United Airlines puts $1 million of profits to good use helping foster youth

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With a $1 million grant from United Airlines, First Place for Youth will dramatically expand its reach, moving more high-risk foster youth 16 to 24 years old from homelessness into safe, affordable apartments and giving them the skills they need to compete in the job market and to realize long-term self-sufficiency. The Los Angeles nonprofit will be able to enroll more young people in academically rigorous linked learning programs that result in industry-recognized certificates that can lead to a living-wage career.

Today, United Airlines announced a $1 million grant to First Place for Youth in support of their My First Place program. The four-year investment will enable First Place to expand wraparound support services to 50 percent more foster youth in the region. First Place will strengthen career-focused programming and provide the tools to help secure meaningful employment and increase lifetime earning potential for Angeleno foster youth.

“As California’s global airline, United cares deeply about investing in the state’s future,” said United’s President of California Janet Lamkin. “Los Angeles County is home to one-third of California’s foster youth and we are proud to help First Place target growth in high-needs areas of the community, like South Los Angeles, and help ensure California’s youth have increased access to high-quality programs that lead to employment in a wide variety of fields, including aviation.”

“Everyone deserves access to the opportunity to earn a paycheck and succeed, especially our most vulnerable young people,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Through our HIRE LA’s Youth program, partners like United Airlines and First Place For Youth are helping our young people find jobs, start careers, and realize their dreams.”

Over the next four years, United’s investment in the My First Place program will help First Place for Youth provide Los Angeles’ foster youth with safe, stable housing, individualized education and employment counseling and healthy living support services. United will work hand-in-hand with the local organization and engage with city and community leadership to create profound, sustainable advancements for the city’s foster youth population.

“We are so grateful for the incredible generosity of United Airlines as they expand their impact in Los Angeles. With this investment, First Place will support more than 650 young people who grew up in foster care, helping them move into their first apartment, make progress in school, and secure jobs that lead to living-wage careers. We believe that all young people deserve the opportunity to achieve their full potential in life,” said Hellen Hong, Interim CEO and Chief Regional Office at First Place for Youth.

Today’s announcement is the fifth in a series of announcements United is making in all of its domestic hub markets over the coming weeks. Each grant is a part of a total of $8 million in grants to help address critical needs identified by local leadership in each of its hub market communities – Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Newark/New York and Washington, D.C. The announcement represents United’s commitment to invest in and lift up the communities where many of its customers and employees live and work.