NEW YORK, June 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- While many New Yorkers will kick off their summer vacation this week, hundreds of high school students will join top executives for the day to learn about the inner workings of the city's businesses.
Today, education non-profit PENCIL will place 200 public high school students in companies across New York City through BOSS FOR A DAY, an event designed to give students exposure to a successful workplace and the chance to talk directly with business leaders about their first job experiences and hear how to make the most of a summer internship.
Students will be visiting the offices of New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina and Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, as well as the following corporations across New York:
A+E Networks, Arup, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), HealthPlus Amerigroup, Himmel + Meringoff Properties LLC, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), JetBlue, New York University, New York 1 News, Ogilvy & Mather, RXR Realty, VH1 Save The Music Foundation, and WABC-TV.
"We believe that a high school student shouldn't need to be born into an upper-middle class family or 'have a connection' to gain exposure to internships and professional work experiences," said PENCIL President, David Weiner. "BOSS FOR A DAY is all about helping to expose students to the city's top companies to open their eyes to a world of career opportunities."
Last year, only 25% of American high school students graduated ready for college in the four core subject areas. More and more high school graduates are finding themselves needing to take remedial courses once they arrive on a college campus, and those applying for jobs lack the skills needed to survive in today's workforce.
Internships can have a positive effect on the chance for full time employment and level of engagement at work -- 71% of recent college graduates surveyed who took part in an internship are currently employed in full time jobs, in comparison to only 56% of those who did not participate in an internship.
"It is so crucial for students to get hands-on learning and work opportunities, particularly during the summer to keep them active and engaged," said New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina. "We are committed to expanding internship, mentorship, and apprenticeship opportunities across all five boroughs, and I thank PENCIL for the work they are doing."
"VH1 Save The Music Foundation is thrilled to be part of such an important day for New York City's students," said Paul Cothran, Vice President and Executive Director of VH1 Save The Music Foundation. "BOSS FOR A DAY gives our youth the chance to experience learning opportunities that provide them with the tools and skills needed to succeed."
The students participating in BOSS FOR A DAY are public high school students currently enrolled in the PENCIL Fellows Program, an intensive career training program that includes a six-week paid internship at a company in New York City. PENCIL Fellows come from all five boroughs of the city, many from high-needs communities who are the first in their families to graduate high school and attend college in the United States. PENCIL Fellows also complete 30+ hours of work skills training that prepare them for a successful work experience. All of which is made possible through the generous funding of Meringoff Family Foundation and JP Morgan Chase & Co.
"A+E Networks supports PENCIL's commitment to partnering with the business community to make a meaningful impact on a student's education," said Stacy Green, Senior Vice President of Global HR and Facilities at A+E Networks and member of PENCIL's Executive Leadership Council. "We look forward to participating in BOSS FOR A DAY to show students a day in the life as an A+E employee and kick off what will be a successful summer internship program for the PENCIL Fellows."
"In today's competitive marketplace, it is critical for young professionals to be well-equipped with the skills needed to land their first internship or job," said Jack Stephenson, President of HealthPlus Amerigroup and PENCIL Board Member. "PENCIL Fellows is an important program for New York City and we are excited to be part of the launch of a great internship experience."
"Experiential learning isn't an extra, it's a must-have for our students, which is why I'm proud of our office's strong internship program and thrilled to work with PENCIL to host BOSS FOR A DAY at the Borough President's office," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "Independent projects, hands-on lab work, and internships all teach skills and lessons our students need just as much as what they learn in the classroom setting."
Founded in 1995, PENCIL is the leader in creating innovative and impactful models of collaboration between the business and education communities. PENCIL works at the intersection of school needs and business expertise to bring together the best ideas, talent, and resources across sectors to improve public student and school performance and enhance workforce pathways. Visit www.PENCIL.org for more information.