The Citi Foundation today announced it will provide a total of $2.1 million to support initiatives by Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) and iMentor to connect high-potential students from low-income households with early- to mid-career professionals to provide critical career counseling and mentoring. The focus on mentoring as a cornerstone of youth career readiness and professional development is closely aligned with Pathways to Progress, the Citi Foundation’s three-year $50 million initiative announced this year to unlock economic opportunity for 100,000 low-income youth in 10 cities across the United States.
The Citi Foundation commitment includes $1.1 million to launch MLT Ascend, which will connect nearly 1,000 undergraduate students across the country with the mentors, skills, and opportunities necessary to pursue the career path of their choice. As they prepare to graduate and enter the workforce, college students will be connected to MLT alumni mentors, each of whom is a successful early- to mid-career professional and a first-generation college graduate who is now in a position to assist the next generation by offering one-on-one career path planning and coaching. The commitment was announced last night at MLT’s 10th Anniversary Gala in New York.
The Citi Foundation is also contributing $1 million to iMentor to help expand the organization’s successful mentoring program, which pairs high school students from low-income communities with college-educated adult mentors. Participants are matched with students in three- to four-year mentoring relationships that include in-person and online meetings designed to nurture a college aspiration, assist with the college application and financing process, coach mentees through their college years, and prepare students for meaningful summer jobs and internships. With support from the Citi Foundation, now iMentor’s largest corporate funder, iMentor plans to increase its mentoring matches to 20,000 pairs nationwide over the next five years.