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Juma Ventures’ mission is to break the cycle of poverty by ensuring that young people complete a four-year college education. Since 1993, Juma has employed more than 3,000 low-income students who have earned $3 million in wages and saved more than $2 million for higher education.
Juma was founded in 1993 as one of the first nonprofits to own and operate a commercial franchise--a single Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Shop in San Francisco that provided a handful of jobs to homeless youth. Since then, Juma has grown from a job-training and placement program serving twenty-five homeless youth to a comprehensive youth development program operating seven social enterprises in four cities (New York, Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco).
Juma has employed more than 3,000 low-income students who have generated $17 million in enterprise revenue and earned $3 million in wages. In 2011, 100% of Juma’s high school seniors graduated from high school and more than 90% successfully transitioned to higher education, far outperforming their peers. In 1998, Juma became the first youth development program to offer financial literacy education and asset-building services to teens. Today, Juma runs one of the largest youth IDA programs in the United States. Since inception, Juma has opened more than one thousand college savings accounts for students who have invested more than $2 million of their own savings and match funds toward their post-secondary education. Juma’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty by ensuring that young people complete a four-year college education.
Continuing the mission, this fall, Juma Ventures lauched CollegeSet in New York City. CollegeSet is a national initiative that measurably improves the financial future of low-income students by helping them to enroll in, afford and successfully graduate from college. We open college savings accounts for low-income students and provide a financial literacy education to ensure that they make the most of those accounts. The program creates a multiplier effect that encourages students to save. Participants receive a dollar-for-dollar match of their own savings (up to $500). They also receive a $250 deposit into their savings account whenever they complete a key milestone on the path to a four-year college degree. CollegeSet in New York City is partnering with Bottom Line, Children's Aid Society, CUNY MGI and At Home in College and Harlem Children's Zone.
- Imani Farley
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