Year Up Bay Area Selected as Grant Recipient of Youth Opportunity Fund to Connect Low-Income Youth in San Francisco to Career Opportunities

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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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First-hand, real world job training and experience in one of San Francisco’s growing industries will have a significant impact on the lives of our young people and contribute to the vitality of our city and its economy.

The Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance announced that Year Up Bay Area has been selected as a recipient of the Youth Opportunity Fund, a $3 million initiative to support city-level, innovative and scalable programs connecting 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 will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in 10 of the largest U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Year Up Bay Area will receive a one-year grant totaling $250,000 to provide technology and business communications training and on-the job experience to 400 young adults, transforming their career opportunities and economically strengthening the communities in which they live.

“This grant will allow us to connect hundreds more young adults to 21st century careers,” said Jay Banfield, Founding Executive Director of Year Up Bay Area. “First-hand, real world job training and experience in one of San Francisco’s growing industries will have a significant impact on the lives of our young people and contribute to the vitality of our city and its economy.”

Adan Faudoa, recent graduate of Year Up Bay Area and San Francisco native, now works as the Diversity Projects Coordinator for Pandora after six months of intensive, hands-on training and a six-month internship at his current employer. “College wasn’t a viable option for me and I needed to financially support myself and my family. Year Up taught me that with hard work and motivation, anything is possible. The program gave me the opportunity to get ahead in my career, not just ‘get by’.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Year Up Bay Area to help educate, train and prepare low-income and disadvantaged young adults in our City for in demand jobs and careers,” said Todd Rufo, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “This funding will continue to strengthen public and private partnerships that create and guide a continuum of workforce services that improve the economic vitality of San Francisco.”

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 & CEO of America’s Promise. “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:

About Year Up Inc.
Year Up's mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Year Up achieves this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits. Its holistic approach focuses on students' professional and personal development to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency. Year Up currently serves more than 2,700 students a year at sites in Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Jacksonville, the National Capital Region, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay Area, and South Florida. To learn more, visit or

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

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

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Roberto Zeledon
Year Up
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Year Up
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