PRESS RELEASE: Tent Partnership for Refugees Announces PayPal and The Starbucks Foundation as Founding Partners of Tent’s U.S. Refugee Mentorship Programs
- Funding will enable the launch and growth of U.S. mentorship initiatives committed to helping refugees restart or advance their careers
New York City, March 2, 2023: Today, Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent), a global network of more than 300 companies committed to economically integrating refugees, announced Tent U.S. Coalition for Refugees member company PayPal as well as The Starbucks Foundation as the founding partners of Tent’s new U.S. mentorship programs committed to helping refugees restart or advance their careers. The funding from PayPal and The Starbucks Foundation will enable Tent to extend its existing LGBTQ Refugee Mentorship Program as well as support the launch and growth of Tent’s Afghan Refugee Mentorship Program, Refugee Women Mentorship Program, and Hispanic Refugee Mentorship Program.
Complementing Tent’s wider mission of connecting refugees to meaningful work, each initiative will match a diverse range of refugees with professional mentors from large companies in Tent’s network. These mentors will be committed to helping refugees strengthen their skills, navigate the U.S. job market and workplace norms, and nurture their career development goals.
Participating companies will pledge to mentor dozens of refugees, with mentors expected to champion their mentee’s career growth and meet 1:1 monthly for six months at minimum. Personalized guidance will include a wide range of practical skills and knowledge on topics such as how to craft an effective resume or cover letter, interview practice, professional network growth, and goal-setting. These areas cover not only the roadblocks refugees commonly face when striving to economically and socially integrate in their new communities, but also upskilling support for those currently in a role that doesn’t adequately match their background or level of experience.
Gideon Maltz, CEO of Tent, said: “Alongside our efforts to recruit hundreds of major companies to hire refugees, we’re prioritizing professional mentorship that’s designed to help refugees find work that’s commensurate with their skills and expertise. We’re so grateful to PayPal and The Starbucks Foundation for their generous support towards programs that will allow Tent to enlist dozens of companies to provide mentorship at scale.”
Tyler Spalding, Global Head of Social Innovation of PayPal, said: “PayPal is committed to advancing economic inclusion for all. Together with colleagues from our Employee Resource Groups, we look forward to providing refugee populations with meaningful mentorship opportunities that will help them more fully integrate into the job market and economy of their new host country. We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Tent, which will create more opportunity for more refugees and their families.”
Alicia Vermaele, Executive Director of The Starbucks Foundation, said: “The Starbucks Foundation is delighted to support Tent’s suite of mentorship programs that will play a crucial role in the lives and economic advancement of thousands of refugees. We are proud to have Partner Networks (employee business resource groups) such as the Welcoming Refugee Alliance with a mission to welcome, empower and advocate for refugee partners (employees), allies and communities and are excited for the opportunity for Starbucks partners (employees) across the U.S. to participate as mentors.”
The launch timelines and details of each mentorship program are as follows:
Afghan Refugee Mentorship Program: In partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, Tent’s new initiative pairing Veterans at major U.S. companies with Afghan refugees
- Background: The U.S. welcomed almost 90,000 Afghans in the wake of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover in August 2021. Given that many of these Afghans served as interpreters and drivers for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, Veterans nationwide have vocalized their deep commitment to helping integrate Afghan refugees into American society. This mentorship program will focus on engaging Veterans Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to support mid-to-high skilled Afghans in bridging to higher-skilled roles more commensurate with the experience they bring, as many Afghans continue to face steep career barriers despite extensive professional and educational backgrounds.
- Launch Date: March 16, 2023
Refugee Women Mentorship Program: In partnership with global NGO Catalyst, Tent’s new initiative pairing U.S. women professionals with refugee women
- Background: A sizable percentage of the recently resettled Afghan and Ukrainian refugee populations in particular are women consistently encountering higher rates of unemployment or underemployment in the U.S. due to steeper workforce hurdles – including universal refugee challenges such as language or transportation barriers, as well as the added burden of gender-based challenges such as disproportionate childcare responsibilities and gender inequity in the workplace. This initiative will focus on engaging Women’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at participating companies.
- Launch Date: May 2023
Hispanic Refugee Mentorship Program: In partnership with the National Hispanic Corporate Council (NHCC), Tent’s new initiative pairing Hispanic professionals with Hispanic refugees
- Background: The U.S. has welcomed hundreds of thousands of refugees that have fled Latin America in recent years due to war, violence, and/or political persecution. Many of these Hispanic refugees struggle to find jobs despite having diverse professional backgrounds due to a number of challenges – including lack of U.S. based professional networks and many not qualifying for job-matching services offered by established refugee resettlement agencies. Mentees will be matched with members of Hispanic ERGs at participating companies and, in addition to career guidance, mentors will also help them deepen their connection to the U.S. Hispanic community.
- Launch Date: September 2023
Each new mentorship initiative will be launched with an event that will feature prominent business leaders from participating companies, as well as a public pledge of a collective refugee mentorship impact goal. These refugee mentorship initiatives build on Tent’s successful global mentorship programming to date, including a Refugee Women Mentorship Program in Europe that has already seen Tent and Catalyst Europe mobilize over 25 companies to commit to mentoring 1,250 refugee women, as well as an LGBTQ Refugee Mentorship Program with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) that has mobilized over 25 companies in North America to commit to mentoring thousands of LGBTQ refugees.
Companies and organizations interested in getting involved in any of Tent’s refugee mentorship initiatives should contact [email protected].
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About the Tent Partnership for Refugees
With more and more refugees displaced for longer periods of time, businesses have a critical role to play in helping refugees integrate economically in their new host communities. The Tent Partnership for Refugees mobilizes the global business community to improve the lives and livelihoods of more than 36 million refugees who have been forcibly displaced from their home countries. Founded by Chobani’s founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya in 2016, we are a network of over 300 major companies committed to including refugees. Tent believes that companies can most sustainably support refugees by leveraging their core business operations and hiring, training, and mentoring refugees. The full list of Tent members can be found here. Find out more at www.tent.org.
PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. By leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering more than 430 million consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. For more information, visit https://www.paypal.com.
About The Starbucks Foundation
The Starbucks Foundation strengthens humanity by transforming lives across the world, with a focus on enabling community resiliency and prosperity and uplifting communities affected by disaster. Established in 1997, The Starbucks Foundation is a Section 501(c)(3) charitable organization under U.S. law. Learn more at www.sbux.co/foundation.