Genesys Works Selected as Grant Recipient of 2016 Youth Opportunity Fund to Connect Low-Income Youth in Chicago to Career Opportunities

August 5, 2016

Press Release


The $250,000 grant, made possible by the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance, supports innovative programs that prepare low-income youth for future success

Chicago (August 5, 2016) –  The Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance announced thatGenesys Works Chicago 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.

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.

Genesys Works Chicago is one of 12 organizations selected in 2016 to receive a one-year, $250,000 grant to help young people access the training, resources, and education that are needed to achieve lifelong economic stability.

“This grant will allow us to connect more young people to 21st century careers,” said Jim Morgan, the Executive Director of Genesys Works Chicago. “First-hand, real-world job training and experience in one of Chicago’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.”

“Genesys Works is an innovative, proven program that connects young adults to meaningful work experiences in Chicago,” said Alan Mather, Chief Officer, Office of College and Career Success for Chicago Public Schools. “Genesys Works and Chicago Public Schools have worked together since 2010, and with the support of America’s Promise Alliance and the Citi Foundation, we will provide skills training that will better prepare more low-income youth in Chicago for academic and career success.”

The Youth Opportunity Fund supports programs that address youth unemployment through partnerships with select municipal governments and collaborations across industries, including IT, technology, healthcare, the service industry and environmental sustainability.

The 2016 cohort will add opportunities in construction, clean technology and communications. 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.”

In its first two years, over 70,000 young people have been impacted by the Citi Foundation’sPathways to Progressinitiative, a three-year, $50 million commitment to give 100,000 low-income youth in the U.S. the opportunity to develop workplace skills and leadership experience.

To learn more about the Youth Opportunity Fund and see a full list of 2016 grantees, visit:


Contact: Laura Lukens,


About Genesys Works Chicago

Genesys Works Chicago partners with Chicago Public Schools and the local business community to empower low-income high school students to achieve a lifetime of meaningful work and economic self-sufficiency. The comprehensive program includes workforce training, a year-long paid internship, and guidance from high school, through college, and into the workforce.

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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