Press Release

Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance Announce the Launch of the 2016 Youth Opportunity Fund

An additional $3 million in grant funding is available as part of the Pathways to Progress initiative

 Local nonprofits working innovatively to catalyze career opportunities
for low-income youth are encouraged to submit program ideas
through May 2nd

New York and Washington, D.C. (April 5, 2016) – Today, the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance announced the 2016 Youth Opportunity Fund, a grant program to support local, innovative programs that prepare low-income youth for today's workforce. The Fund, first launched in 2015, will award one-year grants up to $250,000 to a new group of grantees in 10 U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.  Efforts will focus on programming that helps expand and create college and career opportunities for urban youth, ages 16 to 24.

“The Youth Opportunity Fund is enabling our community partners to help break down barriers for young people and connect them to opportunities that address the social and economic cost of unemployment in America’s cities,” said Brandee McHale, president of the Citi Foundation.  “We look forward to continue working with America’s Promise and collaborating with local innovators to help young people reach their full career potential.”

The Youth Opportunity Fund supports city-specific initiatives that are focused on tackling the issue of youth unemployment, including programs that have partnerships with municipal governments and promote collaborations across sectors. 

America’s Promise, the nation's largest network of organizations and communities dedicated to improving the lives of young people, will provide technical assistance, a learning community to collaborate and share best practices on the most effective ways to expand youth economic opportunity, and the chance for grantees to tell their stories to a national audience.

“In a nation built on the promise of equality, all young people should have the chance to succeed,” said John Gomperts, president & CEO of America’s Promise. “The Youth Opportunity Fund provides thousands of young adults with that chance.”

The Fund is a part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, focused on preparing young people to thrive in a 21st century economy.  Since 2014, more than 70,000 youth have been reached as part of the Foundation’s commitment to give 100,000 low-income youth in 10 U.S. cities the opportunity to boost their career readiness. Additionally, to help inform the efforts of public and private initiatives focused on supporting youth economic opportunities, the Citi Foundation released Accelerating Pathways, a suite of research with the Economist Intelligence Unit. The research identifies which factors contribute most to an enabling economic environment for young people in 35 global cities.

In 2015, the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise selected 12 organizations as inaugural grant recipients of the Youth Opportunity Fund. Learn about the grantees and their progress.

The deadline to submit program ideas is May 2, 2016. Grant recipients will be announced this summer.

To learn more about the Youth Opportunity Fund, register for an informational webinar or submit an idea, visit:


About 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

About America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance leads the nation’s largest network dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. 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 today’s workforce.