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Case study: Helping New York students step up to professional life

WPP companies in New York, including JWT and affiliates, Mediaedge:cia, MindShare and Young & Rubicam Brands have become partner companies of Ladders for Leaders. This is an innovative new youth development program that gives New York City high school and college students a head start in their lives after education.

Students are nominated for the program by community-based organisations. They then receive training to prepare them for professional life, before starting a seven-week summer internship at partner companies, which also fund the program. The students are paired with a professional role model at the company who guides them through their internship.

The program has been a great success since its launch in 2007:

  • 100% of companies (including all the WPP companies involved) reported that they would like to participate in the program again.
  • 100% of the students said they would recommend the program to their peers.
  • 90% of respondents believe that they have more career options than they did at the start of the program.

Ladders for Leaders is a joint initiative of the NYC Commission on Women’s Issues (CWI) and the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development.