Project ACT

The Project ACT Fund, previously known as Generation Next, was established in 2006 by the New York Council Board of Governors of the 4A’s to support diversity in the advertising agency industry in New York City.  The fund will provide resources for activities and programs that cover the following categories:  education, employment, outreach, engagement and retention.
Education – The fund supports college tuition for selected high school seniors from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds.  This item includes mentorships at participating New York agencies throughout the course of their college careers.
Employment – Qualified scholarship recipients receive paid internships at participating member agencies through the 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Program.  This item includes guaranteed access to the 4A’s Multicultural Alumni Network forums and educational/enrichment events.
Outreach – The fund supports various programs and projects associated with providing multicultural students opportunities to learn about the vast career opportunities that the advertising industry can provide.  This item includes, but is not limited to, sponsoring student attendance at advertising events and multimedia development projects that are used to encourage youth to explore the advertising industry as a career choice.
Engagement – The fund supports, and may subsidize, activities that serve to reinforce the projects and activities as listed above including, but not limited to, the purchase or distribution of materials or equipment necessary to complete the process of providing maximum learning opportunities related to the many disciplines in advertising.
Retention – The fund supports projects and activities that serve to retain multicultural talent, either by providing resources to help students acquire advanced skills to ensure overall employability or to help them advance within a New York agency post-hire.

Over the past decade many organizations were provided with resources to further the fund’s mission and goals, including the below:

  • Prep for Prep, formed in 1978, identifies NYC’s most promising students of color and, through rigorous training programs, and prepares them for placement in independent schools.

  • CUNY's Master's in Branding + Integrated Communication (BIC) seeks to shape the new cross-disciplinary challenges of creating and managing brand identity at a time when global, digital, and more immersive communications are rapidly evolving.

  • Sponsor Education Opportunity (SEO) provides academic enrichment and career development opportunities to talented young people from underserved and underrepresented communities. Project Act partners with SEO through its Scholars Program, a year round, academically rigorous program that prepares urban public high school students to earn admission and succeed at competitive colleges and universities. 

  • The High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media (IAM) is the first public high school dedicated to teaching ethnically diverse high school students about advertising, design, and media with the specific intention of building a pipeline of talent for the industry.

  • Manhattan Early College School for Advertising (MECA) the first six-year program dedicated to pipeline high-potential youth into our industry, will provide graduates with a credential, a high-school diploma, and Associates Degree at no cost.

  • Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) connects aspiring, diverse, entry-level advertising professionals with leading advertising agencies across the country through its 22-week professional development program.