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PR- 366-07
October 10, 2007


New Internship and Youth Development Initiative Merges Two Successful City Programs into Unified Professional Development Program

American Airlines Awards Five Interns with Round-Trip Airfare for College Tours

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the launch of NYC Ladders for Leaders, a new youth development program that will prepare New York City high school and college students for career success by providing them access to corporate internships and resources that emphasize the importance of a post-secondary education. NYC Ladders for Leaders merges two of the City's most successful pilot youth development projects - CAPITAL (Corporate Allies Program of Internships, Training and Leadership) and the NYC GirlsREACH and BoysREACH program. The new program will pair students with successful professional role models in corporate settings during a seven-week internship complemented by professional development workshops and college preparatory courses given by program partners. The announcement was made at the graduation ceremony for the 2007 class of NYC GirlsREACH and BoysREACH, which will now be part of the new NYC Ladders for Leaders program, at the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center. The Mayor also announced the winners of the American Airlines College Tour Competition, which will provide five graduates with round-trip airfare for college tours. Mayor Bloomberg was joined at the graduation by the Commission on Women's Issues Chair Anne Sutherland Fuchs and Executive Director Briana Collins, Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav, and NYC GirlsREACH and BoysREACH graduates Shirley Ip and Tyree Alexander.

"The launch of NYC Ladders for Leaders is the latest part of our effort to ensure that New York City's young people have access to high-quality employment opportunities," said Mayor Bloomberg. "It will introduce more students to successful corporate citizens and role models, helping them open new doors and build stronger careers. The future of our City depends on how well we prepare the next generation of leaders, and programs like NYC Ladders for Leaders are helping our students reach their potential and fulfill their dreams."

"We are so proud of each graduate of this year's NYC GirlsREACH and BoysREACH initiative," said CWI Chair Anne Sutherland Fuchs. "Their success is a testimony to the impact that public-private partnerships can have on our City's youth. The support of our corporate partners inspired us to create NYC Ladders for Leaders. Their commitment to developing our City's workforce by providing educational resources was rewarded many times over by the hard work and fresh perspectives these interns brought to the table. I would also like to thank American Airlines for their generous donation, which will help the winners choose the right place to continue their education and make the most of their internship experience."

NYC Ladders for Leaders is a joint initiative of the NYC Commission on Women's Issues (CWI) and the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). The new initiative will provide an array of enhanced benefits for participants while expanding the number of youth served by the City of New York through the creation of new public-private partnerships. Participants will receive pre-employment training before starting their seven-week summer internships at partnering companies, which also provide the private donations that underwrite the program. Based upon the total funds donated from sponsors, partial college scholarships may be available to participants who complete the program in full, and high school seniors enrolled in the program may also be eligible to enroll in free college preparatory courses. The internship experience will be complemented by regular gender-specific workshops focusing on work readiness, college orientation, health, leadership development, and other issues.

"The NYC GirlsREACH and BoysREACH graduation is the perfect occasion to mark the launch of NYC Ladders for Leaders," said DYCD Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav. "This new initiative is built upon the hard work of these interns, who have embraced their roles as program ambassadors and have convinced our corporate partners that New York City's young people have what it takes to thrive in today's workplace."

Mayor Bloomberg also announced the five graduates selected as recipients of the inaugural American Airlines College Tour Competition which was developed specifically for the participants of NYC GirlsREACH and BoysREACH 2007 as an opportunity for them to explore what colleges across the country have to offer. The competition allows the awardees an opportunity to visit college campuses of their choice, learn more about college life from current students, meet with college faculty, professors, and staff, and expand their options for college education. The recipients, who each received three pairs of round-trip tickets, are Gabriel Castillo, Angela Donkor, Shirley Ip, Amy Wang, and Yu Shi Wang.

"NYC GirlsREACH and BoysREACH is a truly inspiring initiative that has provided crucial support to a new generation of leaders among New York City high school students," said Chuck Imhof, Vice President of Sales for Greater New York for American Airlines. "That is why we teamed with the City to create the American Airlines College Tour Award, which will reward five of the extraordinary students in the program with complimentary travel to three of their top college choices. It's so important for our young people to attend college and find ways to reach their highest potential, and we're glad to be a part of such an excellent program."

NYC GirlsREACH and BoysREACH 2007 sponsors include American Airlines; America's Promise; The Avon Foundation; Bloomberg LP; Ernst & Young; Goldman Sachs; HarperCollins Publishers; JPMorgan Chase; Kaplan, Inc.; Lifetime Networks; Macy's; New York State Department of Labor; The Esté Lauder Companies Inc.; The Moody's Foundation; Time Warner; Tishman Speyer; and Women in Public Finance. The City of New York, Creative Arts Workshop for Kids, and Friends of the Highline also provided internships. The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City will be responsible for administering the allocation of private funds raised for NYC Ladders for Leaders.


Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958

Julia Breitman   (Youth and Community Development)
(212) 442-6034

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