ICFNY’s College Readiness Initiative (CRI) is a free, comprehensive and engaging college preparatory program that serves students from low-income neighborhoods in New York City, beginning in central Brooklyn. The program is dedicated to empowering this group of students through exposure to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education and careers. Our purpose is to introduce them to STEM education and also encourage the students to take courses in these subjects while in high school as preparation to succeed in college and in their careers. Additionally, we aim to have underserved students attend college, graduate, and become a part of the global society.

CRI supports middle-school students and will continue to engage the students through college.

The program is built around an intensive eight-ten week enrichment curriculum that is offered in the fall and spring academic-year semesters and in the summer. New groups of students are enrolled each semester.

Our first school partnership for CRI commenced in spring 2015 at Middle School (MS) 35 in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn with middle-schoolers from Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Brownsville and East New York communities of the Borough. Our original, eager students received comprehensive learning in English composition, math, science, and chess.

During the spring of 2018, ICFNY launched an exciting and comprehensive robotics program at MS 35 that will help improve student achievement and introduce them to coding.

The initial stage of our robotics initiative is affiliated with Sphero’s SPRK (Schools, Parents, Robots, Kids) program.

Sphero is simply an educational robot that the students build then code. It introduces the students to the first step into computer programming. The Sphero rolling robot also helps students learn different branches of mathematics (such as geometry), science and the arts.

Along with robotics initiatives, future CRI programming (for 8th – 12th graders) will consist of:

  • The College Board’s RediStep Test (test will help students prepare for the PSAT)
  • SAT Skills Insight (individualized education program for each student)
  • High School Preparation
  • YouCanGo!™ (A College Board college planning program)
  • STEAM Talk (STEM + Arts = STEAM – invited guests will discuss with students the importance of a STEAM education)
  • Botball® Robotics program
  • Preliminary PSAT and SAT Tests
  • “Why Go To College” sessions
  • College Tours (beginning with 8th graders)
  • Summer Employment Opportunities

CRI was established to help youth embrace the STEM fields and do so with confidence. It is our goal to develop strong self-awareness in youths from low-income families who have an interest in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math. These disciplines are an interest among many kids, including at-risk youth. Thus, ICFNY believes that we have an opportunity to inspire and transform many young lives so that every underserved kid in New York City truly succeeds in education and in life.