In 1999, Michael Gould founded New Futures with initial funding provided by the estate of Mike’s late brother, Allen Gould. Allen charged Mike with the responsibility of supporting local low-income youth – and Mike never looked back. Growing from humble origins, New Futures today is recognized as a leader in the DC Metro Area post-secondary education and workforce development sectors.
Early on, through our work with our Scholars and our Community Partners, it became clear that local low-income youth lacked knowledge and information about in-demand and fulfilling jobs that require more education than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree available in the DC region. In response, New Futures created our printed Career Guide. Our Community Partners and other stakeholders quickly came to recognize the Career Guide as a very useful tool for DC-area students and their advisers, and expressed interest in bringing it directly to students.
As a result, New Futures created our Career Education Workshops, which provide a forum for post-secondary education-seeking youth to learn about the many seemingly hidden educational opportunities that can lead to meaningful, well-paying jobs. To meet the demand for New Futures services and provide expanded services to our clients, New Futures began to employ professional staff to perform the functions that had been managed by Mike and his growing Board of Directors.
Demand for our Career Guide and Career Education Workshops kept growing, and New Futures realized that we needed to reach a larger audience. In 2013, supported by a $55,000 grant from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), New Futures transformed the Career Guide content into our state-of-the-art, interactive Career Navigator website. The Career Navigator exponentially expands the reach of our services to young people across the DC region.
In recent years, New Futures rounded out our current roster of five full-time staff team members. We have grown quickly: In 2008, we awarded a total of 18 post-secondary scholarships; in 2015, we awarded nearly $380,000 in scholarships to 59 Scholars. In addition, more than 1,000 young people have learned about local, in-demand careers through our Career Education Program since 2013.
Today, we continue to evolve to meet the needs of our Scholars and region, providing scholarships, ongoing Scholar support, Alumni support and engagement, and career education programming, with plans to add career support services in the coming year. We are changing lives by equipping low-income DC-area young people with the tools they need to attain a practical post-secondary education, pursue a meaningful career, achieve financial self-sufficiency, and become contributing members of our community.