The Citi Foundation has announced two grants totaling $2.1 million in support of initiatives designed to connect high-potential students from low-income households with mentoring and career counseling provided by early- to mid-career professionals.
Through the foundation's Pathways to Progress program, New York City-based Management Leadership for Tomorrow was awarded $1.1 million in support of MLT Ascend, which seeks to pair nearly one thousand undergraduate students across the country with the mentors, skills, and opportunities they need to pursue the career paths of their choice. As they prepare to graduate college, the students will be connected to MLT alumni mentors, each of whom is in a position to offer individualized career path planning and coaching.
In addition, iMentor will receive $1 million to help expand its program to twenty thousand students nationwide over five years. The iMentor program pairs high school students from low-income communities with college-educated adult mentors in three- to four-year relationships that include in-person and online meetings designed to nurture students’ college aspirations, assistance with the college application and financing process, coaching through the college years, and meaningful summer jobs and internships.
"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."