Volunteers, including those from money management firms, are helping low-income high school seniors in some U.S. cities prepare for careers in accounting and information technology.
The help comes from a program called Genesys Works, started in Houston in 2002 and since expanded to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Chicago and California's Bay Area. Students are selected on the basis of their enrollment in free lunch programs and then screened to find those best suited for the program, said Eric Patton, CEO of Genesys in Chicago.
After a summer training program, participating students spend the school year working part-time for firms including J.P. Morgan Chase, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Cisco Systems, TransUnion and Kirkland & Ellis.
“We teach them how to be successful in a professional environment,” Mr. Patton said. “It's not busy work.”
While the program hires instructors to train students, volunteers work in board positions in each of the four locations. In Houston, Mike Mulcahy, president and COO of Bridgeway Capital Management, serves on the board, and in Chicago, Thomas Meyers, senior client portfolio manager and head of distribution at Legal & General Investment Management America, is a board member and treasurer.