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Catalyst Network Foundation Inc. (CNF)

The Catalyst Network Foundation Inc. (CNF) is a non-profit education initiative 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City and Washington, D.C.


Founded in 2011, CNF is focused on life enrichment and professional development, with a mission to engage high-potential youth (ages 14-25) and veterans (ages 21-30) with successful projects by providing the proper tools, network, and development opportunities.


CNF was conceived after its two founding members had a conversation about the future of youth and veterans in their community. After reviewing the lack of communal resources, skill development programs, and career-field opportunities for adults – the founders developed a vision. Through their combined efforts and strategic planning, the two founders recruited additional professionals to support the formation of Catalyst Network Foundation.


The social enterprise is fundamentally grassroots, steered by a volunteer leadership team in New York City and Washington, D.C. In July of 2012, Ranking Congressman Ed Towns awarded a proclamation to the Foundation, in recognition of the organization’s achievements.


The nonprofit holds a Summer Intensive Program for high school (HS) sophomores and juniors in New York City and Washington, D.C. Successful applicants are enrolled at a CNF partnership high school. Over 200 HS students have been admitted to the Fellowship Program and are CNF Fellows (99% have graduated HS, and more than 90% of them have enrolled in college or a trade school).


The fellowship scholars are trained from day one: they tour corporate offices, pitch business ideas, and develop professional skills. CNF personnel assess the Fellows career aspirations, expose them to various opportunities, and foster intrapersonal growth. Each student receives individualized attention and internships in preparation for higher education and community service.


Through CNF’s Mentorship Program, Fellowship scholars are paired with a mentor that is a trailblazer in the profession or career field the fellows aspire to pursue.


The CNF Internship Program secures CNF Fellows with internships at top startups, corporations, and medical institutions. Many fellows have gone on to attend prestigious colleges and universities.


Since 2011, the Fellows have participated in corporate tours and create or pitched presentations about inner-city school challenges to several corporations, including: Google, Goldman Sachs, NIKE, LinkedIn, Morgan Stanley, HBO, Microsoft, Covington & Burling LLP, GAP, BET, Essence Magazine, NPR, Kaye Scholer LLP, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Hughes Hubbard Reed LLP, Bloomberg, Peebles Corporation, Infor, Deloitte, FOX News, and NBC Studios.


The youth initiative also holds career and college preparatory workshops throughout the school year, educating over 800 high school students in the aforementioned metropolitan areas.


The organization works with American veterans (ages 21-30), connecting them with resources and information to assist them with their career and academic ambitions.


CNF host a professional mixer and panel discussion called The Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) a gathering that is held quarterly it uniquely combines networking and thoughtful policy discussion on topics affecting minority communities. The goal is to provide a forum for critical conversation on issues often ignored by mainstream media outlets. After the general discussion, the event transforms into an in-person social component allowing attendees to build on ideas.

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