Riis Academy provides college access, health, sports, and arts activities to young people drawn mostly most nearby public housing developments in Queens. Riis has had difficulty retaining its most hard-to-reach participants: 16–24 year olds who are disconnected from school and work. These youth are not on track for on-time high-school completion, or they have dropped out of high school and are unemployed. Jacob Riis proposes to reach out to older youth and provide more targeted services that will help them graduate high school or achieve its equivalency. Once the participants have graduated high school, Riis will help them pursue post-secondary education or find jobs. Intensive individualized case management along with GED/SAT prep, academic tutoring, college access workshops, job counseling and job shadowing will be some of the activities offered in this new track.
This grant will allow the Jacob Riis Settlement House to increase participant retention in its Riis Academy program.