Citi Foundation is among the earliest supporters of Juma, with our partnership dating back to 1997. Over the years, Citi Foundation has been there to support community-changing initiatives like Juma’s groundbreaking matched savings program for college-bound youth, capacity building efforts to expand services to new cities, and financial capability training for young people. Most recently, Citi Foundation is providing support to Juma’s newest venture: Steep Creamery & Tea. Thanks to funding from the Citi Foundation’s Community Progress Makers Initiative, Steep is on track to become a new kind of learning laboratory for Juma youth.
With support from the Citi Foundation, Juma is poised to evolve Steep from an ice cream and boba shop into the next iteration of Juma job training; a standalone, youth run and led business that will provide young people with new ways to learn leadership and management skills. Steep was originally conceived and founded by two Juma alumni who, after completing their respective Business Administration Degrees, decided to pursue their dream of becoming entrepreneurs. Today, it brings Juma the opportunity to once again own and scale a standalone business. The move harkens back to Juma’s roots and celebrates our heritage as the first nonprofit organization to own and operate a Ben and Jerry’s scoop shop.
Backing from the Citi Foundation’s Progress Makers Initiative will help to catalyze the development of Juma programming at Steep. This new venture will provide employment roles for youth in positions like Shop Manager, Operations Manager, Key Holder, Cashier, Stocker and Customer Service representative. In the long-term, Steep will become Juma’s first management laboratory–a comprehensive youth-focused Management and Leadership training program allowing youth who are interested in business management and entrepreneurship to gain the soft and hard skills they’ll need to manage and operate their own small businesses. In addition to offering youth new ways to earn and deeper learning, Steep will also provide year-round employment; a game-changer for the young people whose needs are most dire and would benefit from additional workshifts outside of the baseball season.
In the future, Juma envisions a version of Steep existing in each of the markets we serve. From Seattle to Atlanta, Sacramento to Houston, our goal is to provide Juma’s signature job training and management curriculum to every young person in need of income and an opportunity. Thanks to partners like The Citi Foundation who share our belief in the power of work and the potential of young people, visions for the expansion of Steep are not just dreams–they’re attainable goals for Juma and our youth.