As we all know, 2021 was another challenging year. Even as cities and offices reopened and we began to reach a “new normal”, COVID-19 continued to have a devastating impact on the communities we serve. Thanks to supporters like you, StreetWise Partners was able to stay strong and connect job seekers to professional mentorship and employment opportunities.
In 2021, we are thrilled to say we served 500 unemployed or underemployed adults in New York City, Washington D.C., and Michigan. This week 175 mentees are graduating from StreetWise Partners’ fall program ready to launch their careers!
Looking back at 2021, we are proud of all we achieved with you by our side.
We fine-tuned our virtual model. Connection and community-building are core elements of mentorship, and are also the most challenging to create and maintain in a virtual setting. Through more one-on-one virtual touchpoints and a plethora of online resources, we ensured mentees felt connected to and supported by their mentors, StreetWise staff and peers. We alleviated the digital divide by providing laptops as needed and when possible.
We stayed informed and agile. We worked with our Employment Advisory Board (EAB) to remain at the forefront of responding to a rapidly changing workforce landscape, paying close attention to hiring trends and return-to-work policies.
We accelerated job placement. This year we piloted a highly successful new job placement program in New York City. The pilot proved that we can accelerate placement of StreetWise mentees into jobs and internships by leveraging StreetWise’s existing partnerships with global companies. We established formal hiring partnerships with top companies including Blackstone, Napier Park, Jefferies, Fitch Ratings, Tradeweb, and Gemini, and are now expanding this program in D.C.!
We pushed forward with important DE&I work. We took a deeper look at our DE&I practices internally and externally. Recognizing our unique position to impact positive changes in corporate and community spaces, this fall we launched a Diversity Equity & Inclusion strategic planning process. We will implement this plan in 2022 to not only better serve our mentees and volunteers, but also inform and collaborate effectively with our many partners.
Going into our 25th anniversary year in 2022, we are excited, hopeful, and grateful. We thank our entire StreetWise Partners community for sticking with us during these difficult times, and believing in our work and a better future. We look forward to sharing more with you in the new year!