JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon has a panel discussion with two TFI alumni to discuss the importance of the program. (Courtesy Photo/JPMC and Youth Guidance)

By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
msayles@afro.com

JPMorgan Chase and Youth Guidance announced on Wednesday that they would team up to expand their respective programs, The Fellowship Initiative (TFI) and Becoming a Man (BAM), to D.C. for young men of color. Both programs will target male students of color from four public schools in Wards 5,6,7 and 8, assisting them in graduation and post-secondary success. 

The announcement was made during an event at Dunbar High School where D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Lewis Ferebee, Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick and program alumni held a panel discussion about the programs’ impact. At its conclusion, Frederick announced that he would offer full-tuition scholarships to four DCPS students who participate in BAM and TFI. 

“Partnering with TFI gives us the opportunity with D.C. Public Schools to say ‘we’re investing in creating a web of support, a web of opportunities and a whole set of professional mentors that you’ll be tapping well beyond your experience with the D.C. Public School and into your college experience,” said Michelle Morrison, CEO of Youth Guidance. 

JPMorgan Chase’s TFI launched in 2010 to provide young men of color in high school with education, skills and resources that would lead them to greater economic mobility. Youth Guidance, a Chicago-based education nonprofit, started BAM in 2001 to help young men navigate difficult circumstances that endanger their future. 

This joint effort will combine aspects of both programs to provide students with academic coaching; college and career readiness services; social and mental health support; and leadership development. They will also be matched with mentors and a licensed clinical counselor. 

The schools involved include Dunbar High School, Eastern High School, H.D. Woodson High School and Ron Brown College Preparatory High School. 

Chancellor Ferebee emphasized that the models of these programs have proven to be effective over time. Students enrolled in the BAM program are 50% less likely to be arrested for violent crime, 25% more engaged in school and 19% more likely to graduate high school on time. Since TFI’s inception, 100% of its graduates have been accepted into post-secondary opportunities. 

“ investment in our young people signals to other corporations the importance of ensuring that there’s collective responsibility and socioeconomic mobility, but more importantly, ensuring that our young people are able to fulfill their dreams and aspirations,” said Ferebee. 

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