Per Scholas Selected as Grant Recipient of 2016 Youth Opportunity Fund to Connect Young Adults in National Capital Region to Career Opportunities

The $3 million commitment, led by the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance, supports innovative programs that prepare low-income youth for future success

Washington, DC (August 18, 2016) – Per Scholas has been selected to receive a one-year, $250,000 grant as part of The Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance’s 2016 Youth
Opportunity Fund. The Fund 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 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.

Per Scholas is one of 12 organizations selected in 2016. Per Scholas’ National Capital Region will work with the DC Office of Youth Programs, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County to prepare 250 young adults for jobs in the tech field. The Connecting the Path program will help youth become career-ready, and provide industry certification and job placement assistance.

Melissa Stallings, National Capital Region managing director, Per Scholas, noted, “Here in the DC metro region, the powerful impact of a rapidly expanding tech sector is clear – the city is now home to more than 1,000 tech start-ups and was recently named one of the best cities for tech jobs. We’re so thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our services to prepare even more individuals for careers in tech.”

The Per Scholas model has been validated by two workforce development studies, and recognized for its ability to produce positive and lasting impacts related to the income, reliance on public benefits and overall well-being of its students. Training at Per Scholas is intended not only to educate students, but to arm them with life-changing business and life skills that result in long-term success and economic mobility.

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.

“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 date, 24 organizations, including Per Scholas New York, have received support, reaching more than 7,000 youth. In its first two years, more than 70,000 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 workplace skills and leadership experience.

To learn more about the Youth Opportunity Fund and see a full list of 2016 grantees, click here.


About Per Scholas

Per Scholas is a national nonprofit that drives positive and proven social change in communities across the country. Through rigorous and tuition-free technology training and professional development, Per Scholas prepares motivated and curious adults who are un- or underemployed for transformative careers in the tech sector, while creating onramps to businesses in need of their talents. Per Scholas provides its solution in six cities across the country: Atlanta, GA; Greater Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; the National Capital Region; and New York, NY. To date, Per Scholas has trained over 6,000 individuals, helping them build lasting, life-changing careers in technology. For more information, visit, Twitter @PerScholas and Facebook.

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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