Philanthropy means much more than just writing a check to a reputable charity. While financial support is helpful (and necessary) for most philanthropic efforts, true charity also means the donation of time, hard work, and emotional support. The best charities support all of these pillars for the ones they assist, like the Henry Kravis-led Sponsors for Educational Opportunity.
The Sponsors for Educational Opportunity program is a program that helps underachieving and underrepresented individuals succeed in school and in career. Since 1963, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) has made lifetimes of achievement possible for 11,000 talented youth from underserved and underrepresented communities. SEO makes this possible through three different programs: SEO Scholars, SEO Career, and SEO Alternative Investments.
SEO uses a Wall Street approach to philanthropy, which in turn makes NYC a more competitive place for all of its citizens. This aggressive and involved approach to philanthropy is reinforced by having people like Kravis on the team. Kravis learned long ago that, while it is easy to write a check, true philanthropy also means donating brainpower and time. “I believe in bringing everyone up, not bringing everyone down to a lower common denominator,” he said.
Here is an outline of SEO’s programs:
SEO Scholars: A rigorous eight-year academic program that prepares low-income public high school students for college applications and admissions processes. SEO Scholars also supports students through college graduation. The program has a high success rate, with 95% of their student graduating college in their sixth year of the program and 80% in only four years!
SEO Career: A summer internship program for talented, underrepresented college students of color. More than 75% of the program’s interns receive full-time job offers from SEO partner firms!
SEO Alternative Investments: Provides education, exposure, training, and mentoring opportunities with talented professionals in the alternative investments sector.
What do you think of SEO’s philanthropic efforts? Let us know in the comments section below!