(AP Images)

The New York Life Foundation has granted the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) a two-year $500,000 grant in order to support programs in Boston, Chicago, New York City and Westchester County, NY.

The grant, which expands upon a $200,000 grant given by the foundation last year will help 2,000 at-risk youth in the respective areas.

NTFE is a 65 hour, classroom program for middle and high school students. The curriculum strives to reiterate core academic and workforce skills and is experiential. Within the program, students create and present an original business plan that is derived from their own special interests and talents. The program is unique in that it tries to combine education with real life. NFTE reports that 80 percent of high school dropouts say they would have stayed in school if it had been more applicable to real life.

According to NFTE, the United States is experiencing a dropout crisis. Every 29 seconds, an American youth drops out, totaling 7,000 young people a day. New York Life Foundation hopes that their financial contribution can stymie this rate.

“We are pleased to expand our support of NFTE, whose focus is to help students facing multiple challenges get the attention they need before they quit or fail out of school. NFTE’s approach illustrates that what students are learning is in school is relevant to the real world and helps them graduate with their own personal plans for success,” said Chris Park, president of the New York Life Foundation