Youth Opportunity Fund 2015

The Youth Opportunity Fund, led by the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance, provides grants to nonprofits working in innovative ways to place low-income young adults on a path toward college and career success in ten cities across the United States: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

The Fund is part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, which is comprised of programs and initiatives across the globe that are helping urban youth build an entrepreneurial mindset, acquire leadership, financial, and workplace skills, and begin to engage in the formal economy through a first job. Through these economic onramps, youth are actively shaping their futures toward financial success.

In the U.S., as part of its Pathways to Progress approach, the Citi Foundation has made a three-year, $50 million committment to boost the career readiness of 100,000 low-income youth in 10 cities.

America's Promise Alliance, the nation's largest network of national organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth, provides technical assistance and convenes grantees to collaborate on the most effective ways to expand youth economic opportunity in their communities. 

We are no longer accepting ideas for round one of the Youth Opportunity Fund.
Please stay connected with America's Promise for other funding and engagement opportunities. 


The Grantees

In 2015, America’s Promise Alliance and the Citi Foundation have selected 12 organizations as inaugural grant recipients of the Youth Opportunity Fund. Each grantee is implementing an innovative program that will increase the employability of young people and connect them to economic opportunities in their cities. 


  • BOSTON - In partnership with the Office of the Mayor, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley is engaging 300 youth participants in Boston Youth Venture (BYV), a civic engagement and entrepreneurship program focused on communication and project management skills for college and career.
  • CHICAGO - In collaboration with the Office of the Mayor and Cook County Board, the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership is preparing 250 young people for local job opportunities through employer-customized workforce development programs that build leadership and workplace skills.
  • DALLAS  - In partnership with the Dallas County Juvenile Department, Café Momentum is helping 250 of the community’s most at-risk youth participate in life and leadership skills training, mentorship and paid internships, to foster successful re-entry into the community.
  • LOS ANGELES - In a joint effort with the Office of the Mayor and the Los Angeles Unified School District, UNITE-LA, an affiliate of the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, is providing 375 youth with workforce readiness training and certification that may lead to a paid summer employment opportunities at partner health care institutions.
  • LOS ANGELES - Center for Powerful Public Schools, in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Linked Learning Office, is preparing 250 low-income youth, age 16 to 18, for promising careers in energy engineering and sustainability.
  • MIAMI - In partnership with private and public partners, Communities In Schools of Miami  is providing 450 youth with workplace mentoring throughout the school year and paid summer internships.
  • NEWARK - YouthBuild Newark, in conjunction with the City of Newark and Newark Public Schools, is providing nearly 300 young people who are out-of-school and served in a community-based setting and/or enrolled in its partner alternative high schools with job training, career exploration and national service opportunities.
  • NEW YORK - Together with the Office of the Mayor and NYC Service, United Way of New York City launched Expanding NYC Service Years, a project that mobilizes 200 low-income youth to contribute a year of full-time service to their community with the goal of providing pathways to careers.
  • NEW YORK - Building on strong relationships with the New York City Housing Authority, Per Scholas is establishing a scalable, borough-specific model and citywide federal education and training network that will help 250 young adults finish school, attend college and/or start a career. 
  • SAN FRANCISCO - Through collaboration with more than 40 top Bay Area companies, academic partners and the San Francisco Office of Economic Office of Workforce Development, Year Up Bay Area is educating and training 400 young people in 2016 to fill the thousands of tech-based “middle-skills jobs” that remain unfilled year after year in corporations that are leaders in a wide range of business sectors.
  • ST. LOUIS - The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, in collaboration with the City/County Workforce Board and IT educational partners, is providing 250 youth with 21st century IT skills training and credentialing that can lead to long-term employment.
  • WASHINGTON, D.C. - Through public and private partnerships in Washington, D.C., Urban Alliance is empowering 250 young people to work and succeed through formal training, paid internships and mentorship.  

Learn more about the 2015 Grantees>>



How to Apply

We are no longer accepting ideas for round one of the Youth Opportunity Fund. 
Please stay connected with America's Promise for other funding and engagement opportunities.

Eligibility Criteria

Programs should:
  1. Reach a minimum 250 low-income youth ages 16-24.  
  2. Use strategies that connect youth to economic opportunties in their communities through: entrepreneurship training, mentorship, service/leadership opportunities, and/or workplace experiences.
  3. Engage municipal government partners. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate evidence of prior relationships with municipal government agencies such as the Mayor’s office, housing authorities, schools, health departments and planning departments, etc.
  4. Focus on innovation. Preference will be given to organizations that adopt unique approaches to service delivery including but not limited to: leveraging technology, utilizing digital and social media, and/or collaboration with new and/or local industry partners.  

Grantees Receive 

  • One-year grant up to $250,000 
  • Technical assistance
  • Communications and media support 
  • Networking and learning opportunities with other grantees

2015 Resources 



Please contact [email protected] 

About 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. 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.

Updated date: March 28, 2016