The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Morgan Stanley will honor
the first-ever graduates of the Future Leaders program – an innovative
workforce development initiative organized for underserved teens and
young adults at the Bronx Zoo that encourages academic success and
improves prospects for college and permanent employment.
The graduation ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 12
in the Schiff Family Great Hall at the Bronx Zoo, the flagship of the
Wildlife Conservation Society’s system of urban wildlife parks.
The Future Leaders program was launched by the Wildlife Conservation
Society in partnership with Morgan Stanley, which has served as the sole
funder for the first two years of the program, including its pilot phase
and launch. The two-year program offers meaningful career options for
young adults who have been identified as not on track to graduate high
school or earn a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.
The program provides job-skills training to youth from some of New York
City's most underserved communities. It draws on the decades of
experience WCS has working with young adults as seasonal employees in
its four zoos and aquarium. WCS employs more than 1,000 seasonal
employees each year at its five facilities in New York City - Bronx Zoo,
New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo.
As the program readies to celebrate the graduation of its first-ever
class, the Pinkerton Foundation has joined this week as an additional
New York City's proportion of "disconnected" youth - young people who
are neither in school nor working - is the highest in the country,
according to the Community Service Society based in New York City.
Failure to graduate from high school severely diminishes employability.
Those young people without the skills to compete in the job market are
at a higher risk of unemployment and thus a higher risk of becoming
entangled in the criminal justice system. As employment experience can
reduce high school dropout rates and increase college matriculation, the
Future Leaders Program seeks to improve the lifetime earning potential
of participants and stimulate the economic cycle in the community.
The Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo is located in the 16th
Congressional District, where 49 percent of children are living below
the poverty line. The zoo is one of the largest employers of youth in
the Bronx, including more than 600 people between the ages of 16 and 24
working at the zoo on a seasonal basis each year.
"WCS takes its responsibility to the communities it serves very
seriously,” said Steve Sanderson, WCS President and CEO. "The zoos and
aquarium are one of the largest employers of youth in their communities.
By teaching the basics of what employers are looking for in an employee,
we are helping these young people take the first step to success and
The Future Leaders program seeks to help ensure disconnected youth are
not overlooked. WCS and Morgan Stanley's vision for the program is to
take a leadership role in promoting a stable community and a bright
economic future for all young people.
Said Audrey Choi, Head of Global Sustainable Finance at Morgan Stanley:
"Morgan Stanley is committed to stimulating job creation within our
community. We are very excited to continue our partnership with WCS in
support of the Future Leaders program. For young people looking for
career options amid challenging economic times, the Bronx Zoo offers a
chance to learn critical job skills and gain exposure to a wide range of
Participants in the current class of Future Leaders are putting their
new skills to the test as they interview for seasonal positions at WCS's
Bronx Zoo. These paid seasonal positions provide participants with wages
and stipends, and the opportunity to network with WCS staff in all areas
of the organization, building on the training they have already received
in areas such as critical thinking, teamwork, leadership and job
readiness. Future Leaders class members will explore careers in all
areas of WCS's operations, including customer service, hospitality,
sales, food service, office administration, facilities support,
community service and conservation.
Community partners include FEGS Health and Human Services System, Urban
Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation, Grace Dodge Career &
Technical High School, Good Shepherd Services, Wildcat Service
Corporation, a division of Fedcap Rehabilitation Services and
About the Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places
worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and
the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks,
led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change
attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans
living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is
essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit www.wcs.org.
About Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm
providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, investment
management and wealth management services. The Firm's employees serve
clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and
individuals from more than 1,300 offices in 43 countries. Since 2006,
Morgan Stanley has executed more than $5 billion in loans and
investments to strengthen underserved communities. For further
information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.