OneAmerica® Celebrates Second Year of Pathways Junior Fellows Program

Eight students with diverse backgrounds forge new paths to opportunity

Indianapolis, August 4, 2020

As part of an ongoing initiative to build and strengthen the workforce, OneAmerica® this summer hosted eight students – six high school students and two recent graduates – in its Pathways Junior Fellows Program. The program, in its second year, introduces students from neighborhoods in and around downtown Indianapolis to the working environment of financial services, building the students’ career readiness and creating a pipeline of future associates for OneAmerica and other financial services companies.

Over the course of the program, Junior Fellows are paired with multiple mentors to guide them through a five-week paid program (mid-June through mid-July) that includes job shadowing in all areas of the business, project-based learning, skills development and training. Eager to learn and enthusiastic about creating connections to help build their future, the fellows are working virtually but collaboratively, expanding their career pathways, their individual networks, and their transferable skills, including interviewing, problem-solving, conflict resolution and goal-setting.

“Pathways is an innovative roadmap for cultivating talent and building community,” said Karin Sarratt, OneAmerica executive vice president. “Like many industries, financial services is facing a talent gap in the not-too-distant future. But we can begin to address that gap today by introducing local students to career opportunities, mentors, networks and social capital to help them build successful careers and help us build a strong future workforce. Beyond talent and workforce considerations, the mentoring relationships that form as a part of this program are priceless in the ways they enrich both mentees and mentors.”

The Junior Fellows activities also included virtual engagement with OneAmerica community partners in the arts and culture space, and a virtual volunteer letter writing project with United Way of Central Indiana, creating letters of support that will be given to neighbors being served by nonprofits in the local community.

OneAmerica works with community partners to help identify and recruit young people for the Pathways Junior Fellows program from areas on Indianapolis’ northwest and near-east sides. The program is designed to make a connection with students that will help them create a career pathway to a promising job in central Indiana.

Jen Pittman, vice president of enterprise communications and community affairs for OneAmerica, noted a secondary program goal is to share Pathways successes and opportunities in the hopes that other businesses – in Indianapolis and beyond – develop similar workforce programs to expand the working options available for local students. OneAmerica engaged the Sagamore Institute to document the program during its initial year, enabling information to be easily shared as a tool kit with other businesses. The Lilly Endowment has also created a grant process to support collaboration between nonprofits and businesses, encouraging the development of similar programs to help more people make progress towards economic self-sufficiency.

Participating students in this year’s program included:

Israel Garcia Scecina Memorial High School
Darly Gomez Horizon Christian School
Melanie Gomez Christel House
Briana Lazo Christel House
Chris Perez Simon Youth Academy
Monitez Porter Simon Youth Academy (graduate)
Kaleah Spears Simon Youth Academy (graduate)
Ben Tobey* Irvington Prep

* returning student, program leader this year


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About OneAmerica®

A national provider of insurance and financial services for more than 140 years, the companies of OneAmerica help customers build and protect their financial futures. OneAmerica offers a variety of products and services to serve the financial needs of its policyholders and customers. These products include retirement plan products and recordkeeping services, individual life insurance, annuities, asset-based long-term care solutions and employee benefit plan products.

Products are issued and underwritten by the companies of OneAmerica and distributed through a nationwide network of employees, agents, brokers and other sources who are committed to providing value to our customers.

To learn more about our products, services and the companies of OneAmerica, visit oneamerica.com/about-us/companies-of-oneamerica.

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Sagamore Institute and Lilly Endowment are not affiliated with the companies of OneAmerica.

Lou Ann Baker, Public Relations Director, 317-285-1490