Corona elementary school students benefit from contributions to their college savings accounts

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Courtesy NYC Kids RISE

Nearly 250 first- and second-graders at PS 27 in Corona will benefit from new scholarship funds to support their college and career access after members of NYC Kids RISE delivered a $15,000 grant for the students’ Save for College Program.

These children are part of a group of 6,600 students enrolled in the program across School District 30 in which each student automatically receives an NYC Scholarship Account invested in a 529 college savings plan.

“Investing in our children in investing in our future and there is no better way of doing so than supporting access to college and career training, regardless of their immigration status or income,” City Councilman Francisco Moya said. “I was proud to join the PS 92 community, our superintendent, school and parent leaders, and students, to celebrate the limitless possibilities for these students.”

NYC Kids RISE and the community have deposited more than $1.1 million into the student’s accounts to date. At PS 92 alone, families and the community have come together to build more than $60,000 in savings for these 248 young students’ future college and career training expenses.

“Knowing that the whole community is working together to ensure economic success for all students goes a long way,” NYC Kids RISE Executive Director Debra-Ellen Glickstein said. “By joining together to support the education and career training of our young people, we are letting students know that we believe in them and their futures.”

District 30 includes the neighborhoods of Astoria, East Elmhurst, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and Jackson Heights in addition to Corona.

“District 30 is the first school district to launch the Save for College Program with NYC Kids RISE,” School District 30 Community Superintendent Dr. Phillip Composto said. “Together, we are using this program to enhance the college- and career-going culture at each of our 30 elementary schools, toward the goal of post-secondary readiness for all of our students.”

Each NYC Scholarship Account was opened with a $100 seed investment from the nonprofit NYC Kids RISE, with additional opportunities for matching funds and contributions from organizations, businesses, and community members.”

“As a parent, I always wanted my kid to survive and thrive and did what I could to provide opportunities, resources and support that would set him up for success,” College Opportunity Fund Advisor Lisa Cowan said. “At the same time, it is glaring that not every kid has the same opportunities. Our nation’s higher education system is just one of many places where we see stark inequality of access to opportunity by race, income and neighborhood.”

Following the presentation of the scholarship contribution, an expert panel discussed how families can prepare for college or career training at an early age. Research shows that a child in a low-income household with a college savings account of just $1 to $500 is three times more likely to go to college and more than four times more likely to graduate than a child without an account.

“I’m proud that our school is one of the founding schools participating in the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program,” PS 92 Principal Pasquale Baratta said. “When I see our students enter school every day, I think of the potential for greatness possessed by each and every one of them, regardless of background or circumstances. The Save for College Program and this latest investment by the College Opportunity Fund play a vital role in showing children that they can and should dream big.”