June 23, 2014 (New York, NY) JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced the expansion of The Fellowship Initiative (TFI) to Chicago and Los Angeles along with a new, larger class of Fellows in New York City. The Fellowship Initiative, first launched in New York City in 2010 as a multi-year pilot developed by JPMorgan Chase, enrolls young men of color in a comprehensive, hands-on enrichment program that includes academic, social and emotional support at a critical juncture in their lives to help them achieve personal and professional success.
Many young men of color from economically-distressed communities do not have access to the educational opportunities and support systems they need to succeed. It is well-recognized that Black and Latino students in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles graduate from high school at rates well below those of their non-minority peers. At a minimum, future employability requires a high school degree, but real economic opportunity involves much more.
"These young men need access to high quality education and positive role models in and outside the classroom," Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co, will say today during an event with former Secretary of State General Colin Powell and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announcing the program expansion. "We want to raise their expectations for what they can achieve in life and give them the tools for academic and personal success. The Fellowship Initiative is a smart investment in their individual futures and the future of our country."
Beginning in 2010, JPMorgan Chase launched a pilot in New York City to see if the right combination of intensive academic and leadership training could help young men of color complete their high school education and gain admission to top colleges and universities. The pilot demonstrated that with a comprehensive enrichment program, these students were able to rise to the challenge, work hard and expand their personal and economic horizons.
"America's continued strength depends on our young people getting the education and support they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive world," said General Colin Powell. "At America's Promise, we launched GradNation to help raise the national average on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020. By focusing intensively on young men of color and providing hands-on mentorship and support in high school and college, JPMorgan Chase's Fellowship Initiative is an excellent example of the commitment our country needs to preserve the long-term success of our nation. I am pleased to be on President Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' task force, which is also complimented by the JPMorgan Chase Fellowship Initiative."
"Helping young Black and Latino men overcome the obstacles they face is an urgent challenge that has been too long ignored," said former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "In New York City, we created a public-private partnership called the Young Men's Initiative to confront the challenge head-on. We need more civic-minded companies and organizations to step up and join this work, and I congratulate JPMorgan Chase for being a leader in this effort and for making a real difference in the lives of young men of color in our city."
The 24 Fellows who completed the three-year pilot starting in their sophomore year of high school reported elevated academic goals, career aspirations and life-changing personal growth. Each of these Fellows who completed the pilot program graduated from high school on-time, gained admission to a four-year college program and, collectively, received scholarships and grants totaling $8.4 million. More than half were the first in their family to attend college.
"We need to do more to ensure that young men of color are not left behind," said Dalila Wilson-Scott, President of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. "One of the most important lessons we learned during The Fellowship Initiative pilot in New York City was that students respond positively to commitment. They were able to unlock their overall potential when they had sustained access to academic and social supports alongside mentoring."
The Fellowship Initiative in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City will include:
The Fellows will also receive support services and coaching through college, as well as opportunities for summer internships at JPMorgan Chase. In addition, their families will participate in educational workshops about the college application process.
JPMorgan Chase is recruiting 120 students 40 students in each city to participate in the program. Recruiting began in May, and students who are enrolled in the program will begin orientation in July and the full program in October. The Fellowship Initiative will begin with a week on college campuses.
"The Fellowship Initiative is a program that addresses the current state of crisis young men of color are facing, which is arguably the most urgent and prevalent social issue in American society," said Dariel Vasquez, a Fellow from the New York City pilot program. "TFI provided me both the professional and academic development I desperately needed to become successful in high school and in college. The program practically put me a year ahead of my peers. TFI gave me exposure to a world I didn't even know existed and prepared me to successfully navigate through any obstacles that may present themselves. It goes without saying that I wouldn't be here today had it not been for programs like TFI."
Other Notable Statements of Support for The Fellowship Initiative
"The JPMC Fellowship Initiative is exactly what the President's call to action through My Brother's Keeper is all about: creating powerful mentorship and fellowship opportunities for young men of color," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Programs like these are catalysts for success in college and careers, building pathways to opportunity for our nation's most vulnerable youth, who are too often left out of the mainstream workforce."
"As the largest school district in the nation, we know that programs like the JPMorgan Chase Fellowship Initiative provide invaluable academic and social supports to our young men of color," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "I'm thrilled that The Fellowship Initiative is expanding in New York City giving additional students a chance to reach their individual potential and graduate high school prepared for success in college and career."
"In Chicago, our goal is 100% college-ready, 100% college-bound for every child, and that is what The Fellowship Initiative achieves for these young men who participate," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Having a mentor who unlocks their potential and unleashes their talents in a constructive safe environment is the strongest tool there is for transforming lives. These opportunities not only benefit the young people who take advantage of them, they benefit our whole society, because when one young person succeeds in life, it is a win for our country."
"I'm pleased that JPMorgan Chase's Fellowship Initiative will help young men of color in Los Angeles create opportunities for personal and economic success," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "I'm confident the academic support and leadership training offered to these students will help them prepare for college and get the skills they need to start rewarding careers."
For more information and to view a short film about The Fellowship Initiative, visit www.jpmorganchase.com/TFI.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.