Center for Powerful Public Schools and UNITE-LA Selected as Grant Recipients of Youth Opportunity Fund to Connect Low-Income Youth in Los Angeles to Career Opportunities

Center for Powerful Public Schools and UNITE-LA Selected as Grant Recipients of Youth Opportunity Fund to Connect Low-Income Youth in Los Angeles to Career Opportunities

The new $3 million Fund, led by the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance, supports innovative city programs that prepare low-income youth for future success
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#YouthOppFund via @AmericasPromise & #Citi Fdn’s #Pathways2Progress to provide urban youth w job & skills training.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - 10:45am

CAMPAIGN: Supporting Communities

CONTENT: Press Release

LOS ANGELES, August 26, 2015 /3BL Media/ –  The Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance today announced that the Center for Powerful Public Schools and UNITE-LA have been selected as recipients of the Youth Opportunity Fund, a $3 million initiative to support city-level, innovative and scalable programs connecting more than 3,500 youth to opportunities that increase their employability and prepare them for lifelong success. 

The Youth Opportunity Fund is part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, designed to support direct-service programs that empower urban youth, ages 16 to 24. A total of 12 grants of $250,000 each will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in 10 U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. 

The Center for Powerful Public Schools will help prepare 250 low-income youth, ages 16 to 18, for promising careers in energy engineering and sustainability.

“Thanks to the support of the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance we will be able to connect many more underrepresented students living in Los Angeles to 21st century career opportunities,” said Jeanne Fauci, Executive Director of Center for Powerful Public Schools. “First-hand, real world job preparation and experience in the environmental energy field, one of the city's’ growing industries, will allow diverse students to contribute to the vitality of our city and its future economy.”

UNITE-LA, an affiliate of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, in joint effort with the Office of the Los Angeles Mayor and the Los Angeles Unified School District, will provide 375 youth with workforce readiness training and certification with the potential of paid summer employment opportunities at partner healthcare institutions.   

“Through our collaboration with the Mayor’s Office and the L.A. Unified School District, we are able to help our young people on a path to a high-growth career,” said David Rattray, President of UNITE-LA. “The Youth Opportunity Fund will enable us to increase our efforts to help secure critical early work experience for local youth.”

“Partnerships, like those with the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance’s Youth Opportunity Fund organizations, will allow cities to connect even more of our most vulnerable young people to skills training, work experience and first-time paychecks,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “These opportunities will not only help put the youth on a path to success but also benefit their families, our communities and our local economies.”  

The Fund supports programs that address youth unemployment through partnerships with municipal governments and collaborations across industries that are core to the economies of the Pathways to Progress cities, including IT, tech, healthcare, the service industry and environmental sustainability. Grantees will collaborate and share best practices on the most effective ways to expand and connect youth to economic opportunity in their communities.

“The future competitiveness of America’s cities hinges on the positive economic outcomes of our young people,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. “We launched the Youth Opportunity Fund to support the innovative work of community partners who are helping low-income youth create the on-ramps that will lead towards career success.”

“We are dealing with the mixed reality of our nation’s high school graduation numbers increasing at unprecedented rates, while an estimated 5.6 million young people are not in school or employed,” said John Gomperts, President and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. “The dozen Youth Opportunity Fund grantees are vital to connecting thousands of young people to opportunities that boost their ability to compete in today’s economy.”

In its first year, nearly 25,000 young people have been impacted by the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, a three-year, $50 million commitment to give 100,000 low-income youth in the U.S. the opportunity to develop the workplace skills and leadership experience necessary to compete in a 21st century economy. The initiative includes national organizations such as the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Points of Light, AmeriCorps, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, iMentor and the Cities for Financial Empowerment.

To learn more about the Youth Opportunity Fund and see a full list of grantees visit:      

Elizabeth Patella, 212.559.2477

Ellen Holton, 213.250.1204

Leonard Hyman, 213.580.5444



About the Center for Powerful Public Schools
Founded in 2003, Center for Powerful Public Schools builds the capacity of educators to create and sustain powerful public schools that prepare every student for college, career, and life. The Center provides services to schools and districts in Greater Los Angeles and across California to develop, implement and sustain personalized, high-performing schools that advance public education and ensure student success. For more information, visit

UNITE-LA is a non-profit established in 1998 that leads education reform and workforce development initiatives designed to benefit the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the United States.  UNITE-LA’s mission is to promote and support an effective public education system in Los Angeles, emphasizing business and community partnerships with schools, so that all students have access to education and training opportunities preparing them for high-skill, high-wage employment in a fulfilling career of choice, and the regions’ economy and community thrives as a result. For more information, visit

About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit

About America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance leads an alliance of organizations, communities and individuals dedicated to making the promise of America real for every child. As its signature effort, the GradNation campaign mobilizes Americans to increase the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and prepare young people for postsecondary enrollment and the 21st century workforce. For more information, visit