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NYC Kids RISE Rings in Milestone at the New York Stock Exchange

The nonprofit organization celebrated the expansion of its Save for College program by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Local officials from NYC Kids RISE are celebrating the expansion of its community-driven wealth-building platform by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. 

“We are excited to celebrate the fact that nearly every eligible New York City public school student, starting in kindergarten, has an NYC Scholarship Account for college and career training, and it is an honor to mark this occasion by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange,” said NYCKR’s founding executive director Debra-Ellen Glickstein.

NYCKR is a nonprofit organization that provides families, schools and communities with an avenue to invest in and save for their children’s futures. 

Its Save for College program enables students in eligible grades enrolled in an NYC public elementary school to automatically receive an NYC Scholarship Account invested in a NY 529 Direct Plan account with an initial $100 seed allocation. 

Research shows that a child with a college savings account of just one-to-five hundred dollars is three times more likely to go to college, and more than four times more likely to graduate than a child without an account.

Families can also open and connect college and career savings accounts through the program. 

Additionally, stakeholders within each neighborhood and across the city — such as schools, community-based organizations, local businesses, the private sector and philanthropic organizations — can also contribute to asset-building for local students through its Community Scholarships program. 

NYCKR launched a pilot of the program in 2017, which then expanded in the 2021-2022 school year from one school district in Queens to all five boroughs. 

To date, there are more than 145,000 students citywide with NYC Scholarship Accounts that collectively count more than $21 million invested for college and career training.

In Brooklyn, as of the end of school year 2022-2023, more than 1,000 students in School District 23 have accumulated more than $113,000 across their NYC Scholarship Accounts.

Moving forward, approximately 65,000 additional kindergartners will join the program every school year. 

On Aug. 3, local students, state and program representatives opened the New York Stock Exchange in celebration of the program’s growing success. 

“This experience is truly symbolic, because so much generational wealth building happens through capital markets, and we are proud that the Save for College program is expanding that access to families across the five boroughs,” Glickstein said. 

New York City is the first major city in the nation to implement this kind of community-driven wealth-building platform. It has been made possible through a partnership between NYC Kids RISE, the NYC Department of Education, the city of New York, with founding and support from the Gray Foundation.

Brooklyn School superintendent Dr. Khalek Kirkland joined Glickstein at the Aug. 3 event, along with the following officials: 

  • NYCKR’s founding executive director Debra-Ellen 
  • NYC Mayor’s Office of Equity commissioner Sideya Sherman
  • NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga
  • NYC Public Schools chief of student pathways Jade Grieve
  • New York State senate majority leader Michael Gianaris
  • Queens deputy borough president Ebony Young
  • Gray Foundation chief executive officer 
  • NYCKR board chair Dana Zucker
  • Numerous other education, business, faith and community leaders and NYC public school students

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