Usher’s New Look receives $500K grant for financial literacy education

The nonprofit founded by R&B singer and philanthropist Usher has supported over 50,000 youths through educational programming

Usher’s nonprofit New Look has been granted $500,000 from the Truist Foundation, a longtime partner of the legendary R&B singer’s organization. Usher has dedicated decades of support and advocacy to under-resourced communities through New Look.

Usher’s New Look (UNL) will use the contribution to fund financial literacy education and more through its high school leadership program, officials for the organization announced Wednesday in a press release.

ATLANTA, GA – JULY 23: Recording Artist Usher Raymond attend Ushers New Look United to Ignite Awards Presidents Circle Luncheon on July 23, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for Usher’s New Look)

Inadequate education surrounding budgeting, credit and debt are affecting young people at “crisis proportions,” according to the press release, perpetuating “intergenerational cycles of poverty” which UNL is dedicated to ending, said president and CEO Careshia Moore in a statement.

Through UNL’s high school program, youth participants gain access to hands-on workshops and guided sessions in professional development, entrepreneurship, healthy financial habits, preparing for postsecondary education and more.

“Breaking the cycle of poverty and debt is tantamount to the future success of young people, particularly in these challenging times where we see that there are currently 16 million children living in poverty today,” Moore continued.

“This is, therefore, a proud moment for Usher’s New Look, and we are so very grateful to Truist Foundation for this transformational grant that will enable us to further our mission and touch the lives of hundreds of young people, helping them prepare for their futures while uplifting themselves and their communities at the same time,” Moore added.

Founded in 1999 by Usher Raymond IV and his mother Jonetta Patton as a private charity in Atlanta, the organization has since provided over 50,000 teens with mentorship and leadership programming to unlock their potential amid adverse circumstances.

Per the organization’s website, $1.3 million high school students drop out each year — equivalent to one student every 26 seconds — leaving them four times less likely to earn a living wage and at a higher risk of turning to crime as a way of obtaining resources.

The Truist Foundation, which provides grants to nonprofits in support of philanthropic efforts, has disbursed a total of $1.5 million in grants to UNL over the course of the five-year partnership, according to the press release.

“Truist Foundation is committed to helping Usher’s New Look advance its mission by empowering young people with access to financial wellness to help them make choices throughout their lives,” said Truist Foundation President Lynette Bell in a statement. 

“Usher’s New Look shares in our purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities,” Bell continued. “Their dedication and proven track record in guiding and developing the talent and skills of young people is unparalleled.”

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