We know that the powerful combination of education, employment AND relationships is integral to disrupt habits that lead to generational poverty. Throughout their time in our program, all our youth create and work a plan that includes college and/or career goals. Goals are as varied as law enforcement to medicine to cosmetology to engineering.
Take Michelle. Michelle has been in our program for four years. During career exploration opportunities and activities, Michelle created the goal to become an accountant; she had no idea how to get there. Through participation in our personal development workshops and retreats, being open to her mentor coaching her to create breakthroughs in her self-destructive thinking and setting and achieving goals that built up towards her ultimate goal of college, Michelle achieved what no one else in her family had achieved. This past May she graduated from high school and this month, she entered the W.P. Carey Business School at ASU, majoring in accounting, on a full scholarship.
Michelle and her proud mentor, Christy
It’s youth like Michelle that motivated us to reflect more on our impact and ensure we were making the greatest possible difference for our youth. After all, if Michelle could use self exploration, education and relationships to get to where she wanted to be in life, why couldn’t we model these mindsets to our growth to reach more youth?
Over the past six months the staff has focused on our data and evaluations, coupled with national trends on mentoring and youth development, to increase the impact of our programs and services. Ultimately we want to ensure our unique approach in creating breakthroughs in the self-destructing thinking for each and every one of our youth leads to the creation of actions consistent with the future they desire for themselves.
In March we were accepted into the nationwide Catalyst Program through Stand Together. Catalyst has been vital in helping us create clarity and precision focus around how and why we change kid’s lives…as well as the lives of mentors who serve them.
Our most unique opportunity for learning was REALITY-Empower. New Pathways for Youth joined 49 other international leaders in a week-long symposium exploring innovative ways to disrupt poverty. This inspiring experience enables agency leaders to step away from their daily lives to spend eight days in Israel re-imagining how they approach society’s toughest problems while thoughtfully reflecting on their agency’s current role in breaking the cycle of poverty. Leaders also had the chance to meet with other social change agents and organizations in Israel to gain new insights from a country that is facing its own unique challenges.
Most recently, we were also invited to be one of 25 agencies nationwide to participate in the annual Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring. Our staff participated in in-depth discussions of the research around mentoring and examined its implications for program policies and practices. This year’s summit focused on the quality program improvements being put into practice at New Pathways for Youth.
Currently, we are processing and integrating all that we have learned this year to ensure our goals for our youth are achieved and being applied to reach even more youth. Please stay tuned as we share our application of these learnings in the coming months!
1. What inspired you to make an impact at New Pathways for Youth?
Bank of America is guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits, like a New Pathways for Youth that work to remove barriers to economic and personal stability – barriers such as access to education, job skills or basic needs. By deploying our philanthropic capital along with employee volunteerism and providing pro bono expertise, we invest in this organization because they provide transformative mentoring services for over 400 youth experiencing poverty. We believe our investment to this organization will have long term positive impact by creating a stronger workforce in our Phoenix market.
2. How have you gotten involved?
Bank of America has invested in New Pathways for Youth for almost 10 years because of their impactful services and positive changes they create for families in our community. New Pathways for Youth is one of our key nonprofits that are breaking cycles of violence, poverty, and crime, ultimately transforming our community.
In 2012, New Pathways for Youth was selected as a Neighborhood Builder. As a Neighborhood Builder they received $200,000 in flexible funding, leadership development for an executive director and an emerging leader at the organization, and the opportunity to connect to a network of peer organizations and access capital. Neighborhood Builders is the nation’s largest philanthropic investment in nonprofit leadership development and will celebrate 15 years this year. This funding and leadership training enabled New Pathways for Youth to implement transforming changes to their organization.
New Pathways for Youth also offers our teammates a variety of volunteer options. Bank of America pays each employee two hours per week to volunteer and we connected our teams from our downtown Phoenix office to this organization. Our teams jump at any chance to volunteer at New Pathways!! Our Bank of America Community Volunteers are involved in mentoring, after school program assistance, and one of other volunteer events. One of our more memorable volunteer events was conducting an enrichment activity that required the youth to identify and classify media advertisements as entertaining, persuading or informing. Our teams have also helped out with the mentoring intensive program, serving food to the participants after a long day of classroom and learning sessions, as well as administrative projects for the New Pathways leadership team.
3. Why is it important for you to invest in our community?
Our philanthropic efforts are one demonstration of how we deploy capital to advance economic and social progress in the communities we serve. We invest in local nonprofits that are removing barriers to economic success for vulnerable populations, including youth, working families, and those with obstacles to employment including the formerly incarcerated. Too many individuals living on the margins are limited by their zip code and unable to create a better life for themselves and their families through good jobs or affordable housing. By supporting organizations like New Pathways for Youth, we are able to help create pathways to economic mobility and assist those non-profits that are committed to advancing a more diverse and inclusive society by expanding opportunities and supporting equitable solutions that will enable low-income communities to grow and thrive.
4. What advice do you have for those on the sidelines, wondering how or if they should get involved?
Get out and learn about their programs, then start volunteering and investing in New Pathways for Youth. The staff are wonderful and have worked with our volunteers to find creative projects and our employees love working with the youth and seeing their smiling faces. The youth served by New Pathways for Youth are our future workforce in Arizona.
Our Very Own Most Admired Leader!
Join us in congratulating our President & CEO, Christy McClendon, on her selection as one of the Phoenix Business Journal’s Most Admired Leaders. Christy is one of only 25 leaders citywide recognized for her leadership, dedication, and impact on New Pathways for Youth and our community. We are very proud of her leadership, ensuring youth from the most adverse and impoverished communities have the opportunity to achieve their dreams.
Thank you, Christy, for connecting our vision and leading our team to achieve the greatest possible outcomes for our youth. Congratulations!
Biz Bash is big on fun, short on speeches!
New Pathways for Youth is proud once again be a beneficiary for the 12th annual Arizona Biz Bash, taking place on Thursday, October 4th. We need YOU to help to join in on the fundraising efforts!
The not-to-miss party of the year, puts the FUN into FUNdraising. The Biz Bash experience includes an evening of music, dancing, a foodie fest, a hosted bar and an opportunity to bid on items in the high-end silent auction.
We can’t to see you there! Get your tickets today!
Help us fill our volunteer gap at any one of these upcoming activities and projects!
Workshop Support Volunteer
See mentorship in action! Support our teen workshops by answering the door and greeting mentors and youth and by picking up lunch, setting it up, serving it to mentors and youth, cleaning space and packaging leftovers from youth to take home. We are looking for someone who would be interested in making a six month commitment to this project.
- Number of Volunteers: 1 – 2
- 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month, 9:00am – 10:30am
Child Care Volunteer
Make parent transformation possible! Volunteers provide childcare to allow parents of participating youth to attend workshops and develop the skills they need to effectively support their children’s development.
Volunteers could play board games and sports, do crafts, or simply spend time with the school-aged youth. The time you volunteer in childcare allows our parents time to develop themselves! Volunteers must have a valid Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card.
- Number of Volunteers: 2 – 4
- Wednesday, September 26th, 5:00pm-8:30pm
Roll up your sleeves and help beautify the center! We are looking for volunteers to deep clean and organize program spaces to keep the center functional for our youth, parents, and mentors. We are also looking to freshen our courtyard space with new flowers and other plants.
- Number of Volunteers: 5 – 10+
- 2-4 hours; time is flexible between 9am – 5pm, Monday - Friday