Queens has one of the most buzzed about real estate markets in the United States. But, last week, Jon Gray, Blackstone’s Global Head Real Estate, and his wife, Mindy, were there for a different reason.
Mindy and Jon, who co-founded the Gray Foundation, joined officials from Mayor de Blasio’s Administration – including Commissioner Julie Menin, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery, and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña – to launch a new program that will help and encourage thousands of lower-income New York City public school students to save for college.
With $10 million in seed funding from the Gray Foundation, School District 30 in Queens – encompassing Astoria, Ditmars, East Elmhurst, Hunter’s Point, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Sunnyside, and Woodside – will launch the NYC’s Child Savings Account pilot program through a newly formed non-profit, NYC Kids RISE.
Schools Chancellor Farina, Jon & Mindy Gray, Deputy Mayor Buery
As part of this pilot program, approximately 3,500 kindergarteners in School District 30 will each have $100 allocated to them in scholarship accounts in fall 2017, plus up to an additional $200 in matching funds during the program’s first three years. A total of approximately 10,000 children will be part of the initiative during the three-year period. There will be no cost to participate in the program, and every kindergarten student enrolled in public schools in that district will be automatically enrolled in the program starting in the fall.
Jon Gray, Mindy Gray, Commissioner Julie Menin, and United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew Meet Pre-K Students in Queens
Pending a successful pilot program, this initiative’s goal will be to expand and provide a universal scholarship account to every child in the New York City public school system.
“Mindy and I believe that all children should have the opportunity to reach their highest potential. We are excited to partner with the City of New York
to pilot this impactful program in District 30 in Queens. NYC Kids RISE will help public school students plan and save for higher education
at an early age, improve financial literacy, and expand the benefits from long-term investing to all families." Jon Gray, co-Founder of the Gray Foundation
To learn more about this new program, please visit, link. To view a story Fox5 in New York City aired about this announcement, please visit, link.