NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UBS Americas today unveiled a $10 million, five-year commitment to establish a new education platform for improving college success among under-resourced populations. Commencing in three markets — New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — with an intensive program focused on young men of color, UBS NextGen Leaders aims to empower students with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to succeed in college and compete in the global marketplace. The program aligns with President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative which is dedicated to providing ladders of opportunity to young men of color. It is also a continuation of UBS’s longstanding philanthropic commitment to education.
SEO Scholars, an academic program that gets low-income public high school students to and through college with a 95% college graduation rate, will serve as the lead partner for the initiative. Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) is a nonprofit organization that has provided educational and career programs to young people from underserved and underrepresented communities since 1963. SEO will work with UBS to actively recruit young men of color from urban high schools and provide them with academic, social and emotional support from 12th grade through college graduation based on the SEO Scholars model. UBS NextGen Leaders will also provide exposure to global perspectives through summer experiences and international excursions, as well as direct mentoring from UBS employees. Through this five-year intensive model, UBS and SEO Scholars will take strides to help close the college graduation gap for black and Latino male students.
In announcing the initiative during a private UBS client meeting of young leaders, UBS Americas CEO Bob McCann said, “I know firsthand the power of education and how a college degree can change your trajectory in life. It is the single most important step in the economic ladder. Yet, across our communities, young people – particularly men of color – are being denied this opportunity. We have the power to change that by providing this important population of future talent with the tools, resources and support they need to graduate college and achieve economic independence. We’ll not only change their lives for the better…but rather our entire nation’s.”
“We are proud to partner with UBS for this vitally important initiative,” said William Goodloe, President and CEO of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO). “We know our SEO Scholars model works, and we’re excited to be able to help more deserving young men of color reach their goal of college graduation.”
UBS NextGen Leaders is based on the firm’s belief that improving college graduation rates could directly impact generational wealth and opportunity. A recent McKinsey study shows that annual GDP could increase by as much as $525 billion if the achievement gap between white students and their African American and Latino American peers can be closed. Further, according to a report from the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project, over a lifetime, earnings of an associate’s degree recipient are roughly $170,000 higher than those of a high school graduate, while the earnings of a bachelor’s degree holder are $570,000 more. Additionally, children born into the lowest quintile who earn a college degree have an 84% chance of moving out of the lowest quintile.
In response to the program's launch, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated, "We salute UBS’s corporate leadership for its commitment to ensuring that all young people reach their potential. By answering the President’s call to action, UBS is joining businesses, foundations, local governments and everyday Americans who are stepping up to provide opportunities for young men of color. Corporations have a significant role to play in creating pathways to opportunity for our young people, not only through their charitable giving but through their business practices, as well. Efforts like these help assure that our increasingly diverse American workforce remains the best in the world.”
UBS draws on its 150-year heritage to serve private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. Its business strategy is centered on its pre-eminent global wealth management businesses and its leading universal bank in Switzerland, complemented by its Global Asset Management business and its Investment Bank, with a focus on capital efficiency and businesses that offer a superior structural growth and profitability outlook.
UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in more than 50 countries, with about 35% of its employees working in the Americas, 36% in Switzerland, 17% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 12% in Asia Pacific. UBS employs about 60,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
About UBS Community Affairs & Corporate Responsibility, Americas
UBS Community Affairs & Corporate Responsibility, Americas is dedicated to providing under-resourced, high-potential individuals with access and advice to help develop more enterprising local communities. This is achieved through national programs, local giving and volunteer opportunities. UBS Community Affairs & Corporate Responsibility, Americas is committed to working together with its business partners globally to help drive real change.
About SEO Scholars
SEO Scholars is a free eight-year academic program that gets low-income public high school students to and through college. During high school, SEO Scholars provides over 720 hours of rigorous instruction in English and math on Saturdays, in the summers and after school. Comprehensive academic, personal and career support is provided through college. 100% of SEO Scholars are accepted to four-year colleges, with 95% graduating within 6 years and 80% graduating in 4 years. Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) was founded in 1963 and provides three superior educational and career programs to young people from underserved and underrepresented communities: SEO Scholars, SEO Career, and SEO Alternative Investments. Learn more at www.seo-usa.org.