The Merrill Lynch Foundation has announced $3.2 million in grants through its Investing Pays Off (IPO) initiative to fund programs that provide financial education and career development to underserved youth in California.
Twenty-four community organizations received grants ranging from $75,000 to $300,000 to teach young people how to invest, start businesses, and promote economic opportunities in their communities. Selected programs include a summer business institute for teens from low-income families, an after-school program that focuses on financial and career skills, a natural foods business run by inner-city high school students, and an effort to create a financial literacy game and a series of public television shows about investing.
The grants are part of the California Partnership for Economic Achievement, a $159 million initiative of the Merrill Lynch Foundation in collaboration with the Greenlining Institute and various community organizations. The partnership promotes economic opportunities in California by bringing Wall Street expertise to the state's ethnically diverse communities.
"This IPO promises to deliver important long-term dividends by helping young people in underserved communities gain the financial and business skills needed to power tomorrow's economy," said David Komansky, chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch. "Through Investing Pays Off, we are partnering with local organizations to help young people become the entrepreneurs and small business owners of the future."