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Contact: Jamie Epstein
212-533-2141 x301

From Foster Care to College: Teen Mom to Share Story of Challenge & Mentoring for Career Success

New York, May 5, 2015 — The Financial Women’s Association (FWA) will hold its 31st annual Women of the Year Awards, featuring some of the industry’s finest, as well as students who benefit from the programs supported by the fundraising gala.

In addition to recognizing two honorees — Trailblazer of the Year Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte LLP and the first female CEO of a major US professional services firm, and Public Sector Woman of the Year Lisa Schlosser, Federal Deputy Chief Information Officer responsible for cybersecurity and IT initiatives — some 500 attendees will also hear about the purpose of the event.

Two students under the FWA’s mentoring program — who receive personal, career and academic guidance — will share their stories of overcoming great personal challenge: Isis Patterson, a teen mother who lives in foster care with her son, will be graduating from Murry Bergtraum High School and head to Endicott College under a special program for teen moms; and Yan Bai, who immigrated from China just five years ago speaking no English, and is now graduating from Baruch College with multiple job offers.

In addition, for the first time, the FWA will recognize nine Pacesetters at top organizations across the financial industry. These are young women who are driving change in their organizations at a time of great innovation, while also serving as role models for other young women.

When: May 11, 2015

Where: Grand Hyatt Hotel
109 E. 42nd (at Lexington)

7:00 Introduction of 2015 Class of Pacesetters
7:15 Trailblazer Woman of the Year: Deloitte LLP’s Cathy Engelbert
8:00 Remarks by students Isis Patterson and Yan Bai
8:10 Public Sector Woman of the Year Lisa Schlosser

To set-up interviews, please contact: Jamie Epstein, 212/533-2141×301 or jepstein@fwa.org.

About the FWA and its Educational Programs
As part of the FWA’s community service initiatives, FWA members mentor high potential students at the high school and college level. Mentoring programs are designed to help select students as they reach for academic and personal success, giving mentees the tools to overcome obstacles to their success, financial or otherwise, and allowing students to learn to appreciate the value of an education, expand their horizons, and realize future plans. This one-on-one approach fosters deep personal relationships and focused attention to allow mentees to reap enormous benefits for the duration of the program and beyond.

For nearly 30 years, the FWA Mentoring Program has operated on the campus of Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers (MBHS) in Lower Manhattan. Despite a 51% four year graduation rate and a 54% college enrollment rate (within 18 months), the students in the FWA Mentoring Program defy the statistics and set out to make their dreams a reality. The program includes one-on-one mentoring with experienced professional women, SAT and PSAT prep classes, funding for overnight college visits, financial aid workshops, and community service opportunities. Since the program’s founding, FWA has brought mentoring to nearly 300 students – 100 percent of whom graduate high school within four years and the vast majority of whom are first generation college students.

The FWA Baruch College Mentoring Program matches FWA mentors with undergraduate business students, providing one-on-one mentoring focused on career and personal development. Mentees participate in a variety of programs such as special breakfasts at top companies, workshops on self-promotion and networking, and lunches with speakers who share advice about their successful careers. Students are also exposed to recruitment opportunities at major financial institutions through the FWA’s President Circle companies. All program participants graduate with a career plan — a job, and internship, or acceptance into a graduate program.

The FWA is dedicated to developing future leaders, enhancing the role of women in business, investing in the community, and increasing the pipeline of diverse candidates. The FWA has contributed to the community by providing scholarships, mentoring programs, financial literacy workshops, and community service activities, reaching over 5,000 individuals over the past 40 years.

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