UBS Americas today unveiled a $10 million, five-year commitment to establish a new education platform for improving college success among under-resourced populations. Commencing in three markets — New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — with an intensive program focused on young men of color, UBS NextGen Leaders aims to empower students with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to succeed in college and compete in the global marketplace. The program aligns with President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative which is dedicated to providing ladders of opportunity to young men of color. It is also a continuation of UBS’s longstanding philanthropic commitment to education.
SEO Scholars, an academic program that gets low-income public high school students to and through college with a 95% college graduation rate, will serve as the lead partner for the initiative. Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) is a nonprofit organization that has provided educational and career programs to young people from underserved and underrepresented communities since 1963. SEO will work with UBS to actively recruit young men of color from urban high schools and provide them with academic, social and emotional support from 12 th grade through college graduation based on the SEO Scholars model. UBS NextGen Leaders will also provide exposure to global perspectives through summer experiences and international excursions, as well as direct mentoring from UBS employees. Through this five-year intensive model, UBS and SEO Scholars will take strides to help close the college graduation gap for black and Latino male students.
In announcing the initiative during a private UBS client meeting of young leaders, UBS Americas CEO Bob McCann said, “I know firsthand the power of education and how a college degree can change your trajectory in life. It is the single most important step in the economic ladder. Yet, across our communities, young people – particularly men of color – are being denied this opportunity. We have the power to change that by providing this important population of future talent with the tools, resources and support they need to graduate college and achieve economic independence. We’ll not only change their lives for the better…but rather our entire nation’s.”
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