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PR- 345-10
August 9, 2010


190 New York City Youth Complete Professional Internships with 65 High-Profile Organizations

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

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today recognized the 2010 participants of NYC Ladders for Leaders, a program offering professional internships to New York City high school and college students, at a ceremony at Gracie Mansion. The Mayor also announced the winners of the American Airlines College Tour Competition, which provides participants round-trip airfare to visit the school of their choice. Now in its fifth year, NYC Ladders for Leaders is a joint initiative of the NYC Commission on Women's Issues and the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development. It was created to provide young New Yorkers the opportunity to explore different careers in both the private and public sectors, while also emphasizing the importance of pursuing post-secondary education.  Mayor Bloomberg was joined at Gracie Mansion by Commission on Women's Issues Chair Anne Sutherland Fuchs and Executive Director Briana Collins, Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav, American Airlines Vice President of the New York office Art Torno, and program graduates Nadya Antoine and Gregory Stankevich.

"Our administration is committed to creating diverse opportunities to help our young New Yorkers thrive," said Mayor Bloomberg. "For five years, the Ladders for Leaders program has given young people the opportunity to work and learn in internships at City agencies, foundations, and many major corporations. With more participating organizations, more college opportunities and more bright young leaders, the future of our City looks brighter than ever."

"Each year, motivated young graduates of NYC Ladders for Leaders set the bar higher for the following year's participants," said CWI Chair Anne Sutherland Fuchs.  "Their success is a testament to the impact of public-private partnerships and exposing high-achieving students to once-in-a-lifetime internship experiences. Our graduates will continue learning for the rest of their lives, and we look forward to hearing of their future achievements."

"We are so proud of today's graduates, who now join the distinguished ranks of our high-achieving NYC Ladders for Leaders alumni," said Commissioner Mullgrav.  "This was a banner year for the program, with a record 190 young people participating. Their success proves what we already know - New York City's young people have what it takes to excel at the highest levels of the public and private sectors - all they need is the opportunity to prove themselves.  NYC Ladders for Leaders provides these highly-motivated youth with the skills and confidence they need to thrive in school, work and life."

The Mayor also announced at the graduation reception the eight winners of the American Airlines College Tour Competition, which provides round-trip airfare to select NYC Ladders for Leaders participants to visit colleges throughout the continental United States.  The 2010 winners, each of whom received a round-trip ticket for themselves and for an accompanying parent/guardian, are Nikeya Alfred, Nadya Faith Antoine, Lydia Bioh, Nacadia Facey, Wan Chao Guo, Maria Mejia, Silvi Shameti, and Yvonne Ye. 

"This is the fourth consecutive year American Airlines has supported the Mayor's Ladders for Leaders program, and all of us at American are proud to be associated with an effort that rewards these very special young people for being such extraordinary students and citizens," said Art Torno, Vice President, New York, for American Airlines. "As usual, this year's pool of candidates was impressive, and made the decision extremely difficult. In fact, it is fair to say all of the candidates are winners for how they have carried themselves in their high school careers and in their communities.

"We are very pleased to extend the American Airlines College Tour Award to eight of the students, who have the opportunity with a parent or guardian to travel to and check out a college of their choice," Torno added. "We hope the visit will make an impact on which college they choose and we wish all of the students the best in going on to have a successful college career."

The recipients of the American Airlines College Tour Competition are:

  • Nikeya Alfred, a 17-year old Queens resident entering her senior year at Saint Francis Preparatory School.  Nikeya is interning at New York Law School and will explore the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Southern California, and Duke University, where she hopes to study biology.
  • Nadya Antoine, a 16-year old Brooklyn resident entering her senior year at James Madison High School.  Nadya is interning at Teigland-Hunt, LLP, and looks forward to studying criminal law at SUNY Binghamton, Penn State University, Stanford University, or the University of Chicago.
  • Lydia Bioh, a 16-year old Bronx resident entering her senior year at A. Philip Randolph Campus High School. Lydia is interning at Berkeley College and hopes to explore various areas of study as a pre-law student at Duke University, the University of Notre Dame, or Georgetown University.
  • Nacadia Facey, a 17-year old Brooklyn resident entering her senior year at the Benjamin Banneker Academy.  Nacadia is interning at JP Morgan Chase and looks forward to studying African American studies or mathematics at Temple University, Boston College, Boston University, Tufts University, or the University of Miami.
  • Wan Chao Guo, an 18-year old Brooklyn resident entering her freshman year at Binghamton University.  Wan Chao is interning at Verizon and hopes to transfer to Stanford University after her fall semester to study engineering.
  • Maria Mejia, a 16-year old Bronx resident entering her senior year at A. Philip Randolph Campus High School.  Maria is interning at Tishman Speyer Properties and will explore economics at Claremont McKenna College, Pomona College, Stanford University, Rice University, or the University of Chicago.
  • Silvi Shameti, a 17-year old Brooklyn resident entering her senior year at Stuyvesant High School.  Silvi is interning at the Fresh Air Fund and looks forward to studying psychology at Haverford College, Middlebury College, Colby College, or Washington & Lee University.
  • Yvonne Ye, a 17-year old Queens resident entering her senior year at Hunter College High School.  Yvonne is interning at Catholic Medical Mission Board and hopes to explore biology as a pre-med student at Brown University, Dartmouth College, or Stanford University.

In addition to their internships, participants in the program also have the option of enrolling in Kaplan SAT preparation courses at no cost and are also eligible to receive partial college scholarships.  Interns are paid by partnering companies, and they attend workshops focused on work readiness, financial literacy, college orientation, health and well-being, and leadership development throughout the summer.

The NYC Ladders for Leaders program is supported in part by Accenture; AHRC; The Alex Hotel; American Cancer Society; American Express; Baby Buggy; Berkeley College; Bloomberg L.P.; Brooklyn College; Brooklyn Navy Yard; Catalyst; Catholic Medical Mission Board; CBS Corporation; Central Park Conservancy; City of New York; CUNY College Now; CVS Pharmacy; EmblemHealth; Ernst & Young LLP; The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc.; Everyday Health, Inc; Federal Reserve Bank of  NY; The Fresh Air Fund; Friends of the High Line; Girls, Inc. NYC; Girls, Inc.; Goldman Sachs; Gotham, Inc.; Greater NY Chamber of Commerce; Grey Global Affiliates; GroupM; HSBC Bank USA, N.A.; Interpublic Group (IPG); The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust; JPMorganChase; Kaplan, Inc.; KPMG International LLP; Macy's; Major League Soccer; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Municipal Credit Union; New Video; New-York Historical Society; New York Law School; New York State Banking Department; NL Financial Alliance; NPower NY; Ogilvy and Mather; RCN Corporation; Tai Ping Carpets; Teigland-Hunt LLP; Tishman Speyer; Toys "R" Us; Verizon; Women's Venture Fund; Young & Rubicam Brands.


Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958

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