Student scholarship winners and finalists at Dream Big gala

Dream Big Scholarships

Futures and Options awards two college scholarships each year as part of our Dream Big celebration:

The Barbara L. Christen Scholarship, named for Dr. Barbara L. Christen, the founding principal of Murry Bergtraum High School, who established Futures and Options in 1995 in order to provide professional internships and work readiness training for New York City high school students.

The Patricia S. Machir Scholarship, in honor of Patricia S. Machir, Executive Director of Futures and Options from 2007 to 2021, whose vision, leadership and commitment to higher education helped to bring career development opportunities to thousands of New York City high school students.

Barbara L. Christen, founder of Futures and Options
Dr. Barbara Christen and Angel Contrera, Futures and Options Summer 2008 Internship Program.
Patricia S. Machir, former Futures and Options Executive Director
Patricia Machir, Futures and Options Executive Director 2007-2021.

Many students feel despair at the idea of not being able to afford a college education, so it feels incredible knowing there are always these support networks available to help kids with their academic endeavors. Futures and Options has not only helped me afford my college education, but also provided me and many other students with transformative career development opportunities.

– Nicole Rodriquez, 2022 Patricia S. Machir Scholar


  • Prospective applicants must have completed a Futures and Options program (e.g., The Internship Program, Career Essentials, The Externship Experience, Futures Academy, or one of our school-based programs) and demonstrate the need for financial assistance to attend college
  • Applicants must have a high school cumulative GPA of 85% or higher as of June 2023
  • Will attend a four year college in the fall of 2024
  • Be available to attend Futures and Options’ annual gala, Dream Big – A Celebration of Opportunity, which will be held at The Plaza Hotel on October 19, 2023.

The application for the 2023 Dream Big Scholarships will open during the summer of 2023.  Please check back for more information.

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Contact Sam Kahn, our Alumni Engagement Manager, with any questions at or call (212) 601-0002.