LEARNING TO WORK
MISSION: INCREASE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATES
Our Learning to Work programs serve 16-21 years-old students who are either returning to high school after dropping out, or are unable to graduate from a traditional high school because they have fallen significantly behind. Growing up in low-income communities, many of our students have confronted exposure to violence and gangs, court involvement, loss of a loved one, homelessness, and teenage pregnancy. Recognizing that these circumstances can be challenging for almost anyone to overcome, our dedicated staff provide critical life-planning support to up to 2,000 of the most vulnerable older NYC public school students at six transfer, alternative, and night high schools.
Our flagship program is called Learning to Work. The program provides nearly 2,000 paid internships each year which are vital to stabilizing students’ lives and reinforcing life-skills learned in the classroom so that students graduate from high school prepared to enter the workforce or to attend college.
Once students are on a stable course to high school graduation we provide individualized help that includes college tours and financial aid workshops, as well as panel discussions with entrepreneurs, small business owners, and c-Suite executives. Providing the opportunity for students to visit college campuses and have a dialogue with people and issues that are important to them, exposes them to experiences and places outside of New York, and empowers them to see beyond their circumstances to create a vision for a positive and productive future.
In every instance, the Mission's Learning & Working program has reduced dropout rates, increased high school graduation, and college matriculation.