Four Stories, Four Paths: The Road to Success
By Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship, Citi October 21, 2015 10:00 AM
All stories carry meaning. They hold information about the world we live in; they inform us about work we still have to do as a society and how effective our efforts have been in addressing change. I have witnessed the power of stories, first-hand. At the Citi Foundation, we work towards catalyzing collective impact—to inspire young people to believe in themselves and their future—by supporting diverse and high-performing organizations doing meaningful work on the ground and by leveraging our own expertise and resources. I am proud to highlight some of these stories of impact that are the result of collaboration and an investment far beyond dollars.
Nathaniel, Nancy, Grace, and Kenny are four young people forging paths to brighter futures with experiences that are offering them new opportunities: entrepreneurship training, a summer job, a mentor, and volunteer service. Take Nancy’s story:
The college and financial aid application process can be overwhelming for anyone—especially if you’re the first in your family to pursue an undergraduate degree. In New York City, Nancy got matched with a mentor (and Citi Volunteer), Mary, who offered her experience, knowledge, and support through the program iMentor.
Nancy wanted to go to her dream school, but there was one thing that kept her up at night: how to pay for it. That’s where Mary stepped in to help. Nancy is one of 100,000 youth impacted by Pathways to Progress, the Citi Foundation’s $50-million commitment to connect low-income youth with the opportunity to develop the workplace skills and leadership experience necessary to compete in today’s economy.
Young people like Nancy are able to access on-ramps to lifelong success through Pathways to Progress: Grace of Miami deposited her first summer job paycheck in her new bank account. Nathaniel discovered how volunteer service can help build confidence while giving back to his Newark community. Los Angeles-based Kenny received business coaching and developed an eco-friendly car wash to deal with a very real issue of drought in California. They remind us that finding the right path for our youth to reach academic and economic achievement is not a one size fits all solution—that, with the help of our partners, we must be plugged into these individuals, not just the numbers, to know what’s working.
As we set out to inspire these young people to move towards success, their stories inspire us to continue investing in tomorrow’s leaders, today.