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Black Tie International:
Futures and Options' 5th Annual Dream Big Gala
Robert “Steve” Miller, Djassi Julien and  Kayla Mackie

Robert “Steve” Miller, Djassi Julien and  Kayla Mackie


Robert “Steve” Miller honored at Futures and Options’
fifth annual Dream Big gala


Djassi Julien from the High School for Math, Science and Engineering Harlem and Kayla Mackie from Millennium High School in Lower Manhattan also Awarded Scholarships



New York, NY (October 27, 2015) – Robert “Steve” Miller, President and CEO of International Automotive Components (IAC) Group, received the Dream Big Award from Futures and Options at its fifth annual “Dream Big – A Celebration of Opportunity” event held at the Plaza Hotel yesterday.

Futures and Options is a non-profit organization that provides underserved New York City students with career readiness training, professional mentors, and paid internship opportunities. Djassi Julien from the High School for Math, Science and Engineering in Harlem and Kayla Mackie from Millennium High School in Lower Manhattan were awarded scholarships at Dream Big, which r raised over $725,000 to support Futures and Options’ programs.

“The investment in young people’s professional development and experiences, is a cause with an infinite future,” said Dream Big honoree, Steve Miller. “When businesses support and partner with Futures and Options they help build a stronger and more diverse work force. This is an organization that teaches students confidence through hard work and opens up the business world to a special talent pool.”


Miller joins a distinguished group of business leaders who have received The Dream Award for going above and beyond in helping students develop professional skills and achieve their career goals. Past award recipients include representatives of: Goldman Sachs, Evercore Partners Restructuring and Debt Advisory Group, AlixPartners LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, The Municipal Forum of New York, New York Tech Meetup and Personal Democracy Media, Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., L.L.C., and the NYC Office of the Public Advocate and The Fund for Public Advocacy.

“We are so very proud of all of our students, who are motivated and determined to achieve their goals,” said Executive Director Patty Machir. “The value of early work experience is immeasurable, and when businesses partner with Futures and Options to provide opportunities for young people, everyone truly benefits.”

At its heart, the event is a celebration and recognition of Futures and Options students. Each year, the organization awards college scholarships to high school seniors through a competitive application and selection process. This year, the Barbara L. Christen College Scholarship, named in honor of the organization’s founder, was awarded to Djassi Julien from the High School for Math, Science and Engineering. “It’s important to me that everyone have access to computer science,” says Julien, who started an organization called Young Hackers and hopes to work in Silicon Valley as a Front End Web Developer.

The IPG Mediabrands Scholarship and Internship, sponsored by IPG Mediabrands for students interested in careers in media and advertising, was awarded to Kayla Mackie from Millennium High School. Mackie’s dream is, “to obtain a degree in communications and work in a position that will reach those who may be unreachable, connect the disconnected, and encourage those who are discouraged.”


Since 1995, Futures and Options has empowered New York City's underserved youth to explore careers through career development and paid, mentored internships. Futures and Options reaches out to teens at a formative time of their lives, guiding them to further their education and become contributing citizens. Our model program enables New York's underserved youth to gain much-needed access to the economic mainstream, work-readiness training and support from caring adults. At the same time, private and nonprofit businesses are connected to a pipeline of promising, motivated and diverse young people. Since its inception, Futures and Options has served over 5,000 New York City youth, and partnered with over 500 businesses. In 2015, 98% of Futures and Options students graduated from high school on time vs. 66% of NYC public school students; and 93% of Futures and Options students were college bound. 99% of supervisors said they would hire an intern again through Futures and Options.


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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