Citi Foundation Supports SEO (Sponsors for Educational Opportunity)’s Expanded Reach

NEW YORK, Aug. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — We are thrilled to announce that the Citi Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to SEO in support of the national expansion of the SEO Scholars program and the launch of the new program initiative, SEO Tech Developer. This effort is part of the Citi Foundation’s global Pathways to Progress job skills-building initiative, which addresses the persistent and global issue of youth unemployment.


Citi Foundation’s grant will enable the expansion of the SEO Scholars program model to new cities in the U.S. SEO Scholars effectively eliminates the academic and opportunity gaps that underserved students in our country’s public school systems face. Currently, SEO serves approximately 1,000 students in public schools in New York City and San Francisco, and an additional 1,000 students in colleges across the nation. SEO gets these students to and through college with a 90% college graduation rate, as compared to only 20% of students who come from similar backgrounds. The expansion of the SEO Scholars program model to new cities will allow SEO to continue to find ways to close the opportunity gap for deserving and dedicated public school students around the nation.

Citi Foundation’s support also allows for the launch of SEO’s new Tech Developer program initiative, which will train and prepare at least 60 Black and Latinx youth this summer for careers in the tech industry. Historically, Black and Latinx youth have represented less than 8% of all tech-industry employees, and less than 3% of employees at major tech firms. With this new program initiative, SEO can provide underrepresented and/or underserved young people with access to additional professional development and training in the rapidly-growing technology industry.

“This grant from Citi Foundation builds on our longstanding relationship with Citi, who has supported our professional programs for years,” said Julian Johnson, Executive Vice President of SEO. “We’re energized by this collaboration with the Citi Foundation, which will allow us to continue to increase our impact and forge new paths towards our mission of creating a more equitable society.”

Support like this will help SEO expand the programming necessary to combat institutional racism and level the playing field for underserved and historically excluded populations.

About SEO

SEO was founded in 1963 with a mission to create a more equitable society by providing exceptional educational and career opportunities to talented and motivated young people from underserved and underrepresented communities. SEO’s five signature programs create an ecosystem of excellence. SEO Scholars is a free, eight-year, academic program that transforms public high school students into college graduates by successfully educating and mentoring underserved, low-income public high school students in New York City and San Francisco to and through college — with a 90% college graduation rate. SEO Career is the nation’s premier program for recruiting and training high-achieving students who have been historically excluded in industries across Wall Street and Corporate America, which include Black, Latinx, and Native American college students, for challenging summer internships, with 80% of SEO Career Interns earning fulltime job offers from SEO partners before graduating college. Learn more at

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