Citi Foundation Supports SEO’s Expanded Reach
We are thrilled to announce that SEO has received a $500,000 grant from the Citi Foundation in support of the national expansion of the SEO Scholars program and the launch of the new program initiative, SEO Tech Developer. This effort is part of the Citi Foundation’s global Pathways to Progress job skills-building initiative, which addresses the persistent and global issue of youth unemployment.
Citi Foundation’s grant will enable the expansion of the SEO Scholars model to new cities in the U.S. The SEO Scholars program effectively eliminates the academic and opportunity gaps that underserved students in our country’s public school systems face. Currently, SEO serves approximately 1,000 students in public schools in New York City and San Francisco, and an additional 1,000 students in colleges across the nation. SEO gets these students to and through college with a 90% college graduation rate, as compared to only 20% of students who come from similar backgrounds. The expansion of the SEO Scholars program model to new cities will allow SEO to continue to find ways to close the opportunity gap for deserving and dedicated public school students around the nation.
Citi Foundation’s support also allows for the launch of SEO’s new Tech Developer program initiative, which will train and prepare at least 60 Black and Latinx youth this summer for careers in the tech industry. Historically, Black and Latinx youth have represented less than 8% of all tech-industry employees, and less than 3% of employees at major tech firms. With this new program initiative, SEO can provide underrepresented and/or underserved young people with access to additional professional development and training in the rapidly-growing technology industry.
Support like this will help SEO expand the programming necessary to combat institutional racism and level the playing field for underserved and historically excluded populations.