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Sociedad Latina selected as grant recipient of 2016 Youth Opportunity Fund to connect low-income youth in boston to career opportunities

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The Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance announced that Sociedad Latina, on behalf of the Latino College & Career Access Network, has been awarded a grant from the 2016 Youth Opportunity Fund, an initiative that supports programs that connect youth to opportunities that increase their employability and prepare them to compete and thrive in a 21st century economy.

Sociedad Latina is one of 12 organizations selected in 2016 to receive a one-year, $250,000 grant to prepare 250 low-income youth for the workforce through skill-building, mentoring and paid internships. This project will be carried out by the Latino College & Career Access Network, which includes East Boston Ecumenical Community Council, Hyde Square Task Force, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción and Sociedad Latina, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

“In Boston, Latinos experience double the poverty rate and earn only 62 cents on the dollar compared to non-Latinos. They are also overrepresented in service jobs and underrepresented in managerial positions,” said Alexandra Oliver-Dávila, Executive Director of Sociedad Latina. “The Youth Opportunity Fund will enhance the Latino College & Career Access Network’s efforts to help more young Latinos gain the skills and experience they need to succeed in the 21st century workplace.”

“Congratulations to Sociedad Latina on being selected as a recipient of the Youth Opportunity Fund, an important program in the City of Boston that provides needed support and opportunities to our youth,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “This well-deserved recognition speaks to the important work that Sociedad Latina does in our community, engaging our Latino youth in programming and skill-building opportunities to create the next generation of leaders.”

Now in its second year, the Youth Opportunity Fund is part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, and supports organizations that empower urban youth ages 16 to 24. The Fund focuses on nonprofits in 10 of the largest U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C. To date, 24 organizations have received support, reaching more than 7,000 youth.

“Since we launched the Youth Opportunity Fund, grantees have demonstrated what it takes to give young people the chance to unlock their full career and economic potential,” said Brandee McHale, president of the Citi Foundation. “We are excited to support the innovative work of this new cohort of community partners and look forward to promoting their learnings and success.”

“Students who earn a high school diploma have a greater chance of becoming employed, but without the right skills and connections, better job opportunities may be out of reach,” said John Gomperts, president & CEO of America’s Promise. “The Youth Opportunity Fund helps to even the odds by giving more young people the training and support they need to get on a path to adult success.”

To learn more about the Youth Opportunity Fund and see a full list of 2016 grantees, visit: http://www.americaspromise.org/program/youth-opportunity-fund.

Founded in 1968, Sociedad Latina works in partnership with youth and families to create the next generation of Latino leaders who are confident, competent, self-sustaining and proud of their cultural heritage. Operating under this mission, we have developed an innovative youth development model called Pathways to Success, which engages Latino youth over the long-term (ages 11-21) using culturally and linguistically responsive and sustaining practices. Our approach works in partnership with families and cross-sector supporters to capitalize on youth’s strengths and assets, such as strong community ties, bilingualism and high aspirations. For more information, visit www.sociedadlatina.org.