2020 Best Community Improvement Program Finalists

Citi Foundation

Summer jobs can be a powerful career entry point for young people, providing not only a first paycheck, but also the early work experiences, connections, and skills needed to succeed. These opportunities, however, remain out of reach for many. In 2014, the Citi Foundation and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) created Summer Jobs Connect (SJC) as a youth financial empowerment program that works with cities to integrate financial education and access to financial products and services into existing municipal summer youth employment programs. Most recently in response to COVID-19, the Citi Foundation and CFE Fund supported a pivot in summer youth employment programming to enable virtual internships and online training. Since launch, 21 cities have joined the SJC initiative and the program has supported summer jobs for over 13,500 youth.

CSX

“Pride in Service” was created in 2018 by CSX as a company-wide community investment commitment to honor its employee values of supporting military personnel, veterans, and first responders. In 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CSX expanded this program to provide relief for healthcare workers due to the important role they play on the frontlines. With $4 million per year allocated to Pride in Service in 2019 and 2020, CSX has helped support more than 350,000 service heroes and family members across its 23-state footprint and beyond, exceeding its two-year goal of impacting 100,000 people. Employees have also contributed more than 5,000 hours of volunteer time through Pride in Service. The company has supported grants to more than 2,000 military families and leveraged cross-country transportation routes to gift more than 1.25 million supplies to first responders and families in hard-hit cities fighting COVID-19.  

T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. 

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T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.
© T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.

Following Baltimore’s 2015 civil unrest, the T. Rowe Price Foundation made a $1.3M multi-year commitment to West Baltimore to address key challenges identified by the community including racial inequity, food insecurity, and community leadership. Since 2015, the Foundation has increased funding to advance equity and support of minority-led organizations by 150%. From 2016 to 2019, healthy food options in the targeted area increased by 167% and diminished communities’ qualifications as food deserts. The Foundation implemented key learnings including its commitment to multi-year and general operating funding; comprehensive capacity building support; and focus on grantee-determined evaluation measurements. Since 2015, the Foundation partnered with over a dozen local corporations, which collectively raised more than $1M to combat hunger in communities hit hardest by the pandemic. As more organizations examine their role in social justice and community advancement, T. Rowe Price’s Foundation has been tapped by corporate peers to share learnings from the firm’s community approach in Baltimore.