navigate their way through school and plan for future careers. Students are also invited to attend events focused on networking, career exploration, and work-readiness skills.
- On the Road allows schools and nonprofits to hire Futures and Options to facilitate workshops from our youth career development curricula, either one-time or as a series, for young people outside of our flagship programs.