Future Now

Celebrating Over 20 Years of Service to Community Youth and Their Families



FUTURE NOW Program

Gould Residence Hall
5th Floor
2155 University Avenue
Bronx, New York 10453

The mission of Future Now at Bronx Community is to provide educational empowerment for out-of-school and/or formerly incarcerated youths by assisting them with:

  1. attainment of high school credentials
  2. transition into post-secondary education;
  3. graduation in a timely manner with a college degree.

The program's purpose is to ensure that all current students become self-sufficient leaders, who in turn, will become powerful role models for the next cohort of students, and positive contributors to themselves, their families and their communities.

About Us

Future Now works with young adults, ages 16-24. All FUTURE NOW services are free of charge. The program offers: HSE and Pre- HSE (High School Equivalency) classes; Tutoring Classes; College-Preparation Classes; Internship Placements; Vocational Training Placement. These classes are a great opportunity for students to move ahead in their education, explore their abilities and plan their future careers.

Future Now invests in every student's academic journey from obtaining their HSE diploma through college. The program offers free college enrollment and ongoing support upon completion of the TASC exam. Services include college preparatory classes, peer mentoring, internships and individual tutoring through the Robin Hood Foundation, IMPACT, Burberry, and Eckerd (formerly Henkels & McCoy). Students are provided with the necessary support to succeed at every step!

CUNY BMI The City University of New York Black Male Initiative
The Pinkerton Foundation
Pathways to Graduation. Preparing for high school equivalency and beyond.
New York City Department of Youth and Community Development
Robinhood targeting poverty in New York City
 

Future Now students and faculty

Future Now was founded in 1998 on the campus of Bronx Community College to promote the educational and vocational development of young adults residing in the Bronx. The program offers free HSE and vocational training classes, student counseling and career exploration, along with college preparation and enrollment services to students ages 16 to 24. Most students are engaged in classes and other activities 25 hours a week. This level of intensity allows students to see progress relatively quickly, which helps motivate them to persist in their studies.

Future Now enrolls nearly 500 students annually. About 42% of them have been involved in the court system, reflecting the program's founding mission and on-going recruitment efforts on Rikers Island. Approximately 700 Future Now graduates are currently in college. When the program began, its founding director, Elizabeth Payamps, hired several college students from Bronx Community College to serve as tutors and peer mentors. They helped the HSE students with homework and filling out college applications, and even called them when they were absent from class. Payamps and her lone staff member, Mark Bodrick, provided basic orientation and supervision.

While Future Now achieved striking success in helping its students earn their HSE Payamps grew concerned that so few HSE graduates were succeeding in college. In 2006, a Bronx Community College admissions officer suggested that Future Now form a student club where its graduates could offer each other support and encouragement to complete college. At the same time, several alumni led by Hipolito Rosario and William Ruiz approached Payamps, wanting to do something together to address the same issue. Payamps assigned a new member of her staff with a social work background to work with the students to establish Club IMPACT (Improving My Performance At College Today). The club asked all HS students to join and kept in close contact with IMPACT as they transitioned into college. A number of the club's more active members, with the support of the Future Now staff, became peer mentors.

The potential of peer mentors soon became apparent to Payamps and her team when Hipolito Rosario took over a college prep class from a paid instructor and got significantly better results with the students (all 12 of them went on to graduate from Bronx Community College). With the early success of Club IMPACT encouraging the Future Now staff, Payamps and Bronx Community College administrator David Hernandez approached the Robin Hood Foundation to seek support to formalize and expand the PM component. Future Now was awarded the grant and initiated an enhanced PM program in 2007. Within a few years, as the success of peer mentoring grew, the Future Now program became known to many (including Payamps) as Future Now/IMPACT ("FN/IMPACT").

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