YouthBuild Newark Selected as Grant Recipient of Youth Opportunity Fund to Connect Low-Income Youth in Newark to Career Opportunities

Youth Opportunity Fund Partnership

The new $3 million Fund, led by the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance, supports innovative city programs that prepare low-income youth for future success.

Newark, New Jersey (August 26, 2015)The Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance today announced that YouthBuild Newark has been selected as a recipient of the Youth Opportunity Fund, a $3 million initiative to support city-level, innovative and scalable programs connecting youth to opportunities that increase their employability and prepare them for lifelong success.

The Youth Opportunity Fund is part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, designed to support direct-service programs that empower urban youth, ages 16 to 24. A total of 12 grants will be awarded 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.

YouthBuild Newark will receive a one-year grant totaling $250,000 to help young people. YouthBuild Newark, in conjunction with the City of Newark and Newark Public Schools, will provide 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.

“This Fund allows YouthBuild Newark to deepen its impact as we continue our long-standing partnership with the City of Newark, Newark Public Schools and community-based agencies to design a system to support the thousands of young people who are disconnected from services.” says Robert Clark, YouthBuild Newark’s Founding Executive Director.

“Increasing the number of people trained to work will boost the Newark economy, now and in the future,” said Mayor Ras Baraka. “We are eager to work with YouthBuild Newark – with support from America’s Promise Alliance and the Citi Foundation – to develop homegrown talent, improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens, and help strengthen our communities and our city.”

The Fund supports programs that address youth unemployment through partnerships with municipal governments and collaborations across industries that are core to the economies of the Pathways to Progress cities, including: IT, tech, healthcare, the service industry and environmental sustainability. Grantees will collaborate and share best practices on the most effective ways to expand and connect youth to economic opportunity in their communities.

“We are pleased to partner with YouthBuild Newark, America’s Promise Alliance and the Citi Foundation to help young people in our city train for and find meaningful jobs and careers,” said Chris Cerf, newly- appointed Superintendent of Newark Public Schools. “We’re eager to work together to help more young adults build a stronger foundation for academic and career success.”

“The future competitiveness of America’s cities hinges on the positive economic outcomes of our young people,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. “We launched the Youth Opportunity Fund to support the innovative work of community partners who are helping low-income youth create the on-ramps that will lead towards career success.”

“We are dealing with the mixed reality of our nation’s high school graduation numbers increasing at unprecedented rates, while an estimated 5.6 million young people are not in school or employed,” said John Gomperts, president & CEO of America’s Promise. “The dozen Youth Opportunity Fund grantees are vital to connecting thousands of young people to opportunities that boost their ability to compete in today’s economy.”

In its first year, nearly 25,000 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 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, AmeriCorps, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, iMentor and the Cities for Financial Empowerment.

Learn more about the Youth Opportunity Fund, and see a full list of grantees here.

About YouthBuild Newark

YouthBuild Newark (YBN) is an innovation-driven youth and community development agency that has drawn upon developmental theory and proven practices to serve Greater Newark’s disconnected (“opportunity”) youth for over twelve (12) years. To successfully engage and prepare young adults for 21st century careers, the agency incorporates academic instruction using Common Core State Standards-aligned curriculum; training in in-demand sectors such as construction and healthcare; case management, and life skills and career counseling; service-learning; leadership development; and follow-up services.

About 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.

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.

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