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NYL Foundation awards NFTE $500K grant

The New York Life Foundation has awarded the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) a two-year, $500,000 grant to support programs in Boston, Chicago, New York City and Westchester County, NY.  Nearly 2,000 at-risk youth will benefit from this grant, which builds on the $200,000 grant given by the Foundation last year.

“The funding from the New York Life Foundation will enable us to help more young people see their futures – including the importance of graduating from high school – in a different, positive way,” said Amy Rosen, president & CEO, NFTE.  “The support will allow us to continue to help students improve their academic, business and life skills while they forge new paths to success.”

“We are pleased to expand our support of NFTE, whose focus is to help students facing multiple challenges get the attention they need before they quit or fail out of school,” said Chris Park, president of the New York Life Foundation. “NFTE’s approach illustrates that what students are learning in school is relevant to the real world and helps them graduate with their own personal plans for success.”

NFTE is a 65-hour, classroom-based program for middle and high school students.  The entrepreneurship education curriculum emphasizes core academic and workforce skills and is experiential.  The students create and present an original business plan based on their own special interests and talents. According to NFTE, more than 80 percent of high school dropouts say they would have stayed in school if it had been more applicable to real life.  NFTE meets that need, providing relevant learning that engages young people and keeps them in school.

The New York Life Foundation funds will provide support to these NFTE programs:

  • In New York City, NFTE works in schools that serve disadvantaged students who have not been successful in regular schools and are facing their last chance to earn a high school diploma.  NFTE also works in career and technical education schools that link academics to industry skills, occupational knowledge and workforce experience.
  • In Westchester, NFTE works in high schools in Yonkers and Mount Vernon, with plans to expand the program to middle-grade students.
  • In Chicago, funds will support NFTE’s expansion in schools serving disadvantaged, marginalized students who are highly at risk of not finishing high school.
  • In Boston, NFTE is working with public schools and have a joint goal of strengthening the NFTE program there.

According to NFTE, the United States is experiencing a drop-out crisis.  Every 29 seconds an American youth drops out of high school – that’s 7,000 young people per day, or 1.2 million each year.  One-third of all high school students, and nearly half of all African-American and Latino youth, do not graduate.  The individual and societal effects of this crisis are staggering:  Over their lifetimes, on average, high school graduates earn $300,000 more than dropouts.  College graduates earn an additional $1 million.

To learn more, please visit the Foundation’s Web site at

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