The foundation provided support in 2015 and 2016 to NYC SALT, an “arts-hook” program that offers high-end photography instruction plus college preparation and mentoring. NYC SALT’s four-year studio program exposes students to high levels of the photography industry while building college readiness skills through an intensive studio program. The program has three components: weekly classes in digital photography offered at advanced levels and taught by industry professionals; intensive college preparation instruction and long-term college success and career mentoring; and career exposure, readiness, and connection to internships and employment. Since its first graduating class in 2011, 100 percent of studio program high school seniors have graduated college-ready and enrolled in college, 100 percent of the first cohort of college seniors graduated from college on time in four years, and 84 percent of current college students are on track to graduate on time.
The foundation’s 2016 grant enabled NYC SALT to continue strengthening its college preparation programming and to serve more students by creating a college curriculum for each high school grade, including a set of milestones to map a pathway to college readiness, a week-long summer college preparation workshop for rising seniors, a formal SAT prep provider partnership, and increased school and community-based organization partnerships to grow the pipeline for the intensive studio program.