JP Morgan Chase give Inner City Young People a chance to shine

JP Morgan Chase, basis.point, and Foróige celebrate with European Winners “Know your Buttons”

The celebration of achievements resulting from the partnership between JP Morgan Chase, basis.point and Foróige held last week in the Huckleberry Centre, Dublin 2, was a day to savour.

JP Morgan Chase, and basis.point first initiated a partner programme in 2020, with the aim of extending the already successful Foróige Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) programme to young people living in the North Inner-City Dublin who had heretofore missed out on this life enhancing opportunity.

JP Morgan Chase Foundation committed the majority of funding towards the €400,000 investment over a three-year period, and whilst the early days have been challenged by the influence of the pandemic, the NFTE mentoring programme has grown, developed and thrived in the inner city over the last two years.   Today 486 young people have been fortunate to participate in the programme, many of whom have received additional mentoring and coaching, thanks to the JP Morgan Chase partnership. And it is the additional mentoring that has proven truly transformative.

Marc Hussey, Senior Country Manager, JP Morgan Chase

Attending the event at The Huckletree, Marc Hussey, Senior Country Officer and Head of Banking in Ireland from JP Morgan Chase congratulated participants, their families and the programme leaders, mentioning how he was filled with admiration for the young participants.

Taking stock of the partnership, we were treated to a heart-warming morning of personal stories, uplifting tales of family and community involvement and the transformative power of this programme.

Speaking of JP Morgan Chase’s involvement, he commented

We will not succeed as a firm if the communities we operate in are not successful. By partnering with Foróige NFTE we can help the youth in these communities map out and develop the skills to operate and be successful in the new economy.

The celebration was hosted by Sommer Nolan, fresh from her win at the European Youth Awards 2022 in the ‘We Grow Together’ Category. And if ever there was an example of how life changing this programme can be it was in the words and stories of each of the participants. First up was Gerald O’Regan, who won a silver medal for his business, Gerald’s Gem.

Gerald O’Regan with his mother June

Gerald’s journey in NFTE began last year when he created his own business called ‘Gerald’s Gem’ and is a story where his ability and zest for life shines bright. His business partner is his 73-year-old grandad, Dessie McDonnell and together they created handmade Christmas decorations.

Gerald has a list of achievements since starting his NFTE journey including winning the National Recognition Award in 2021 and representing Ireland in the ‘We Grow Together’ Category in Switzerland in June and winning a silver award on the European Platform.

To celebrate his success and as part of his winning prize he is travelling to Vienna to showcase ‘Gerald’s Gem’ at the third largest Christmas market in Europe. Gerald has also gone on to supply to the Irish Design Shop making him one of their youngest ever suppliers on the market.

Gerald’s mum June spoke passionately about how the NFTE programme has been such an amazing support to Gerald, providing him with opportunities that they could only ever have dreamed of.

This partnership is a wonderful example of how philanthropy benefits the wider community. Edel O’Malley basis.point CEO explained,

The partnership between basis.point, JP Morgan Chase and Foróige NFTE is a partnership made in heaven as we are so closely aligned. We believe education is the most powerful tool to help young people develop.

The NFTE programme is not simply about winning. It is about encouraging young people to participate and get involved with their communities.

Celebrating their newfound confidence and success

Grace Dunne spoke honestly about how her school attendance had dropped and were it not for encouragement from her NFTE supervisor, she would have become another early school leaver statistic.

Instead, her mindset has changed. Preparing to take her Leaving Certificate, she talks of how she may even miss school next year! She hopes to continue her studies with a diploma in business studies.

This was much more than an occasion for participants to thank funders. By sharing a sense of collective achievement, this was a day for all stakeholders to celebrate and look forward to bright futures ahead.

Exciting times for all involved.

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