NEW YORK, June 25, 2018 – Today, the 4A’s, the leading trade organization for marketing communication agencies, celebrates the first-ever graduating class from its Manhattan Early College School for Advertising (MECA) high school program. Launched in 2014 through a partnership between the City University of New York and the 4A’s, MECA is the first P-Tech high school of its kind in the U.S., giving its students access to explore careers in Advertising, Media and Creative Technology, and offering students a free Associates Degree upon completion of the program.
MECA’s class of 2018 boasts a 96 percent graduation rate, New York City’s 2017 74.3 percent average and making it the city’s highest on record. This year’s students will head to colleges including NYU, Middlebury, Fordham University, University of Virginia and University of Buffalo in the fall.
Three-fifths of MECA’s class of 2018 will graduate with 15 or more college credits, with seniors having spent their time taking up to three college classes at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).
“I’ve spent my whole career in public education, and I truly love being a teacher,” said Dr. Matthew Tossman, principal of MECA. “I am proud that the school I had the opportunity to start with the Department of Education and the 4A’s is sending its first group of young adults out into the world, armed with exposure to college curriculum and experience in the advertising and media industries, which we see as areas with ripe career opportunities. Our promise to students is that they will be ready for the next step, and I really feel that the sky’s the limit for these graduates.”
Chris Weil, chairman of the 4A’s High School Initiatives, added, “Schools like MECA are going to be the starting points for the next generation of advertising greats. As we prepare to welcome a new generation to the workforce, it’s programs like this that keep the advertising and media industries top of mind for emerging talent.”
Al Benoit, director of education partnerships—talent engagement and inclusion at the 4A’s, commented, “For the 4A’s, MECA is just one of our first touchpoints with young multicultural talent. Our hope is that we can continue to help these high school students’ career path into the industry with programs like MAIP, which helps place college students into paid advertising internships. We are deeply committed to the development and success of these young leaders because they are—in every way—the future of our industry.”
In addition to media studies, MECA offers its students dedicated SAT and college application support, and courses on financial aid and financial literacy. MECA students also participate in intern and mentorship programs at 4A’s member agencies and have access to industry-funded scholarships.
The MECA program is supported by the 4A’s Foundation, which—driven by the belief that possibilities are endless for everyone given the right access and exposure—exists to connect the industry to talent for today and tomorrow.
About the 4A’s
Founded in 1917, the 4A’s was established to promote, advance and defend the interests of our member agencies, their employees and the industry at large. The organization serves 700+ member agencies across 1,300 offices, which control more than 85 percent of total U.S. advertising spend. As the leading trade organization for marketing communication agencies, the 4A’s purpose is to help empower its members to deliver insightful creativity that drives commerce, and influences culture all while moving the industry forward. The organization provides community, leadership, advocacy, guidance and best-in-class training that help enable agencies to innovate, evolve and grow. 4A’s Benefits division insures more than 160,000 employees and its D.C. office advocates for policies that best support a thriving advertising industry. The 4A’s Foundation fuels a robust diversity pipeline of talent for its members and the marketing and media industry, fostering the next generation of leaders. The organization is dedicated to, and vested in, our members’ success just as they are dedicated to helping brands create, distribute and measure effective and insightful advertising and marketing. Visit the 4A’s at www.4as.org.