Foundation Partnership Awards $2 Million in Grants to Re-engage Young New Yorkers


The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation, the Heckscher Foundation for Children, and the Ichigo Foundation are pleased to announce they have awarded more than $2 million in grant funding to support 14 innovative programs as part of a new initiative, Bold Solutions to Re-engage.

New York City, like the rest of the country, has seen significant declines in college enrollment since the onset of the Covid pandemic. Recognizing that the majority of high school graduates need some form of postsecondary education or training to become career ready, the Bold Solutions call for proposals invited prospective applicants to pilot new strategies on how to effectively re-engage young New Yorkers and best position them for long-term success.

The 14 Bold Solutions programs were selected from an initial pool of 79 applications. The review process was informed by interviews and focus groups with young New Yorkers and their advisors conducted by researchers at New York University’s School of Professional Studies. Two types of grant awards were made: Planning grants of up to 6 months and $40,000, and Implementation grants of up to 12 months and $250,000.

Planning Grants:

The Child Center of NY
Provide direct financial assistance and guided peer support to young adults who have forgone postsecondary enrollment or stopped out of college.

CUNY School of Professional Studies
Develop a 12-month “Gap Year” program that combines a year-long paid internship at a nonprofit organization with a free college course and training in youth development issues.

Epic Theatre Ensemble
Employ creative storytelling techniques to explore the reasons for opting out of college. Participants will develop and perform personal narratives at CUNY campuses that convey their future goals and perspectives on education.

FamilyCook Productions
Develop a 12-week Culinary Health Education Force (CHEF) program, followed by a certificate training program, in partnership with Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College.

Pursuit Transformation Company
Create a bridge program between New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program and Pursuit’s intensive training in software engineering, in partnership with a City University of New York college and local nonprofit, Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation.

Queensborough Community College
Re-engage high school graduates who have not enrolled in college by inviting them to visit the campus and either attend free cultural events or participate in a one-day job opportunity.

The Urban Assembly
Offer high school alumni who have stopped out of college the opportunity to enroll in a hybrid college model, which combines flexible and affordable online degree programs with personalized coaching and wraparound, in-person support.

Implementation Grants:

Borough of Manhattan Community College
Incentivize the return of students who are at least halfway through their degree program by providing them with small financial grants, clear and timely information, and targeted support.

College of Staten Island
Deploy a Staten Island re-admissions team, including social workers and community-based nonprofit partners, to support enrollment and re-engagement in postsecondary study.

Futures Ignite
Offer either a “Second Chance Scholarship” or a high-quality paid internship to high school graduates who are not currently enrolled in college.

Kingsborough Community College
Activate a dedicated enrollment team that will reach out to high school graduates who have not enrolled, review transcripts of stopped-out students, and create personalized programs to help them return to college. A free one-credit course focused on career exploration will be offered as an incentive to re-enroll.

LaGuardia Community College
Provide high school graduates who have never enrolled in college with the opportunity to take a free, two-month course at the campus that includes robust academic support, peer mentoring, and related workshops.

Lehman College
Offer robust wrap-around supports and a specially designed part-time program to re-engage students who have stopped out of college.

Medgar Evers College
Recruit students to commence their journey at Medgar Evers College through a semester-long paid internship program before supporting them in the enrollment process.

Contributing Foundations:

The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking foundation that aims to increase economic opportunity by strengthening college and career pathways for low-income New Yorkers. Its mission is to ensure that all New Yorkers have the resources and opportunities needed to reach their goals in school, work, and life.

The Heckscher Foundation for Children uses venture philanthropy to fund innovative, results-driven programs and partnerships that level the playing field for underserved youth. Its grants focus primarily on education, including college access and persistence, workforce training and jobs access, and arts education that improves achievement in the classroom.

The Ichigo Foundation looks for ways to bolster access to and success in higher education and other postsecondary endeavors for people from underserved communities. It partners with institutions that support young people from low-income backgrounds and first-generation students to pursue productive and fulfilling lives.