08 DECEMBER 2022

MSC Foundation launches partnership with Mayor’s Fund to support vulnerable New York City communities through educational and environmental programmes

Partnership presented during the New York Naming Ceremony Celebrations for MSC Seascape, MSC Cruises’ newest ship, featuring cutting-edge environmental technologies

Focus Area: Education, Environmental Conservation and Community Support


The MSC Foundation and Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City are joining forces to support underserved New York communities thanks to a Foundation grant of approximately a quarter of a million dollars for two City programmes in the fields of education and the environment.

The MSC Foundation is launching a two-year partnership with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs to support the youth-focused and youth-led “NYC Junior Ambassadors Program” (“NYCJA”), and with the Department of Parks and Recreation to support “NYC Parks GreenThumb” community-based urban gardening programme.

The NYC Junior Ambassadors Programme created by the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, is an award-winning youth programme that leverages the United Nations as a resource for New York City 7th grade school students and their educators in underserved communities across the five boroughs of New York City. The programme empowers them to become actively engaged with the United Nations and its mission of addressing some of the most pressing challenges in the world, from climate change, poverty and health to inequities, offering a first-of-its kind development opportunity.

The MSC Foundation’s grant will enable the programme to reach an additional 1,200 7th graders and educators in New York City. In addition, it will also have an impact on the broader community, bringing the benefits of the service projects created by participants.

The NYC Parks GreenThumb programme was established in 1978 and has grown to become the United States’ largest urban gardening programme. GreenThumb sustains more than 550 community gardens and 20,000 volunteer gardeners each year with materials, technical assistance, educational workshops and more.

“Investing in our communities is critical to helping us face the challenges and opportunities of the future, including climate change,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Our administration is committed to empowering New Yorkers across the five boroughs, including our youth. I thank the MSC Foundation for their support for these invaluable city initiatives.”

“MSC Group established its US presence from New York in 1971,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Chair of the MSC Foundation Executive Committee and Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group. “Since then, we have become members of the community while growing to play a leading role in cargo shipments to and from ports all around the nation. We believe in partnerships and are committed to investing in our future generations. So we strive to work with local communities where we operate, seeking to give back to the community and build a brighter future together.”

“We are grateful to the MSC Foundation for supporting our award-winning NYC Junior Ambassadors program which has transformed the lives of more than 4,000 youth and educators across the five boroughs,” said Edward Mermelstein, Commissioner for the NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. “The world is increasingly connected. It is important that we give New Yorkers the tools to understand issues they are facing and the path to create the change they wish to see—the NYC Junior Ambassadors does exactly this and we look forward to its continued positive impact on our city.”

“Preparing for tomorrow’s challenges starts today, and we’re doing that through a generous grant from the MSC Foundation that will support NYC and its residents,” said Marcella Tillett, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “We want to thank the MSC Foundation for their generosity in supporting the Mayor’s Office of International Affair’s NYC Junior Ambassadors and teaming with us, along with the City of New York, in combatting climate change.”

“We are beyond thankful to MSC Cruises and the Mayor’s Fund for this donation to our GreenThumb program,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “Our community Gardens are integral to the communities they serve, and this donation will go a long way towards strengthening seven of our community gardens in Red Hook, helping to increase connectivity and build community through greenspaces in Brooklyn.”

Daniela Picco, Executive Director of the MSC Foundation, said: We are proud to partner with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to support two powerful community programmes in New York, one for youth - assisting the Junior Ambassadors Programme to empower young people as global citizens - and one for the environment, the Green Thumb Programme to enrich green spaces in South Brooklyn.