New York, NY   |


Connecting Students to Success In 1995, PENCIL was founded with the goal of raising awareness about public education by inviting civic and business leaders into New York City public schools. From those early days to our work today implementing hands-on, immersive programs that open eyes, open minds, and open doors, PENCIL realizes its mission “to connect students to success.” PENCIL makes it easy for business professionals, educators, and students to work together—in schools and the workplace.

Ruling year info



Mr. Gregg Betheil

Main address

30 West 26th Street 5th Floor

New York, NY 10010 USA

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NTEE code info

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (B12)

IRS filing requirement

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

New York City's thriving economy offers a world of opportunity to highly motivated students looking for college and career success. However, equal access to these opportunities is not available to all NYC public school students. PENCIL levels the playing field by connecting students to supplementary activities and role models that encourage college attainment as the first step on the road to a career, and equip students with habits and attitudes that increase future employability. Students from low-income communities have scarce access to networks of adult role models who have achieved financial stability and who, outside of work and family responsibilities, can dedicate time to guide and mentor students through academic challenges and career exploration. PENCIL addresses these challenges by connecting Business Partners who have succeeded in their careers, to students in need of professional role models.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

PENCIL School Partnership Program

PENCIL School Partnerships are created between teams of business volunteers and NYC public schools. Volunteers share their talents directly with students, offering students the opportunity to develop skills necessary for post-secondary achievement.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

PENCIL serves over 500 public school students (ages 16-22) annually through a competitive career readiness training program that culminates in a paid six-week summer internship at a company in New York City. Volunteers are a critical component of this program, serving as mentors, supervisors, and instructors.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

PENCIL is a non-profit connecting students to success by engaging a thriving network of business professionals and educators in tailored, hands-on programs that make a real difference. PENCIL matches talent to opportunity through innovative partnerships, internships, and programs that open minds, eyes, and doors. Since 1995, PENCIL has provided thousands of NYC's motivated youth with opportunities and experiences they so desperately need to excel in college and future careers. We know that to keep students in class, out of trouble and graduating from high school on time in greater numbers, they need access to role models and mentors that will enable them to chart their paths to success. PENCIL is passionate about equal opportunity for underserved students and we must help them achieve success beyond high school—in college and in their future careers. A strong educational foundation is critical to long-term success. A mere 37% of students are considered college-ready based on the city's own College Readiness Index, and a survey conducted by The Education Trust-New York showed only 42% of city parents believed the public schools were properly preparing students for success after high school.

PENCIL's programs harness the talents of volunteers to create college-going attitudes in the schools in which we work and to provide students with exposure to mentors and situations that develop hard and soft skills they can use for college and career attainment. The Brookings Institute underlines the effectiveness of PENCIL's initiatives in a report titled "Youth Summer Jobs Programs: Aligning Ends and Means," affirming that "in order to develop the sense of agency, identity, and competencies necessary for adult success, young people need positive activities, coupled with strong, supportive, and sustained relationships with adults."

Core Programs:
• The PENCIL School Partnership Program creates and supports partnerships between business and school leaders that leverage their collective energies to foster strong school leaders and prepare students for college and career success. PENCIL serves as a critical liaison in these partnerships, helping to recruit and match businesses with schools and providing hands-on support in the design, implementation, and evaluation of partnership activities.
• PENCIL's Internship Program provides over 500 students with a paid, immersive summer work experience with one-on-one mentoring. The program has continued to expand, growing by more than 150% since 2015.
• PENCIL Points of Engagement offers corporate employees engagement opportunities via student-centered volunteer events that directly impact New York City public schools.

PENCIL's core programs ensure that school and Business Partners work together to provide critical support to New York City Public School students by: (1) Increasing student awareness of college and career options through workplace experiences and exposure to business professionals, (2) Aiding students in planning for post-secondary success through career mapping and college access, and (3) Building students hard and soft skills that are critical for success in college and the workforce

PENCIL School Partnerships Program creates and support ongoing relationships between Business Partners, school staff, and students to foster strong school leaders and prepare students for college and career success. PENCIL Program staff coordinate and guide school year sessions that are led by Business Partner employee volunteer teams, and include programming geared towards building student skill sets they can apply for future success. PENCIL seeks to inspire students to make connections between career opportunities and core academic subjects, encouraging the pursuit of post-secondary education as a path to a rewarding career. In 2016-2017 school year, the program served more than 1,000 students at 69 different schools, leveraging the expertise of volunteers from 47 different businesses.

PENCIL Points of Engagement are short term events that provide groups of Business Partner employee volunteers, large and small, with high impact one-day engagement opportunities to connect with New York City public schools and students. Created in response to the need for meaningful days of volunteerism involving NYC youth, PENCIL Points of Engagement utilize PENCIL's portfolio of college and career readiness curricula and are tailored to address both school needs and company volunteer objectives. In only its second year in the 2016-2017 school year, the program served more than 800 students and engaged some 279 volunteers across 14 different events.

The PENCIL Internship Program moves career preparedness out of the realm of abstraction, allowing students to gain familiarity with the working world. As a part of the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development's Ladders for Leaders Program, PENCIL serves over 500 public school students (age 16-22) annually. Accepted students are required to attend at least 20 hours of pre-employment training facilitated by PENCIL staff and employee volunteers to learn essential career-readiness skills including financial literacy, office technology, networking and personal branding, interview best practices, and workplace etiquette. PENCIL then matches students to available summer positions at NYC businesses recruited from a variety of industries. In the 2016-2017 school year, PENCIL trained more than 1,000 students in critical areas of college and career readiness and placed more than 539 students in paid internships.

PENCIL's mission is achieved by connecting schools to Business Partners to leverage the resources of the private sector and provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in future workforce experiences. The core of PENCIL's programs focus on college and career readiness and are designed to provide a continuum of college and work-based learning experiences. In the 2016-17 school year PENCIL served more than 2,500 students and engaged employee volunteers from 275 companies through 69 school partnerships and 539 internship placements. Since 1995, PENCIL has a history of success in making meaningful connections for New York City Public School's high-need and high-potential students.

PENCIL's programs reflect a population as diverse as the New York City public schools. In the 2016 fiscal year PENCIL served over 2,500 students representing the following demographics: 31% African American or Black, 22% Asian and Pacific American Islander, 32% Hispanic or Latino, 9% White, 7% other or unreported, 56% Female and 44% Male. PENCIL's programming impacts students at different points along their educational path, providing supports that guide students successfully to professional careers. In the 2015-16 school year, PENCIL School Partnerships were active in public schools across all five boroughs of New York City: 28% elementary schools, 21% junior high schools, and 50% high schools. The PENCIL Internship Program serves New York City youth enrolled in high school and college, ages 16-22. The program primarily serves high school students, with 60% of enrolled students high school juniors and seniors nearing the end of their secondary education, and ready to make decisions about next steps for their futures.

The majority of students served by PENCIL share a designation of "high need" and "high potential", which PENCIL defines as students from low-income communities who are on the path to reaching college and career goals, but are in need of extra supports along the way. Almost 80% of NYC public school students come from low-income families, and this percentage is reflected in PENCIL's student network. Overall, 86% of PENCIL's School Partnership program participants are low to moderate income, defined as students eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch, a key indicator of poverty. 60% of students enrolled in the PENCIL Internship Program reside in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) housing, receive public assistance, or reported family income below the New York State poverty line.

Strategically: The 2016-2017 school year was focused on growth for PENCIL and we began the hard work of strategically laying a foundation for our vision of the future. We saw continued development across our Internship Program, working to prepare and place thousands of New York City students in opportunities we know to be life changing, and we were encouraged by an increase in motivated Business Partners across our models of engagement.

Next year we'll continue to honor our legacy with a dedicated campaign around “Sharing Our Stories Together", a reflective look back on PENCIL history, highlighting the personal narratives behind our impact and throughout the organization's 20+ years. We've also seen a renewed need to relaunch PENCIL's historic event, Principal for a Day that introduces business partners to present school needs. First started by PENCIL in 1995, this remains a core opportunity for effectively growing promising partnerships and encouraging new business involvement in PENCIL's programs to unlock the potential of New York City youth in this emerging ecosystem.

PENCIL will continue to proactively evolve, modernize and adapt our programs. With the help of technology we're exploring the potential of a new platform that will ensure our programs will be able to grow to scale and serve a larger network than has been possible thus far, putting more students on the path to success. To this end, PENCIL will further define our core engagement plan for employee volunteers to best leverage both individuals and groups.

Our work is as critical as ever and as we look ahead, we'll remain focused on ways to accelerate PENCIL's impact and to allow Business Partners, employee volunteers, schools, and students to connect in order to begin the challenging, but rewarding, work so needed across our city.

Programmatically: Having experienced tremendous growth in student impact over the last two years –173% growth in the Internship Program alone – PENCIL will focus on maintaining current levels of student impact while further refining content.

The PENCIL School Partnership Program: PENCIL aims to have 80 School Partnerships during the 2017-18 school year, working in both student facing and school leadership focused partnerships to increase opportunities for students.

PENCIL Points of Engagement: PENCIL aims to host a series of 15 or more PENCIL Points of Engagement to further engage volunteers in our work, impact students, and build understanding of school needs.

The PENCIL Internship Program: PENCIL will work to renew our partnership with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development's Ladders for Leaders Program to continue our work at scale, providing over 500 students annually with paid summer internships and more than 1,000 with the career readiness training to succeed in the workplace.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 10/22/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Christopher B. Hayward

GoldenTree Asset Management, LP

Term: 2020 - 2022

Christopher B. Hayward

Highbridge Capital Management

E. Scott Beattie


Lewis Warren, Jr.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Howard Chatzinoff

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Susan Cosgrove


John Fosina

York Capital

Lew Leone

Fox 5/My9

Abbe Raven


Mitchell Roschelle


Jason Silvers

Goldman Sachs

Shael Polakow-Suransky

Bank Street College for Education

Bernard Tubiana

Deloitte Consulting

Michael Maslansky

Maslansky + Partners

Debbie Kenyon

L+M Development Partners

Stuart Ruderfer

Civic Entertainment Group

Gerd Alexander

Paul Hastings LLP

Nicole Degnan

JP Morgan Chase & Co

Sócrates Jiménez

Hamilton Partners

Joanna Lambert

Verizon Media

Cindy Ma

Houlihan Lokey

Ron Rudzin


Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/22/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data