Bridging the Opportunity Gap: Connecting Black and Latinx Students to Careers in Finance
This summer, the Greenwood Project will teach financial literacy, coding, career skills and investment strategies to over 200 Black and Latinx youth, primarily from Chicago’s South and West Sides. Their goal is to empower Black and Latinx communities to overcome generational cycles of poverty by introducing students to wealth-building career pathways through the intensive study of finance.
Greenwood Project is proud to announce partnerships with over 40 companies, universities and non-profits for its 2022 program year. Its flagship partners include Citadel, DePaul University, Janus Henderson, Piper Sandler, Cboe and William Blair, according to a press release.
Greenwood Project’s focus on generational wealth through careers in finance traces back to its namesake. The Greenwood District of Tulsa, Okla. was once known as “Black Wall Street”: A neighborhood where the Black community thrived amidst generations of racial animus. Black Wall Street was completely destroyed by white mobs during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Greenwood Project honors this legacy of Black Wall Street and has helped students move from the South Side of Chicago to Wall Street in New York.
Citadel is underwriting the Greenwood Project’s High School FinTech Institute in 2022. Sixty high school students from Chicago will learn basic financial literacy concepts through a Python coding project. The goal of the program is to show students that coding and finance skills can lead to well-paying, in-demand jobs in the finance industry.
“The Greenwood Project’s high school program reaches students at a pivotal point in their academic journey, when skills-based training and exposure to opportunities can open new pathways to success and further ensure that they reach their true potential,” said Gerald Beeson, chief operating officer of Citadel and chair of the Board of Trustees at DePaul University.
“We are proud to invest in these scholars who will help shape the future of our industry.”
Greenwood Project works with both high school and college students, primarily in intensive, paid training programs at DePaul University each summer. All students are paid to participate in the program, providing them a safe, reliable part-time job each summer. All college students receive a paid internship in the financial services industry with Greenwood Project’s corporate partners.
DePaul University hosts the in-person, summer intensives for 10-weeks in June, July and August. Tom Donley, interim dean for the Driehaus College of Business, sees synergy between DePaul University’s goals and that of the Greenwood Project.
“The Driehaus College of Business is thrilled to partner with the Greenwood Project. The summer boot camp that has resulted from this partnership aligns closely with our shared values and goals to educate and prepare the next generation of business leaders. The Greenwood Project has seen tremendous growth over the last few years and has created a successful program that provides Black and Latinx students with career pathways into financial services industry.”