Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge

Dear Friends,

Like most non-profits, resources at PAL are always a little stretched. With your support we are able to provide great programs, but we do not always have the resources for big-picture strategy planning we would like to do. Recently, however, through our participation in the Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge, we were able to dig deep into PAL and look at how we might expand one of our signature programs.

Each year Morgan Stanley, a premier global financial services firm, recruits the company’s best minds to work on a ten week pro bono consulting project with a select group of non-profits. PAL was selected to participate in the challenge this year.

PAL is striving to expand and deepen engaging activities for teens. PAL programs such as the In-School Training & Employment Program (In-STEP) offer college preparation, job readiness, and meaningful internships and we aspire for them to be available to more youth. We asked our Morgan Stanley consulting team to come up with a plan to thoughtfully expand the In-STEP program in the next three years.

The team from Morgan Stanley – David Parsons, Managing Director and team advisor, along with Donald Thompson, Jack Carroll, Jennifer Ortega and Jillian Howe – interviewed our In-STEP teens and PAL staff as well as analyzed financial and sociological data to develop a comprehensive expansion plan to serve more youth in need. PAL’s desire to serve as many kids as possible was enhanced by the team’s data-driven research, thoughtful analysis and sharp focus on PAL’s mission.

Last month, our Morgan Stanley team presented its research to a panel of peers, non-profit leaders, and Morgan Stanley executives. They recommended that we deepen PAL In-STEP’s footprint in the Bronx. The need is great citywide but particularly dire in the Bronx, which has the highest number of high-school dropouts in the city and the majority are people of color.

The Morgan Stanley-PAL team was placed second in the competition, an outstanding accomplishment given the highly talented Morgan Stanley colleagues who participated. PAL will receive a $5,000 grant towards implementation of the team’s recommendations. We congratulate our team for performing so well, and we applaud them for their contribution to improving the lives of New York City’s youth.

Thanks to David, Donald, Jack, Jennifer, Jillian and supporters like you, we will always ensure that PAL is where our youth can become the best they can be. Thank you.

Frederick J. Watts
Executive Director