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1,200 Kids in Canarsie, East Flatbush Just Received $1000 in College Funds to Combat Racial Wealth Gap

NYC Kids RISE, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative, and Brooklyn Community Foundation made a $1.2 M investment in students.
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Jasmine Hartley, mother of P.S. 276 first-grader, discusses the meaningful impact the $1000 donation will have on helping Sephora, and other first-graders in the community, save for college. Photo: Provided/Jamon Davis for NYC Kids RISE.

The Mayor’s Office of Equity, the NYC Department of Education, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative, and Brooklyn Community Foundation, celebrated together with families, students, school leaders, the Gray Foundation and NYC Kids RISE today at P.S. 276 in Canarsie.

The organizations announced that 1,200 first graders in East Flatbush and Canarsie will receive $1,000 in their NYC Scholarship Accounts, which is dedicated to college and career savings.

“When I found out about this additional investment into my daughter’s future, I was speechless. It’s like winning the lottery without buying a ticket,” said Helen Brizard, parent of a P.S. 276 first grader. 

“This is wonderful, not only for the children, but also for the parents and guardians. The Save for College Program is by and for the community and that’s key — it’s truly about the children.”

This $1.2 million donation is from the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative and Brooklyn Community Foundation’s Donor-Advised Funds. This new Community Scholarship utilizes NYC Kids RISE’s Save for College Program as a community-driven wealth-building platform and is the largest Community Scholarship in the Program's history.

“Every young person deserves the opportunity to succeed, and there is no better way to move towards success than by starting a college and career savings account at a young age,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

“By giving out $1,000 in scholarships to nearly 1,200 first graders, the Save for College Program is helping close the racial wealth gap and helping support the educational and economic success of children in Canarsie and East Flatbush. We thank Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative and Brooklyn Community Foundation for their generous support, and we are hopeful that others across our city will follow suit and invest in the future of our young New Yorkers.”

Schools Chancellor David C. Banks said this community-driven initiative will serve as an innovative and impactful tool in combating the racial wealth gap.

The Community Scholarship will help combat the racial wealth gap in New York City neighborhoods where 86% of students are Black. Every first grader who attends a public elementary school in geographic School District 18 communities (including both district and charter schools) and has an NYC Scholarship Account is receiving $1,000, as is every first grader with an NYC Scholarship Account residing in NYCHA’s Bayview Houses and Breukelen Houses, both in Canarsie.

This investment is part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative. The Greenwood Initiative is working to address systemic underinvestment in Black communities by making investments and fostering strategic partnerships to create the conditions for more Black people to acquire resources, expand community ownership, and increase influence through economic power.

The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program is a public-private-community partnership working to ensure that NYC public school students graduate with a financial asset. Nationally, Black families own less than 10% of the wealth of white families; and if left unaddressed, research suggests the median Black family in the U.S. will have zero net assets within the next 50 years.

NYC Kids RISE Community Scholarships—a core component of the Save for College Program—allow organizations and individuals to invest funds directly toward students’ higher education. These investments encourage families to continue planning and saving for higher education, and reinforce expectations of success throughout a neighborhood.

“This celebration and demonstration of neighborhood-wide support shows just how important the Save for College Program is as a vehicle for ensuring that all our children know they can go to college and break down barriers to economic opportunities,” said Senator Roxanne J. Persaud.

Additional Community Scholarships across the city will be announced in 2023.