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exalt Receives $5 Million Donation from MacKenzie Scott

For Immediate Release

March 23, 2022 Contact: Yuridia Peña |Jen Manley

exalt Receives $5 Million Donation from MacKenzie Scott to Support Court-Involved Youth and Advance Juvenile Justice Efforts in NYC

NEW YORK – Today, exalt announced that a donation of $5 million by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The funding will expand the organization’s work with court-involved teenagers.

The following is a statement from exalt Executive Director Gisele Castro.

“We are thrilled and humbled to receive this transformational gift. It will allow exalt to significantly expand our work with court-involved young people in all five boroughs on a journey to criminal justice avoidance, academic progression, and employability.

“It is no secret that there is an over-representation of young people of color in the criminal justice system and now we have an incredible opportunity to keep more of them free of incarceration. This gift will allow exalt to empower at-risk youth not just to escape the cycle of poverty, abuse and trauma, but to be truly liberated.

“I thank MacKenzie Scott for entrusting me with this investment and acknowledging exalt’s commitment to racial justice, equity and eradicating the school-to-prison pipeline.


About exalt

exalt is a nonprofit serving court-involved young people ages 15-19 in New York City to move them away from the criminal justice system and back to engagement with education and meaningful work experience. The nonprofit provides a 21-week intensive program of education, court advocacy and placement in a paid internship.

  • 95% of exalt graduates do not recidivate.

  • 98% are re-engaged in high school on track to graduate by age 20.

  • 76% achieve sentence reductions to prevent further educational/employment barriers.

  • 100% are matched with dynamic internship placements into high-growth sectors.

  • Of the youth that exalt served in FY21, a full 97% identify as people of color and 20% identify as women of color.

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