Pathways to Progress: Ben, Oakland, California
September 11, 2017 04:45 PM
This post is part of a series inspired by Pathways to Progress, Citi and the Citi Foundation’s response to the persistent issue of youth unemployment globally. Follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #Pathways2Progress.Ben is a college student in Oakland, California who has been interested in music and photography his entire life. Ben wanted to make a career for himself in the arts but wasn’t sure where to begin, as he lacked the technical and professional skills to turn his passion into a career. In high school he discovered Youth Radio, an organization that offers young people intensive training in media and technology and then engages them in work-based learning opportunities. Ben is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree and is also now working at Youth Radio working as a project associate teaching 9th graders everything that was taught to him in the program.
“Youth Radio and Pathways to Progress set a foundation of skills I needed to succeed in my career. The rest was me just jumping into things and trying them out” said Ben as he reflected on his experience. “The hands-on experience was key to finding out what was right for me. I’ve grown so much as a person in the last six months. This program laid everything out for me. It gave me a clear path.”
Youth Radio is part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative to prepare young people for today’s competitive job market. Through the fund, Youth Radio is preparing young people for the Bay Area's dynamic workforce by providing them with intensive training in media and technology, paid internships with industry professionals, college credits, industry certification and job placement services with industry partners.
In key cities around the world, the Citi Foundation works with community and municipal leaders to support programs aimed at helping to reduce youth unemployment and improve the quality of the youth workforce. We’re equally committed to supporting research that helps advance the field and contributes to the development of new economic opportunities for youth, which is why we recently released the Global Youth Survey 2017: Economic Prospects & Expectations, a survey conducted by the global market and opinion research firm Ipsos, to understand the economic expectations and aspirations of young people around the globe. According to the Ipsos survey, 75% of young people in the Bay Area believe that internships are critical for career success. By providing youth in the Bay Area with work-based learning opportunities that they see as critical to their success, Youth Radio and the Citi Foundation are creating Pathways to Progress for young people around the globe. Learn more here.