SCIP Celebrates Two Decades of Enlightening, Employing and Empowering.
Battery, N.Y — The Selective Corporate Internship Program (SCIP), a youth career development initiative, celebrated its 20th year anniversary this past Monday at Battery Gardens Restaurant. The organization provides high school and college students from underserved neighborhoods in NYC and New Jersey with first-hand opportunities to learn about the business world through mentorship, internship, and development. The founders, Monica and Miguel Mancebo who were both executives prior to leaving their positions in 1993, decided to use their experience and resources to equip promising students who otherwise might not have had access to the tools necessary to build their careers. Mr. Mancebo spoke about the life expectancy of corporate America. “You’re in there before it’s time for you to depart gracefully, so before we got to that juncture of having to be told to leave, we felt we were seasoned enough to be able to take that knowledge and transfer it into a business of our own.” Mrs. Mancebo says she knows that it is important to be ready for corporate America and feels that she and her husband have the know-how. “We have an opportunity to break barriers for them…to train them to be ready, to seize the moment.” Included in training, is golf and tennis instruction. Andres Gutierrez, an Associate at White Wolf Capital, and recipient of SCIP’s Advocate of the Year award, has volunteered with its high school Young Leader’s golf training. He’s also helped organize college events and serves as a member on SCIP’s MBA Steering Committee, a graduate-focused curriculm which bridges growing corporate demands with skilled and diverse talent.
During the gala, appropriately named “An Evening with the Stars”, several students from SCIP’s internship program were recognized by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) an organization that rewards students for academic excellence. Nicole Lee, a student at one of NYC’s highest ranking high schools, Staten Island Technical, was a recipient of an award. Lee says she wanted to join SCIP to expand on her public speaking skills and interact with people more confidently. “I’ve gotten to talk to more people and it’s something I’m not usually comfortable with. I’ve broadened my horizons.” The students were not the only ones excited about their future. Parents looked on with admiration at their children who were thriving before their eyes. Zina Burton-Myrick who works for the United Federation of Teachers which partners with SCIP in preparing students for the program, has a daughter who was a participant. Myrick says that these are life-long lessons. “As much as we try as parents to give our children this, we can’t. They meet executives and CEO’s and it’s priceless, but most importantly they’re getting that mentorship that they need outside of their families.” Antuan Santana, from Microsoft Corporation, spoke about the opportunities available to fill the skills gap and bolster access during his acceptance speech for SCIP’s Partnership of the Year award. To aid in providing that opportunity, Microsoft is hosting SCIP’s Executive Summer Leadership Internship program.
SCIP partners with many individuals and organizations who share their values in unlocking the potential of youngsters who ordinarily are not given an equal chance at success. They understand that it is not that these students aren’t intellectually equipped, but that they lack the training and resources to put their gifts to use. Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson best known for her roles as “Tasha Mack” on The Game and “Regina Grier” on The Steve Harvey Show was awarded SCIP’s Humanitarian of the Year award. Her foundation, Amazing Grace Conservatory, similarly embodies SCIP’s vision for development as it provides opportunities for at risk youth in Los Angeles, California to build their skills through artistic expression. Robinson notes that the common denominator between SCIP and AGC is education. “I have so many young people that have been accepted to so many colleges and when they’re determining what school they want to go to, it’s based on money, or not having the access to know that there are people and programs out there that you can go to and get a full ride…the more information we can pass on to our young people the better.” Bryan Roberts, a partner at New York Life Insurance’s Greater N.Y office and youth baseball coach, has been recognized by SCIP as this year’s Emerging Leader. He says it was always nice to have a mentor who could teach him what they’ve done when he was growing up and acknowledges that quality in SCIP. “I like the fact that they have a stream-line process of helping students whether in high school or college, get them in front of individuals whom can give them great advice…and give students an opportunity to shed that shyness.” Several other big names in the corporate world were also present at the gala: J.P Morgan, Thomson Rueters, Bank of New York Mellon, Univision, Latino Networks Coalition (LNC) and Colgate, to name a few. Clarins Fragrance Group also donated special gifts bags for each guest.
SCIP’s legacy will no doubt change the future of diversity in the corporate workplace as it endeavors to replace student’s lack of experience with the skills that today’s corporations are looking for. 84% of SCIP’s Young Leaders are minorities with 33% being African American and 41% being Latino. 92% of their students go on to pursue a higher education and 65% of college graduates who participate in the program go on to work within corporate industries. Dr. Frank Sanchez, President of Rhode Island College who has received SCIP’s recognition for Leadership of the Year, emphasizes the importance of serving low-income and first-generation students. “If you can help a hungry, determined, motivated, student who may be the first from their family to go to college or maybe come from modest means and help them succeed and get that degree, then the generations after them have a high likelihood of succeeding as well.” Sanchez has served on a number of boards that seek to reduce the high school drop-out rate and increase the number of students receiving college degrees. Disadvantaged youth are often unable to see the possibilities available to them without those who have found their place in the world using their platforms as a way to provide that vision. Alexandria Dass a current intern with the program says she wants to take outreach a step further by working to improve stronger social media interaction and a more direct presence on high school and college campuses. “We recruit, but it would be cool to be on campus too…hosting events.” SCIP continues its work of investing into the lives of young people as it pursues the call to enlighten, employ and empower.