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BNY Mellon To Host Thought Leadership Summit On The Challenges Of Youth Aging Out Of Foster Care

NEW YORK and PITTSBURGH, Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- BNY Mellon, the global leader in investment management and investment services, is hosting a thought leadership summit to explore the challenges of youth aging out of foster care and determine best practices for enabling educational advancement and employment opportunities.

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The summit, which will be held on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, will examine insightful new research on preparing these young people for independence, as well as the results to-date of BNY Mellon's Powering Potential Pathways Program, a $6 million, five-year global workforce development initiative to assist vulnerable youth making the transition into adulthood.

"It's estimated that annually more than 25,000 young people in the United States move out of foster care when they reach 18," said James P. McDonald, BNY Mellon's director of global philanthropy.  "Since BNY Mellon started its Pathways program, we have donated more than $2 million in grants that have helped more than 450 vulnerable youth, and we're encouraged that our partners are beginning to see some improved outcomes."

Since the launch of BNY Mellon's Pathways program in 2010, its partners have seen the following improvements among their program participants:
  • There has been a 42% increase in the number of young people enrolled in college;
  • Employment among non-high school graduates has increased 15% and 10% among graduates; and
  • Overall, involvement in the juvenile justice system decreased approximately 13%.

"Young people aging out of the child welfare system are more likely than their peers to face challenges in attaining education, and securing employment and housing," said Leonard Burton, chief operating officer at Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiatives in St. Louis.  "Supporting programs to help these youth carries a cost, but not supporting them carries a greater cost, especially when one examines incarceration rates and welfare assistance.  Investing in this population, as BNY Mellon has done through its Pathways program, can and does create lasting impact and change lives."

"Our goal in bringing together these thought leaders, community stakeholders, service providers and funders is to raise awareness of this important issue and create a greater understanding of the barriers facing youth aging out of foster care," added McDonald.  "We hope that attendees will leave our summit armed with information on how to address these barriers and an increased commitment to getting involved."

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