Regardless of what neighborhood you grow up in, we firmly believe that every young person deserves a fair shot at achieving their dreams. Opportunity Fund is proud to step up and answer the President’s call to action in his new White House Initiative, “My Brother’s Keeper,” which aims to build ladders of opportunity to unlock the full potential of boys and young men of color.
We are not alone in this effort. The Opportunity Finance Network is leading a national effort to bring over $1 billion in financing to benefit young people, and particularly to young men of color, through its "Youth Opportunity Pledge," recently announced in The Washington Post. As we know, building ladders of opportunity requires a heavy lift to ensure the financial well-being for young men of color – and everyone in this nation – seeking to move into the middle-class. Opportunity Fund will make a huge contribution to this effort through the microfinance funding and financial advice we provide.
How does Opportunity Fund invest in the next generation? We help young adults like Teran build their first savings accounts. We support students like Karla in completing their college degrees. We support young, male entrepreneurs like Corey, who runs Basic Green Cleaning, and William, who runs SF Parking. These young entrepreneurs not only provide for their own families, they create jobs for others in their communities. And we invest in community projects such as the Boys & Girls Club, which provides a safe place after school for thousands of kids and young people to grow up every day.
In the past two years, Opportunity Fund has provided a hand-up to 3,185 young men, women, boys and girls of color, investing more than $38 million in their educations, the businesses they run, the jobs they create, and the neighborhood facilities they need to grow up safe and hopeful. We are so proud of the young men and women standing up to be their brother’s (and sister’s) keepers.
Currently, only 8% of low income youth graduate from a four year college by age 25, closing doors to well-paying jobs and limiting their potential. We think this statistic is unacceptable and are on a mission to help change it, one dollar at a time.
What can you do to get involved and support this cause? It's simple, every dollar Opportunity Fund invests is supported by members of our community. Quite literally, we cannot do this work without you. Each dollar you donate spurs five dollars in microlending and is tripled when it helps a student pay for college. You can also share your story with President Obama, letting him know how your support for Opportunity Fund is spurring investments in opportunties for young people of color in California.