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Philadelphia Youth Networks Awarded $35,000 Gift To Support Youth Jobs

Under the leadership of CEO and President Wendy-Anne Roberts-Johnson, PYN’s flagship WorkReady program has been revamped to address community needs and the evolving employment landscape. Lincoln Financial Foundation’s generous gift will help fund PYN's new WorkReady BOOST and WorkReady VIP initiatives in particular.

The Lincoln Financial Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Lincoln Financial Group, awards grants to hundreds of nonprofits each year with the aim to empower and improve the lives of people in their communities with a focus on human services, education, and financial wellness. The Foundation is one of our generous supporters that helps PYN uplift young people to able to pursue any career they wish.

“We are thankful for business leaders that continuously invest in our young people,” Roberts-Johnson said. “It’s essential that we expose young people to career opportunities as soon as possible so they can achieve their academic goals and explore their potential. With this gift, we are able to continue this critical work.”

WorkReady Boost will offer two tracks to 300 middle and high school students to participate in meaningful and structured early work experiences. The first track is a seven-week summer internship which includes 12 hours of pre-work onboarding and job readiness training before 90 hours of paid work experience and 18 hours of additional skills training. The second track is a full academic year, which provides 90 to 120 hours of paid work-based learning across 18 industry sectors. The partnering employers include PGW, PECO, Bank of America, and Drexel University. This program is also funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PA DCED).

Meanwhile, WorkReady VIP, which was launched in March 2024, aims to provide career pathways, job readiness, soft skills training, and subsidized work experiences for 300 at-risk students in high violence zip codes in an effort to deter community violence. PYN functions as an intermediary for this program and partners with four community-based

organizations who oversee recruitment, case management, services, and operations. This program is also funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

PYN is grateful for the continuous support from the Lincoln Financial Foundation over the years.

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