HSBC and Girls Inc. today announced a robust mentoring program that seeks to prepare young girls from New York City high schools for college, careers and bold futures.

The pilot program extends a collaboration between HSBC Bank USA, N.A., (HSBC) and Girls Inc. that since 2015 has provided critical educational support and mentoring opportunities to thousands of girls across the country, particularly those from low-income communities, and directly involved hundreds of HSBC employees.

Over the course of the 2017-18 academic year, HSBC will collaborate with Girls Inc. of New York City to offer a unique mentoring experience to ten high-school students: bi-monthly one-on-one sessions to discuss such topics as college applications, career options, resume building, interpersonal skills, and other subjects that may be on the minds of the young teens, as well as monthly group sessions that bring together mentors and mentees to discuss such topics as financial literacy, the life of a banker, negotiation skills, building a personal brand, and how these young women can become the next generation of leaders in STEM and financial services.

"HSBC has been a valuable collaborator throughout the development of this unique program. They've taken their commitment to education and preparing youth to a new level with this high-impact mentoring opportunity that will provide crucial support to girls facing tough odds but determined to succeed." Dr. Pamela Maraldo, CEO, Girls Inc. of New York City.

"Girls Inc. and HSBC share a common commitment to do more to inspire and equip girls to be successful, and also share a belief in the importance of direct engagement and strong personal relationships," said Pat Burke, President and Chief Executive Officer, HSBC USA. "I'm grateful that Girls Inc. is making it possible for our employee volunteers to mentor ten bright, ambitious, inspiring teenagers, and hopefully to have a positive impact on their lives."

A fun kick-off to celebrate the start of the relationship

Tonight, the mentees attend with their mentors the American Banker's Most Powerful Women in Banking awards, after having prepared for the gala dinner at a special event last week where they were able to choose a business formal outfit, made possible through a generous contribution of distinctive designs by Michael Kors. The teenagers' hair and make-up will be done by personal stylist Jasmin Rainieri.

"We began the program in a fun, light-hearted way so the young women could establish the rapport that is critical to a successful mentor relationship, and to help them feel confident and excited about the evening,," said Cate Luzio, Executive Vice President and Global Head of International Subsidiary Banking at HSBC. "By having the teens join a great event that celebrates powerful women, we hope to inspire them to achieve great things in their own lives, and to look forward to ongoing conversations with their mentors about education, careers and life."

10 HSBC bankers paired with 10 strong, smart and bold teens

The HSBC mentors are volunteers who are members of BALANCE, a worldwide employee resource group that's open to all HSBC employees, for the purpose of supporting the bank's recruitment, development, enhancement and engagement of women, and the promotion of a gender-balanced workforce.

The mentees were selected by Girls Inc. of New York City in an application process that was guided by staff recommendations and open to a small percentage of the eligible teenagers in area schools that take part in local Girls Inc. programs. Applications were evaluated based on general aptitude and expressed interest in financial service and business.

"Girls Inc. is grateful to continue our work with HSBC to further deepen our programming for young women in the areas of academic success, college readiness, and mentoring," said Judy Vredenburgh, President and CEO, Girls Inc. "Working with partners like HSBC, together we will help more girls gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to take control of their futures, break the cycle of poverty, and become leaders and role models in their community."

In 2015, HSBC made a 3-year, $1 million investment in Girls Inc. that went directly to supporting the participation of more than 1,000 middle school-aged girls in Afterschool Math Plus (ASM+), a program which provides hands-on activities to help students build confidence as they build math skills. HSBC employees have served as mentors to young women, helping them explore their strengths and interests, improve their performance in school, and prepare for college. Volunteers from BALANCE have donated time and talent to inspire young women to explore careers in finance while providing real-world examples of successful women in banking. Luzio joined the Board of Directors of Girls Inc. in February 2017.

The Girls Inc. collaboration is part of HSBC's larger strategy to help prepare today's youth, here in the U.S and globally, with the critical skills that are needed for the future job market. That includes major investments in Horizons National to support summer and after-school programs; Virtual Enterprises International for its in-classroom experiences and youth business competitions; and the creation of Junior Achievement's digital curriculum called JA Global Marketplace.

The emphasis on fashion tears a page from American Banker's annual celebration of women in banking. The October issue of American Banker Magazine traditionally features on its cover some of the year's Most Powerful Women in Banking posing in fashion-shoot style.

"Cate Luzio was one of the women on our cover a few years ago, and she said the photo shoot inspired her to organize a fashion event, and a hair and make-up session, for the girls," said Bonnie McGeer, the executive editor of American Banker and chair of the Most Powerful Women in Banking program. "I love the whole concept that Cate came up with, and I think her plan to bring the girls to the event as a way to bond with their mentors and to inspire them to consider a career in banking is brilliant."

Three HSBC women will be honored at the American Banker awards dinner tonight:

HSBC Bank USA, National Association (HSBC Bank USA, N.A.), with assets of US$191.9bn (US GAAP) at 30 June 2017, serves customers through retail banking and wealth management, commercial banking, private banking, and global banking and markets segments. It operates bank branches in: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Washington, D.C.; Florida; Maryland; New Jersey; New York; Pennsylvania; Virginia; and Washington. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is the principal subsidiary of HSBC USA Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is a Member of the FDIC. Investment and brokerage services are provided through HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., (Member NYSE/FINRA/ SIPC) and insurance products are provided through HSBC Insurance Agency (USA) Inc.

Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through direct service and advocacy. Our comprehensive approach to whole girl development equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. These positive outcomes are achieved through three core elements: people - trained staff and volunteers who build lasting, mentoring relationships; environment - girls-only, physically and emotionally safe, where there is a sisterhood of support, high expectations, and mutual respect; and programming - research-based, hands-on and minds-on, age-appropriate, meeting the needs of today's girls. Informed by girls and their families, we also advocate for legislation and policies to increase opportunities for all girls. Join us at

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