LOS ANGELES, July 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Blake Johnson Alliance, the philanthropic organization founded by Blake Johnson and dedicated to providing financial support to innovative companies and individuals, is thrilled to announce the launch of Big Careers.
The joint mentorship program, a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and Inland Empire (BBBSOC), matches successful Los Angeles and Orange County-based business leaders with BBBSOC youth to advance equity and economic opportunity for first-generation college youth.
The Blake Johnson Alliance is a longtime supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters and Johnson has served as a Board Member with the organization since 2017. In addition, the organization has donated over a quarter of a million dollars to advance the work of BBBSOC.
The program aims to reverse the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families in several of the largest cities in Orange County, including Santa Ana and Anaheim, where the consequences were far-reaching. Youth that either dropped out of school or the workforce increased by 20 percent as a result of the pandemic. In Orange County and the Inland Empire, this equates to around 100,000 youths. Big Careers aims to connect youth with mentors, who in turn expose them to career opportunities.
The Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) Los Angeles and Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors will support Big Careers by tapping its network of established chief executives in the greater Los Angeles area to help scale this initiative, providing youth with the opportunity to learn firsthand from leaders in a variety of different career fields.
Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and investor Blake Johnson will be serving as a mentor in the Big Careers program. Johnson’s accomplishments are numerous, including co-founding the teeth-straightening unicorn, Byte, which he and his business partner sold for over a billion dollars two years later. Several prominent community members have already committed to serving as mentors in the Big Careers program alongside Johnson. Notable participants include Abogados NOW Founder Hugo Gomez, Carbon 38 CEO & Co-Founder Katie Warner Johnson, Inter-Con Security Systems CEO Henry Hernandez and Variety CEO Michelle Sobrino-Stearns.
Once matched and introduced and through a combination of in-person and virtual meetings, the mentors and mentees will work together to create career goals for the mentees to jump-start their professional development. Mentors will teach them problem-solving skills, provide them access to social capital, prepare them for the interview and job application process, provide contacts regarding employment, and also ensure a positive and supported college experience.
Blake Johnson, Founder of the Blake Johnson Alliance says, “I attribute my success to the mentorship I received as a youth. That experience single-handedly changed the trajectory of my life. My economic circumstances were similar to the youth that will be participating in Big Careers. I’m excited to work with these talented individuals to help them recognize their talents and interests, provide guidance as they choose their career path and help them to recognize their full potential.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and Inland Empire CEO Sloane Keane says, “We are thrilled to partner with the Blake Johnson Alliance to propel our mission of offering young individuals facing adversity the unwavering, professional support of a mentor. Big Careers will empower youth, transform their lives and pave the way towards a future brimming with promise, purpose, and unwavering success.”
About The Blake Johnson Alliance
Established in 2015, the Blake Johnson Alliance was created to change the way philanthropic institutions provide financial support to innovative companies and individuals. The Alliance’s mission is to support organizations in the advancement of education, arts, sciences, and social well-being through regularly issued grants. The organization has donated over four million dollars to organizations focused on mentorship, uplifting youth in the Greater Los Angeles area and removing economic barriers.
The organization’s work was recognized by the 2023 Los Angeles Business Journal Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship Awards, naming Blake Johnson Philanthropist of the Year. Learn more at BlakeJohnsonAlliance.com and follow along on LinkedIn.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Our mentoring model was created on the premise of youth equity and empowerment, designed to meet kids where they are and empower them with the skills to transform their lives and their communities. Since 1958, we have provided local youth facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported mentoring connections that provide a direct and measurable impact on their lives. With a mentor, youth are able to build emotional intelligence and social capital necessary to achieve educational milestones, set postsecondary plans and achieve a living wage job. Through mentoring, our aim is to reduce the number of disconnected youth in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties and build a self-sufficient workforce with the potential to change the world.
SOURCE The Blake Johnson Alliance