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.
“Many successful leaders can point to at least one person who helped them navigate career opportunities and choices,” said Ed Skyler, Citi’s Head of Public Affairs and Chairman of the Citi Foundation. “In a competitive environment, mentors are essential in helping students succeed academically and distinguish themselves by supplementing their education with seasoned advice. With this support, the Citi Foundation aims to improve the career readiness of these students by connecting them with committed mentors.”"Unfortunately, we see too many first generation college students, who have worked so hard to get to college, making avoidable mistakes that are keeping them from realizing their academic and career potential,” said John Rice, CEO of MLT. “MLT Ascend will provide these students with a personalized playbook for success and one-on-one coaching to help execute on that playbook. That will allow them to graduate and be prepared to compete in tomorrow's job market when they do. We're thankful for Citi Foundation's investment, which will allow us to leverage the collective volunteer power of our MLT Alumni to reach this new student population." “iMentor’s model is built on the premise that sustained engagement with a trained mentor is critical to student success both in school and in life,” said Mike O’Brien, CEO of iMentor. “With the support of the Citi Foundation and the commitment of Citi volunteers, we are looking forward to expanding our reach and our impact across the country, providing young people with the guidance and resources they need to pursue the careers of their dreams.” These commitments reinforce the objectives of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress, which is engaging community partners, government officials, and Citi volunteers to help young people ages 16-24 develop the workplace skills and leadership experience they need to secure jobs and begin developing career paths. The initiative is focusing on 10 of the largest U.S. cities where Citi has a presence: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Pathways to Progress launched with three elements: ServiceWorks, developed with Points of Light and the Corporation for National & Community Service, will use volunteer service as a strategy to help youth and young adults develop essential leadership and workplace skills; Summer Jobs Connect, developed with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, will work with municipal governments in five of the partner cities to connect youth with meaningful summer job opportunities, along with financial education and access to financial products; and Make Your Job, developed with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, will establish youth entrepreneurship camps that empower participants to explore self-employment and the development of an entrepreneurial mindset. About Citi Citi (NYSE:C), the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citiAbout the Citi Foundation The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress in communities around the world and focuses on initiatives that expand financial inclusion. We collaborate with best-in-class partners to create measurable economic improvements that strengthen low-income families and communities. Through a “More than Philanthropy” approach, Citi’s business resources and human capital enhance our philanthropic investments and impact. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.