Yesterday was a big day for Futures and Options, the New York City youth career-readiness nonprofit launched by the Downtown Alliance. Stephen Hessler, Chairman of the Futures and Options Board of Directors, and Ashley Brown, an alumna of its 2011 internship program, rang the NYSE Closing Bell.
Ashley, now a freshman at Brooklyn College, was an intern at Mr. Hessler’s firm, Kirkland & Ellis, during her senior year in high school. Futures and Options board members, business partners, interns and staff joined them on the podium, cheering as the clock counted down to the closing bell. The group toured the trading floor and learned about the history of the exchange.
In 2011, Futures and Options partnered with 115 New York City businesses, from nonprofits to multinational corporations, to offer career-development programs to New York City youth.
Futures and Options business partners play an active role in its programs, Executive Director Patty Machir said: “What’s been most inspiring for us is how engaged our partners become in the growth and personal development of the teens they work with. The men and women who mentor and guide the youth in our programs have changed lives.”
Yesterday’s timing couldn’t have been better. This evening, Futures and Options will host its fundraising gala, Dream Big—A Celebration of Opportunity. The organization will present its inaugural Dream Big award to social entrepreneur Andrew Rasiej, New York City official Reshma Saujani and former NYC Comptroller William Thompson Jr.
“We think it’s time to recognize the vital role New York’s business community plays in helping us teach young people to believe in themselves,” Machir said.
To learn more about Futures and Options, please go to its website, www.futuresandoptions.org