The Opportunity Network works to equal the playing field for high-achieving, low-income high school students by creating access for them to career opportunities, professional networks and college. They believe influential networks are essential ingredients for success not emphasized in career development programs for youth, so they take an innovative approach by underscoring the power of personal connections and professional relationships as vital complements to skills and experience. Through unique interaction with executives, intensive college counseling, networking training, coursework in careers, and paid internships, their students dramatically change the course of their futures.
Here’s what Seneca Iscove, UncommonGoods customer service supervisor, has to say:
When I was first introduced to The Opportunity Network, I selfishly wondered, “Where the heck were you people when I needed you?” I wish that there had been a place that I could go to that would not only help me with the daunting and sometimes frightening task of college applications, but also the tools to sustain a successful career once college ended. To go even further, The Opportunity Network has an amazingly successful program of internships that span from Fortune 500 companies to theaters and non-profits. The Opportunity Network recognizes students’ dreams, one at a time, right here in New York City.
I was a New York City high school student and regrettably, there was nothing like The Opportunity Network for me. I was a latch-key kid in a low income neighborhood, raised by a single mother who worked three jobs in order to care for my sister and I. Our focus was to get as far away from our neighborhoods as we could. The only alternatives seemed to be entertainment, sports and college. But the reality was, many kids in my neighborhood were unprepared for college.
Over worked and under paid educators began to speak to us about “realistic goals,” goals that did not include college for many of us. Although my mother worked too long and too hard to have much involvement in my schoolwork, I somehow made it through.
“On my own” is the theme of many high school students who struggle with getting out of their desperate situations and create a better life for themselves. Students like Eric, a Bronx native like me who was not only the first in his family to get as far as junior year in high school, but also the first in his school to be accepted to an ivy league school through the help of The Opportunity Network. The first in his school! Imagine that!
Imagine how many more can be helped through the dedicated work of The Opportunity Network? Now that I am a mother there is nothing in the world that means more to me than our children. They are indeed our future and there is no reason that they should continue to struggle and miss out on their dreams because of the misfortune that has befallen them. With the amazing work of The Opportunity Network, they no longer have to.
Vote for Opportunity Network on Facebook today.
– Seneca Iscove, UncommonGoods Customer Service