29 Aug How UrbanPromise is Making a Difference in Charlotte
We’ve all heard how Charlotte ranked dead last on the country’s 50 largest cities for upward mobility. It is incredibly difficult for people to get out of poverty and achieve the American Dream in the Queen City with so many barriers in place – especially for people of color. What we don’t always hear about are the organizations (and the people) in the trenches making a difference.
In 2013, Jimmy McQuilkin founded the organization UrbanPromise Charlotte, with the mission to provide Charlotte’s children and youth with the spiritual, academic, and social development necessary to become leaders determined to restore their communities.
Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders Today
One of the organization’s initiatives, the StreetLeader Program, employs high school students or those starting college as counselors, tutors, and mentors for younger children in the community. The heart of the StreetLeader Program challenges teens to use their influence to make positive changes. These amazing young leaders are making a difference in the lives of these children, in their own lives, and throughout their communities. In addition, UrbanPromise Charlotte provides StreetLeaders with extensive job training, tutoring, college preparation, and mentoring to help them succeed.
Participants in StreetLeaders long to pursue careers in competitive fields but often lack the connections, knowledge, and resources necessary to network and build relationships with people working in their desired career field. These relationships are critical in exploring and pursuing opportunities to gain experience during and after college. That’s where the inaugural UrbanPromise Career Institute comes in.
UrbanPromise Career Institute
In order to help StreetLeaders explore career opportunities and build social capital, in the summer of 2018, the inaugural UrbanPromise Career Institute was launched. Our very own Account Supervisor, Pilar Viatela, participated in the inaugural program. As a panelist, she shared about her career and life journey and also served as table-host with StreetLeaders to discuss a wide range of topics.
“It was an honor to be able to share my experiences with SteetLeaders’ high school leaders and students entering college. With the help and support of organizations like UrbanPromise, today’s youth has a positive avenue to grow and learn from experts representing a wide range of career fields, and begin lasting relationships,” noted Pilar.
The UrbanPromise Career Institute is building much needed connections as a foundation for the future of our community’s youth, and helping the children of tomorrow strive for goals they may not have thought possible.
Empowering today’s youth is an important and critical step in making progress in changing Charlotte’s upward mobility issues.