NEW YORK, August 27, 2019 — UBS Americas today announced a major milestone in their UBS NextGen Leaders program – the culmination of their five-year UBS-SEO College Scholars program celebrating the achievements of 121 young men of color. The UBS-SEO cohort is on track to achieve a 90% six-year graduation rate, a stellar outcome compared to the average national graduation rates of 20% for low-income students and 60% for all students.

Among the UBS-SEO College Scholars are a class valedictorian, a Fulbright Scholar, a New York City Urban Fellow, PhD candidates in Chemistry and Biology, students who have been accepted into graduate school and others taking full-time positions across a variety of industries, including many in financial services.

"Together with all of my UBS colleagues across the US, it's been incredibly meaningful and inspiring to watch our Scholars’ journeys to and through college, “said Bob McCann, Chairman UBS Americas. "Their accomplishments underscore the basic fact that when talent and determination meet opportunity and access, the potential for achievement is unlimited. Witnessing their transformations over the course of this program has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career, and I know they will inspire future students to emulate their success."

The program was built upon SEO’s already-successful eight-year model with the intention of piloting a five-year program where students received individualized advising, international experience, leadership development and internship and career preparation.

"SEO and UBS joined forces because we both believe that young men of color deserve a quality education and a college degree. The positive outcomes of this initiative prove once again that when underserved, hard-working youth are provided with an opportunity, they triumph,” says William Goodloe, President & CEO of SEO. “We hope our UBS-SEO partnership will encourage others to invest in underserved young people - creating a stronger, more innovative, and globally competitive America.”

Since UBS unveiled its $10 million commitment to establish UBS NextGen Leaders five years ago – a new initiative for improving college success among under-resourced populations – it has empowered students with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to succeed in college and compete in the global marketplace.

“Inspired by the My Brother's Keeper initiative, in partnership with SEO Scholars, we had the opportunity to support a special cohort of young men of color attending public high schools here in the tri-state area. Five years later, we could not be more proud of our UBS-SEO Scholars and their incredible achievements” said Jamie Sears, Head of Community Affairs & Corporate Responsibility, UBS Americas. “Our Scholars aren’t the exception, though. There are exponentially many more motivated young people with the same potential but lack access to these types of programs.”

In addition to providing funding for the program, more than 300 UBS employees volunteered during Winter and Summer Institutes to help Scholars evaluate career paths, enhance their resumes, improve their interviewing skills, and learn about various roles within the financial services industry. Scholars have interned in UBS offices in New York City, Weehawken, Nashville, and Washington D.C., and two Scholars have joined UBS full-time.

Other program highlights include:

  • Educating 1,000 students from the initial applicant pool and their parents at college access and financial aid workshops offered in the first year
  • Exposing the cohort to global perspectives through participation in summer experiences and international excursions to 15 countries including Argentina, Botswana, France, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Providing 4,878 hours of individualized advising focused on academic, social, and career support

Notes to Editors

About UBS

UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. UBS' strategy is centered on our leading global wealth management business and our premier universal bank in Switzerland, enhanced by Asset Management and the Investment Bank. The bank focuses on businesses that have a strong competitive position in their targeted markets, are capital efficient, and have an attractive long-term structural growth or profitability outlook.

About SEO Scholars

Founded in 1963, SEO’s mission is to close the academic and career opportunity gap for young people of color from underserved and underrepresented communities. SEO’s four signature programs create an ecosystem of excellence. SEO Scholars is an eight-year academic program that successfully educates and mentors low-income public high school students in NYC and San Francisco to get to and through college -- with a 90% college graduation rate. SEO Career is the nation’s premiere training and internship program for high-achieving Black, Hispanic, and Native American college student, with 80% of SEO Career Interns earning fulltime job offers from SEO partners prior to graduating college. SEO Law is the nation’s only paid, pre-law, academic and fellowship program, that creates a talent pipeline of pre-law students of color to enter elite global law firms. SEO Alternative Investments provides education, exposure, training, and mentorship to talented individuals underrepresented in alternative investments, with 90% of Fellows securing fulltime roles in the sector.

Media Contacts:


Laura Hastings
+1 212 882-5705

SEO Scholars:

Jennifer Solar
+ 1 646 827-7787