Manhattan (December 12, 2012)
On Wednesday, December 12, State Farm presented the W!SE Institute with a $10,000 grant in the library at the High School of Economics and Finance in lower Manhattan. Agent Julie De Rossi presented the grant to Seniors Dayana Alvarado and Gramercy Bonilla; Juniors Michelle Chen, Chevaughan Dyer, Nina Huang and Sandeep Singh; Phyllis Frankfort, President & CEO of W!SE; and David Anderson, Executive Vice President, W!SE. New York City Councilwoman Margaret Chin was also in on hand for the check presentation.
The W!SE Institute is the only educational program of its type in New York City and has been a standard bearer in experiential learning since 1993. The Institute offers more than 100 seminars at the high school on a variety of relevant, interesting and thought provoking topics throughout the school year as an integrated part of the school curriculum. The grant awarded by State Farm will continue to fund seminars on finance and personal finance, including the popular "Risky Business" seminar on insurance and careers in insurance, presented by volunteer executives from State Farm agencies.
After the check presentation, the students, W!SE staff, Councilwoman Chin and State Farm Public Affairs representatives spoke more about the W!SE program and the students' experiences over lunch.
Phyllis Frankfort gave an overview of the seminar program. "The seminars are really to serve the students, teach them skills and provide them with opportunities that they might not otherwise have," she said.
Councilwoman Chin asked the students to describe their working experiences in their unpaid internships and community service, both of which are required for all students in the W!SE Institute.
"Both my unpaid internship and community service provided real work experience," said junior Chevaughan Dyer. "I was really treated like an adult and I was given the opportunity to handle problems and work through processes to figure things out."
Michelle Chen, also a junior, worked in State Farm agent Julie De Rossi's lower Manhattan office for her unpaid internship echoed Chevaughn. "I had a really positive working experience in Julie's office. I was treated like an adult and real working professional."
Seniors Dayana Alvarado and Gramercy Bonilla both spoke to the opportunities the W!SE Institute offered them, including a summer study abroad program, and their excitement about applying and being accepted to college.
At the end of the lunch, Councilwoman Chin thanked W!SE for the important work they are doing in the school, State Farm for supporting the Institute's programs, and wished all of the students luck with their future endeavors.
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.