Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz Partner with The Opportunity Network to Help Low-Income Students Succeed in College and Careers
Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz are partnering with The Opportunity Network, a New York City nonprofit, to put high-achieving, low-income students on the road to the top colleges and successful careers, the organization announced today.
The actors' multiyear charitable gift will enable The Opportunity Network to expand its programs and serve more students in need.
Craig and Weisz recently have made New York their home and sought out an organization to support as a way to express their commitment to their new community. They are particularly excited to work with an organization that equals the playing field for low-income students, an issue they care about deeply.
"Some of the brightest, most motivated young people are living in New York City neighborhoods where college seems further away than a foreign country. We want to help give them a passport to a better life," said Craig.
The couple chose The Opportunity Network because of the organization's track record of doing just that. One hundred percent of Opportunity Network students graduate from a competitive college, a compelling fact considering only one in ten low income students complete college at all. Eighty-five percent of the organization's alumni have begun careers in their chosen fields within six months of college graduation.
"We are incredibly grateful for Daniel and Rachel's gift. Not only will it help us get more programs to more kids in need, but it raises awareness of the important work we do, and puts us on the map in a new and bigger way," said Opportunity Network founder and executive director Jessica Pliska.
The Opportunity Network works with students for six years, from sophomore year in high school through college graduation. During that time, the organization prepares students for college, introduces them to careers, gets them five summers of paid internships, trains them in professional etiquette and teaches them how to build networks.
"I wouldn't be going to Bowdoin College this fall if it weren't for The Opportunity Network," said Mariely Garcia, a high school senior who lives in a Harlem housing project. Mariely, whose mother works as a babysitter to support her four children, will be the first in her family to attend college. "OppNet changed my life, and it's pretty cool to know we have James Bond on our side now."
About the Opportunity Network The Opportunity Network (OppNet) equals the playing field for high-achieving, low-income high school and college students by creating access for them to career opportunities, professional networks and college. Opportunity Network students attend competitive four-year colleges and universities across the country, and intern at leading organizations, like Deloitte, HBO, Morgan Stanley, Brooks Brothers, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Museum of Natural History, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Tommy Hilfiger. In addition to a college degree, students leave the program with five summers of internships, a mastery of professional etiquette and a network of influential executives across industries.