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Futures and Options

Program Description


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 New York's underserved youth to gain much-needed access to the economic mainstream, work-readiness training and support from caring adults. At the same time, private and nonprofit businesses are connected to a pipeline of promising, motivated and diverse young people.


Together with our business and community partners, we are building the workforce of tomorrow. Our career development program makes it possible for underserved, motivated teens to acquire the applied skills and higher education to successfully contribute to a global 21st Century economy.

Success Stories

Justin has been with Futures and Options for several years. In 2012, he completed the Career Essentials work-readiness program, and went on to intern with The Blackstone Group in 2013.

In his years at Futures and Options, Justin, a rising senior, has added work experience and skills to his resume. He has also become a positive role model for his fellow students, demonstrating a commitment to making his professional and academic pursuits as meaningful as possible. He is currently an intern with Mesmerize Marketing, and has been hired to continue for the summer with added responsibility.

Justin said, in regards to his experiences with Futures and Options, "Futures and Options is important because without the learning experiences, the relationships and connections I made, I don't know where I would be in regards to becoming an adult and learning how to conduct myself in the work world."

Best Practices Library

Futures and Options is unique because youth career development is our primary focus. We dedicate one hundred percent of our resources to achieving excellence in this area.

Through career readiness, exploration, paid internships and college guidance, Futures and Options seeks to help a specific population: Underserved youth in middle and high school. Our clear programmatic focus makes for efficient, highly effective program management. Our program model providing one-on-one support and attention for both students and business partners. We have an intensive organizational focus on preparing underserved youth for careers and guiding them to further their education. Our programs encourage flexibility to adapt our approach according to the unique needs of each student and company. While offering paid internships we allow our students to earn money they need while they gain a sense of responsibility.

Services Provided

  • Arts and cultural
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • College transition and retention support
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring
  • Other
  • Parent/family services
  • Scholarships and last-dollar grants
  • Science, tech, engineering, & math (STEM)


Race & Ethnicity

  • White: 4%
  • Asian or Pacific Islander: 23%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 27%
  • Other: 6%
  • African American: 37%

Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 1936
  • Middle School: 42
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 42
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk
  • Academically High-performing
  • ESL Students
  • Undocumented Students (3)


  • Between 50% and 75%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • Adelphi University
  • Babson College
  • Barnard College
  • Binghamton University
  • Boston University
  • Brandeis University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Clark University
  • College of Mount Saint Vincent
  • College of Staten Island CUNY
  • Colorado College
  • Connecticut College
  • Cornell University
  • CUNY Bernard M Baruch College
  • CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • CUNY Bronx Community College
  • CUNY Brooklyn College
  • CUNY Hunter College
  • CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • CUNY Kingsborough Community College
  • CUNY LaGuardia Community College
  • CUNY Lehman College
  • CUNY Medgar Evers College
  • CUNY New York City College of Technology
  • CUNY Queens College
  • CUNY York College
  • Drexel University
  • Emory University
  • Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Fordham University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Hampton University
  • Harvard College
  • Hofstra University
  • Howard University
  • Ithaca College
  • Johnson & Wales University-Providence
  • Kean University
  • Lafayette College
  • Lehigh University
  • Lincoln University
  • Manhattanville College
  • Monroe Community College
  • Morgan State University
  • Mount Saint Mary College
  • New York University
  • Pace University
  • Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
  • Princeton University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Skidmore College
  • Spelman College
  • St John's University-New York
  • State University of New York at New Paltz
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Stony Brook University
  • SUNY at Albany
  • SUNY at Fredonia
  • SUNY at Purchase College
  • SUNY College at Oswego
  • SUNY College at Plattsburgh
  • SUNY College of Technology at Canton
  • Tufts University
  • University at Buffalo
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Wesleyan University
  • Yale University

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Matriculation: 90%
  • 4-yr College Graduation: 65%