UPDATE!!! Please visit our 2015 campaign here:
Exciting News! A very generous donation from an anonymous family foundation has made a Challenge Grant of $150,000. Your gift is important to helping us meet the challenge and send our students to college.
Every donation will be effectively doubled!
Help Publicolor fight poverty
Our students come from the poorest and most under-served areas in New York City. They do not have access to the same information and resources as their more privileged peers. Once these students become disengaged their chance for success diminishes exponentially and their entire future is put at risk.
Publicolor recognizes that almost all students need to take out loans. However, as an organization we endeavor to limit the size of our students' loans so that they can be free of a life-long burden of overwhelming debt. As young men and women struggling to break out of the cycle of poverty, they face unique challenges in repaying their education that people in more fortunate circumstances do not.
The New York Times found that “Americans with four-year college degrees made 98% more on average in 2013 than people without a degree. Thus, the true cost of a college degree is about negative $500,000.”
Transforming a space
Who we are
Publicolor fights poverty by creatively addressing our alarming dropout rate and empowering at-risk students to plan and prepare for college and a career. We do this through a continuum of design-based programs, commercial painting and academic support.
Our students transform consistently low-performing schools from drab, prison-like environments into warm, welcoming spaces that foster learning and creativity and underscore the importance of education. We have transformed over 160 schools and 190 community centers to date.
Through our programs we strive to pull kids from the grips of poverty and get them into higher education so that they may realize their potential and become the fulfilled, productive members of society we know they’re capable of being. We believe that investment in educational and youth development programs yields a far greater return than the cost of students dropping out.
Javier figuring out a design
Who they are
Each year 40% of New York City students drop out before graduating high school, 47% make it to college, and only 35% stay in college.
Our students have defied those odds. 100% of them stayed in school, 89% of them are accepted into higher education programs, and the college persistence rate is 92%. However, they still face the challenge of closing the gap between their financial aid and tuition costs in order to pay for school. That's where you come in.
There is a roughly $5,000 tuition shortfall for each of our 100 students who have been accepted into higher education programs. This represents the amount not covered by their financial aid and the part-time jobs they take to defray costs. Without this scholarship money, many of them will not be able to attend college.
Working with a volunteer
So what if they don't go to college?
Without a college education, our students will earn roughly half as much as those who have earned a degree. The New York Times recently reported a dearth of jobs for those who only have a high school diploma. This significantly reduces their chance of breaking free from the cycle of poverty that robs them of their health, wellness and self-worth.
And not making it to college doesn't affect them alone. We end up with less skilled, less productive workers in our society while crime, health and lost opportunity costs rise. As a democracy we cannot afford greater inequality.
How you can help
A $25,000 donation closes the gap between financial aid and total tuition for one student while achieving a bachelor's degree.
A $10,000 donation covers the gap between financial aid and total tuition, board and books for two students, for one year.
A $7,500 donation covers two years of community college education.
A $5,000 donation covers the gap between financial aid and total tuition, board and books for one student, for one year.
A $1,000 donation helps a student travel to classes in New York City for one year. (Yes! That’s how much Metrocards are!)
A $500 donation helps a student cover the cost of required textbooks for one year.
A $250 donation helps a student cover the cost of general supplies for one year.
With your help, many of these students will be able to attend college. Every dollar donated will help get these students closer to realizing their dreams. Please don’t let them waste their abundant potential.
On a campus tour
We are proud to share a list of where they've been accepted
Alfred University, Baruch College CUNY, Binghamton University SUNY, Borough of Manhattan Community College CUNY, Caznovia College, City College CUNY, City Tech CUNY, Cobleskill College SUNY, College of Saint Rose, College of Staten Island CUNY, Delhi College SUNY, Dowling College, Hofstra, John Jay University CUNY, Kingsborough Community College CUNY, Long Island University CW Post, NYIT, Queens College CUNY, St. John’s University, SUNY Canton, SUNY Farmingdale, SUNY Stony Brook, University of Bridgeport, University at Buffalo SUNY, University of Vermont, York College CUNY, among others.
Before and after Publicolor
We begin working with students at age 12, fostering their learning through different programs that support them through their college years and beyond. Publicolor is effective because we’re a long-term intervention and become a second family to our students.
Paint Club is where it all begins. Participants transform their own schools and nearby community facilities by painting them with vibrant colors that they’ve selected under our aegis.
COLOR Club is made up of select students who have gone through Paint Club. COLOR Club is an apprenticeship program designed to help students envision, plan, and prepare for their future with weekly tutoring sessions, career and life-skills workshops, and Saturday painting.
Next Steps is our college and career preparatory program for high school juniors and seniors, college students, as well as students who are transitioning to college or post-secondary options.
Fresh Coat is made up of select Next Steps graduates who become part of a semi-professional painting crew, offering job training that enhances work-readiness. They paint museum and gallery spaces, not-for-profit offices, and local health clinics.
Paint Club+ is our program for over-age unaccredited students who learn the marketable skill of commercial painting, crucial work habits, and a credit-bearing, science-based curriculum. Participants focus on white-coating school playgrounds that they embed with brightly colored math and science-based graphics so children can learn while they play.
Summer Design Studio is a seven-week literacy and math immersion program that we teach through the scaffold of product design. We deliberately hold this work/study program on Pratt Institute’s campus so our students can experience the reality of college. Afternoons are devoted to transforming city-owned shelters. Summer Design Studio is an effective antidote to summer learning loss.
Publicolor is proud of its partnership with NYC's Department of Education since 1997.
Eager to learn
What people have to say about Publicolor
"Thank you for transforming three bland buildings into creative centers of learning for children. Our children own this space ... and our scores have soared due to an environment conducive to learning"
—Alan D. Cohen, Principal The New Vision School, P.S. 69
“Because of you, thousands of school children as well as all New Yorkers have more color in their lives and as a true believer in Publicolor, let me thank you!”
—Michael R. Bloomberg, 108th Mayor of New York City
I was in Harlem today observing a classroom, and as soon as I walked in and saw the vibrant palette and taped off walls, I knew Publicolor was making its mark yet again! The rooms were beautiful! Being in the school for the entire day, the blues and greens definitely helped keep my attention. Thank you again for being such an inspiration. You opened my eyes, and for that I'm forever grateful.
—Dusty Childers, NYC Teaching Fellow
The face of our future
Show off your support with some of our campaign perks! You could be wearing a t-shirt, sleeping on a one-of-a-kind designer pillow or having dinner with Simon Doonan (yes, THE Simon Doonan!) in no time. We know you're not donating for the schwag, but it doesn't hurt, right?
T-shirts, totes and more
One-of-a-kind totes and pillows
How you can get your Indiegogo on
Contribute today! Give to the fullest extent that you can. Go beyond "giving back". Invest in our youth, today and tomorrow.
Make some noise! Ask your family, friends, and co-workers to help spread the word about Publicolor on Indiegogo with the easy-to-use share tools above.
We are so proud of our students, but we need your help getting them the education that they have worked so hard to earn. Even a $10 donation will get them closer to the school and life that they've been fighting for, so please share this with your friends and colleagues. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!