July 03, 2023
We began 2023 with a move into our new office, conveniently located at 1 Liberty Square in the heart of New Britain. Despite a snow delay, we welcomed more than 60 nonprofit and community leaders to our open house in early March. Our new office provides easy access for meetings here, and its centralized location is ideal for our staff as we visit nonprofits across the 64 towns we serve.
Also this year, as we begin implementation of our new five-year strategic plan, our staff has been meeting with nonprofit and education leaders. Our goal is to learn more about strategies that help young adults prepare for education and career post-high school, which is one of the areas of need we plan to focus on in the coming years.
What we’ve learned (so far):
While career readiness, skills development, and career exploration have always been deeply embedded in the after-school programs we fund, we heard that there is a need for more and better tools to support career mapping. Many young people have specific dreams for their future, but they may not understand the steps it will take to achieve that dream. The activities and programs young people engage in during the hours after school are a vital opportunity to help these youth plan for, and believe they can achieve, their goals and dreams.
We will look for opportunities to support agencies we have funded in the past, as well as new agencies, to enhance career exploration and mapping activities. Strategies may include supporting curriculum enhancement, technical assistance, and other resources that support program delivery. We will also look at strategies that help programs stay connected with participants over time, from middle-school through high-school and as they transition into early adult life, education, and careers.
Meeting Scholars where they dream:
In our scholarship program, we are learning and adapting as well. We believe that in order to succeed in tomorrow’s job market, young adults will need advanced education and/or training after graduation. Our Scholarship Program has always welcomed applications from youth who plan to attend 2- or 4-year colleges or technical/vocational schools. But, historically, most of our applicants are heading to 4-year colleges. We are committed to identifying any barriers that could be keeping some youth from applying. Using what we learn, we will continue to streamline the application process to make it easier for students who meet our application criteria to apply.
In fact, we have already started to see more applications from students planning to attend a 2-year college or technical/vocational program. These students represent more than 12% of our new class of 2023-2024 American Savings Foundation Scholars, nearly doubled from last year. We look forward to celebrating our new and renewing scholars at our upcoming scholarship reception this summer!
That is our lasting commitment.
Charles J. Boulier III Maria Falvo
Chairman of the Board President & CE