1 MIN READ
Date Posted: 4 July 2017
The EY Foundation celebrates its third birthday this week, and as with all birthdays, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come as well as on what lies ahead.
The Foundation launched with an ambitious and very specific mission: to work with disadvantaged young people, employers and social entrepreneurs to create or support pathways to education, employment or enterprise.
Three years on, and by the end of this summer we will have helped 1718 young people and social entrepreneurs.
It never gets old to see our Smart Futures and Our Future participants flourish as they begin their careers or university course with new skills, clear direction and confidence; young people like 18 year old Mustafa who described his experience in our recent Impact Report. “It makes you feel positive about having a bright future and that you can actually achieve something”. The same goes for watching the social enterprises develop the business acumen, strategies and support to scale up sustainably.
With two decades of government efforts failing to reduce the gap and improve social mobility according to the latest report by the Social Mobility Commission, there’s no question that our work is more relevant than ever. In the words of Nil Neale, our Head of Young People’s Services, “Day to day our relentless focus is on helping young people achieve more, aspire higher and challenge misconceptions. That is what truly motivates me.”
“Coming from a background where I myself would have been eligible for Smart Futures, taking the programme to 13 locations with multiple corporate partners from a range of different sectors is not something I would have imagined was possible at the start of our journey,” she says.
As for the future, the EY Foundation is still a young charity. But we continue to have ambitious plans to develop new ways to reach even more young people across the UK.
They say you should not share your birthday wishes, but I feel this one might not be a secret. My hope is that by the time of the next UK social mobility report we will proudly be able to say that we have played a significant role in giving young people a real chance at success, whatever their background.