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Mayor Adams, Mayor's Fund, and Pfizer Announce $1.5 Million Grant to Boost City's Stem Education Efforts for Middle and High School Students

July 11, 2022

Grant Expands Existing Programs and Creates Career Pathways Into STEM Sector

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced a $1.5 million grant from Pfizer Inc. to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City — with funds earmarked for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational programs for middle and high school students.  

“If we don’t educate, we incarcerate, and this generous grant will bolster STEM educational programs to give our middle and high school students the ability to thrive in life by giving them the opportunity to explore careers many never thought possible,” said Mayor Adams. “Supporting our youth is a win for us all — giving them the chance to learn new skills and create innovative change that will move our city forward. These programs will help ensure their future is that much brighter and secure, and I thank Pfizer for helping put our city’s students first.”

Specifically, this $1.5 million grant will advance the goals of two STEM-related initiatives: Exploring Futures and College Now for Careers.

  • Exploring Futures serves middle school students by helping them learn more about potential career paths and plan for success in the world of work. The grant will provide $750,000 over the course of three years and help expand the program to 15 additional schools, supporting educational opportunities for 750 students. Funds will support giving students access to Xello, an online platform for career exploration and planning; advance teacher training and professional development; develop additional curriculum; and engage partner organizations to provide STEM content and related enrichment.

  • College Now for Careers — a partnership between the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and The City University of New York (CUNY) —enables New York City public high school students to earn college credits at CUNY by completing required courses for STEM majors. The grant will provide $675,000 over the course of three years, supporting as many as 1,000 students to benefit from the program. 

Photo of Two Women Standing Next to Large Pfizer Check

Both Exploring Futures and College Now for Careers are initiatives that the Mayor’s Office of Youth Employment (MOYE), developed in support of the city’s goal of universal career readiness. Exploring Futures — launched in 2020 — currently operates in nine middle schools, serving 225 students in sixth through eighth grades. The program’s objectives include supporting youths to both explore potential careers and inform their high school selection process. College Now for Careers is a College Now initiative. College Now — a partnership of DOE and CUNY — is the country’s largest program enabling high school students to earn college credit. It serves over 20,000 students per year, giving them a leg up on college enrollment, persistence, and completion. College Now for Careers served 2,000 students in the school year 2021-2022 and will service another 1,000 students in the upcoming 2022-2023 year.

The nonprofit ExpandED — renowned for their innovative after-school and enrichment programming — is supporting the Mayor’s Fund, MOYE, DOE, and participating schools in managing the program.

“One of the hallmarks of this administration is its ability to forge partnerships with leading innovators, like Pfizer, to lift up our young people and deliver educational opportunities to pursue the careers of tomorrow,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright. “This generous investment will enable more of our city’s schoolchildren to develop expertise in high-demand, growth industries that will promote economic mobility and prosperity for all New Yorkers in the years to come.”

“Providing career exploration is essential for young New Yorkers to reach their fullest potential,” said Daniele Baierlein, executive director, Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “Thanks to this generous donation by Pfizer, middle school, and high school students will have access to STEM programming that will put them on a path towards a successful career. We are grateful for our partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Youth Employment, The City University of New York, and ExpandED for their work in developing and executing such impactful programs for young New Yorkers.”  

"What our children can achieve is unlimited if we help activate their passion and purpose. I am proud to see this administration take strides towards the bright north star that is long-term economic security and real career-connected learning pathways for all our students, " said DOE Chancellor David C. Banks. “Thanks to Pfizer for their generous support, giving middle school and high school students access to important STEM programming that will expand their future career opportunities and propel them into the possibilities of the 21st century workforce."

“In keeping with CUNY’s historical mission as an engine of social mobility, the expanded College Now for Careers program will support more of our city’s high school students as they explore the many unique STEM pathways that can ultimately lead them to meaningful and well-paying careers,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “Buoyed by Mayor Adams’ vision and Pfizer’s generous support, CUNY’s beneficial partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Youth Employment will help to ensure success for a new generation of STEM scholars, researchers, and workers.”  

“We are delighted to partner with the Mayor’s Fund to advance STEM education in New York City. At Pfizer, we understand that the future of medical breakthroughs and American innovation as a whole depend on the strength and diversity of our workforce. It is never too early to attract, engage, and motivate students – of all backgrounds – to pursue careers in STEM. We hope our work with the Mayor’s Fund and other city groups will result in increased awareness and interest in STEM careers,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

“Mayor Adams committed his administration to supporting career readiness as a ‘north star goal’ for all young New Yorkers because he knew that government alone could not bring this vision to life and called on the private sector to join our effort,” said David Fischer, executive director, Mayor’s Office of Youth Employment. “With this generous commitment of $1.5 million to support our youth toward career success in STEM fields, Pfizer has answered that call in exemplary fashion. We are deeply grateful for this partnership and excited for further collaboration.”

Exploring Futures builds young people’s STEM skills and ignites their passions,” said Saskia Traill, president and CEO, ExpandED Schools. “ExpandED is honored to work with the Mayor’s Office of Youth Employment, the Mayor’s Fund, the Department of Education, and Pfizer because we know partnerships are critical to ensure a vibrant future for our city and its children.”


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