Washington, D.C. The Citi Foundation and America's Promise Alliance announced today the selection of 12 nonprofit organizations as 2016 Youth Opportunity Fund grant recipients. The Fund – now in its second year – awarded an additional $3 million in support of programs that connect youth to opportunities that increase their employability and prepare them to compete and thrive in a 21st century economy. To date, the Fund has provided $6 million to support 24 organizations, reaching more than 7,000 youth.
Launched in 2015, the Youth Opportunity Fund is part of the Citi Foundation's Pathways to Progress initiative, and supports organizations that help empower urban youth, ages 16 to 24. The Fund awards one-year grants of $250,000 to nonprofit organizations in 10 U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C.
"Since we launched the Youth Opportunity Fund, grantees have demonstrated what it takes to give young people the chance to unlock their full career and economic potential," said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. "We are excited to support the innovative work of this new cohort of community partners and look forward to promoting their learnings and success."
"Students who earn a high school diploma have a greater chance of becoming employed, but without the right skills and connections, better job opportunities may be out of reach," said John Gomperts, President and CEO of America's Promise. "The Youth Opportunity Fund helps to even the odds by giving more young people the training and support they need to get on a path to adult success."
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for young people aged 16-24 is 10.8 percent, with more than 6 million young people disconnected from school and work.
"Our young people don't lack intelligence or ambition or potential," said U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez. "They just need someone to give them a chance. With the support of the Citi Foundation and America's Promise Alliance, the Youth Opportunity Fund provides that chance for thousands of young people each year."
The Youth Opportunity Fund supports programs that address youth unemployment through partnerships with select municipal governments and collaborations across industries, including IT, technology, healthcare, the service industry and environmental sustainability.
The new 2016 cohort will add opportunities in construction, clean technology and communications.
Below is a full list of 2016 grantees:
In its first two years, over 70,000 young people have been impacted by the Citi Foundation's Pathways to Progress initiative, a three-year, $50 million commitment to give 100,000 low-income youth in the U.S. the opportunity to develop workplace skills and leadership experience. The initiative includes national organizations such as the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Points of Light, AmeriCorps, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, iMentor and Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund.
To learn more about the Youth Opportunity Fund and the 2016 grantees, visit: http://www.americaspromise.org/youth-opportunity-fund.
The Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.
America's Promise Alliance
America's Promise Alliance leads an alliance of organizations, communities and individuals dedicated to making the promise of America real for every child. As its signature effort, the GradNation campaign mobilizes Americans to increase the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and prepare young people for postsecondary enrollment and the 21st century workforce. For more information, visit www.AmericasPromise.org.