The Actuarial Foundation Receives a Grant from the New York Life Foundation

February 14, 2019

$300,000 in funding given to support math education and tutoring for middle school students


The Actuarial Foundation is proud to announce that it has received a $300,000 grant, one of its largest, from the New York Life Foundation. With a 25-year legacy of enhancing math education and financial literacy, The Actuarial Foundation will use these funds to support two education initiatives: The Hardest Math Problem, a new math competition, and the expansion of Math Motivators, a tutoring program.

The Hardest Math Problem is a middle school math competition that is part of the Expect the Unexpected with Math® series developed with educational publisher Scholastic.

  • The contest is designed to help students in grades 6, 7 and 8 practice critical thinking supported by accurate computation.
  • The contest will involve an engaging, real-world story and problem.
  • To reach more girls, The Actuarial Foundation and Scholastic will ensure that the questions crafted appeal to girls, using best practices that encourage depicting girls as active participants in realistic storylines.
  • Topics are presented in real-life scenarios such as a teen using her phone at the zoo.
  • Three grand prize–winning students will receive a laptop and $5,000 for a 529 college savings plan. Three runner-up students will win a tablet.

The Math Motivators tutoring program is volunteer-driven and designed to help close the achievement gap by pairing underserved middle and high school students with professional actuaries and college students for free math tutoring and SAT preparation.

  • The program will be expanded in the following cities: Hartford, CT; Chicago, IL; Seattle, WA; St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN; Portland, ME; New York, NY and Lincoln/Omaha, NE.

“This grant exemplifies our strategy of supporting strong out-of-school-time programs that help prepare middle school students for challenging work and position them for a successful transition to high school,” said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer, New York Life Foundation. “The Actuarial Foundation has deep expertise in promoting math education in a fun and engaging way. Middle school students across the country will develop important foundational math skills because of this partnership.”

“We are so grateful to the New York Life Foundation for supporting The Actuarial Foundation and its commitment to changing lives with math education. Today more than ever, teachers and students need the high-quality innovative resources, community building and mentorship this generous grant from the New York Life Foundation will provide,” said Jason Leppin, executive director at The Actuarial Foundation. “This incredible support means more students and teachers will have access to hands-on, personalized math resources and tutoring at no cost.”

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