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In the Community

Communities In Schools of Miami Is Selected as a Grant Recipient of Youth Opportunity Fund to Connect Low-Income Youth in Miami to Career Opportunities

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

MIAMI, FL (August 25, 2015) – The Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance today announced that Communities In Schools of Miami 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.

Communities In Schools of Miami (CIS of Miami) will receive a one-year grant totaling $250,000 to help young people prepare for the workplace. In partnership with private and public partners, Communities In Schools of Miami will provide up to 450 youth with workplace mentoring throughout the school year and paid internships during the summer.

“This grant will provide workplace training combined with personal and career mentoring from area professionals who will best prepare our students to succeed in today’s workforce,” shared Elizabeth Mejia, President/CEO of Communities In Schools of Miami. Local partners supporting this initiative by providing workplace mentors include FPL, Lehman Auto World, US Coast Guard Airbase, US Coast Guard Miami Beach, FIU, and Miami Dade College.  CIS of Miami is looking for new mentor sites to help support this initiative.  Interested agencies should contact dmora@cismiami.org.

“We are pleased to partner with Communities In Schools of Miami, America’s Promise Alliance and the Citi Foundation to help many low-income young people in our city train for and find good jobs and careers,” said City of North Miami Beach Councilwoman Barbara Kramer.  “I’m eager to work together to help more young adults build a stronger foundation for academic and career success.”

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.

“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 and 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.

To learn more about the Youth Opportunity Fund and see a full list of grantees visit: www.americaspromise.org/youthopportunityfund.


About Communities In Schools of Miami:
CIS of Miami is an affiliate of the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization. CIS’ mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and prepare for life. A five-year study by ICF International revealed that the CIS model resulted in the strongest reduction in dropout rates of any existing fully scaled dropout prevention program in the nation. Furthermore, an economic impact study conducted by EMSI, one of the nation’s leading economic modeling firms, quantified the return of investment by CIS affiliates to taxpayers, businesses and students. It found an average return to society to be 18.4 percent and the benefit/cost ratio 11.6, which means that every dollar invested in CIS creates $11.60 of economic benefit for the community. To learn more about CIS of Miami, visit www.cismiami.org.

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. 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.

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