Press Release

Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance Launch $3 Million Youth Opportunity Fund

Builds on Pathways to Progress initiative to identify and invest in city-level innovative programs that help catalyze career opportunities for low-income youth

Washington, D.C. – The Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance announced today the launch of the Youth Opportunity Fund, a $3 million grant fund to support innovative and scalable programs that prepare low-income youth for today's workforce. A new component of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, these efforts focus on deepening local programming and expanding college and career opportunities for urban youth, ages 16 to 24. The Fund will award one-year grants up to $250,000 to nonprofit organizations in 10 of the largest U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

The Youth Opportunity Fund is designed to support 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. Through technical assistance, professional development, networking and training opportunities, America’s Promise Alliance and the Citi Foundation will facilitate opportunities for grantees to collaborate and share best practices on the most effective ways to expand youth economic opportunity in their communities. 
 
"While the increase in the nation’s high school graduation rate over the last decade is unprecedented, there are still nearly 750,000 students who are not graduating on time each year, and an estimated 5.6 million students who have earned a high school credential but remain unemployed,” said John Gomperts, president & CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. “America’s Promise and the Citi Foundation are committed to creating an environment where all young people can succeed in school and in life. This new grant fund offers organizations an opportunity to provide a pathway forward to help underserved young people achieve their American Dream.”
 
Nearly 25,000 young people were reached in the first year of 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 the workplace skills and leadership experience necessary to compete in a 21st century economy. The initiative includes national organizations such as the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Points of Light and AmeriCorps, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, iMentor and the Cities for Financial Empowerment.
 
“The Youth Opportunity Fund seeks to support local innovators addressing the social and economic cost of youth unemployment in America’s cities,” said Brandee McHale, president of the Citi Foundation. “In collaboration with America’s Promise, the Fund will allow us to source new, effective approaches that can be replicated to reach even more urban youth and help them achieve life-long economic success.”
 
The deadline to submit ideas is May 22, 2015. Grant recipients will be announced in July 2015. To learn more about the Youth Opportunity Fund visit: http://www.americaspromise.org/youthopportunityfund
 
About America’s Promise Alliance
Founded in 1997 at the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future, America’s Promise leads an alliance of organizations, communities and individuals dedicated to fulfilling the presidential declaration signed on that day, calling upon the nation to keep five promises crucial to the success of every young person in America: the presence of caring adults in their lives; safe surroundings to live, learn and grow; healthy starts and healthy childhoods; an effective education that builds marketable skills; and opportunities to serve others.  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.     
 
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 www.citifoundation.com