Citi Foundation Bets Big on Mentoring for At Risk Youth

Eariler this year, the Citi Foundation announced a $50 million, three-year initiative called Pathways to Progress, with the goal of providing entrepreneurship training, civic engagement opportunities, and summer employment to 100,000 low-income youth. 

The initial programs that the Citi Foundation decided to support as part of this initiative include ServiceWorks, which is focused on youth volunteerism; Summer Jobs Connect, which not only links youth in five major metropolitan areas with summer employment, but includes a finanical education program, and access to finanical products; and Make Your Job, which was rolled out in ten cities, and helps young people develop the skills necessary to become a successful entrepreneur. 

Now, the Citi Foundation has added mentoring to that list, with the announcement of two grants totalling $2.1 million to iMentor and Management Leadership for Tomorrow, both organizations that connect promising low-income students with professionals in their desired careers. These mentors provide long term guidance on applying to and financing college, and one-on-one career planning. The $1 million grant to iMentor makes the Citi Foundation its largest supporter, and will help the organization reach 20,000 mentoring pairs nationwide over the next five years.

Citi's commitment to youth stretches beyond the U.S. as well. In 2013 alone, their Youth Economic Opportunities program distributed more than $7 million abroad. So whether you're focused on educational and vocational training for youth in South L.A. or South Africa, there is an opportunity here to get support from the Citi Foundation.

Figuring out who to talk to or how to submit a query or an application can be tricky, as not much information is available on the foundation's website.