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Western Union Foundation Commits $500,000 in Grants to Build Career & Leadership Pathways for Migrant and Refugee Youth

The Western Union Foundation funds two new collaborations with Aspen Institute’s Global Opportunity Youth Network and National Partnership for New Americans. 


DENVER, Feb. 24–The Western Union Foundation furthers its $15M USD commitment to Opportunity Beyond Borders, a 3-year initiative to overcome the obstacles faced by the world’s 40M migrant and refugee youth, a growing population more adversely impacted by COVID-19.

The Western Union Foundation will grant $500,000 to Aspen Institute’s Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN) and the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), two organizations that build capacity for migrant youth to thrive in the global economy. 

The Western Union Foundation’s partnership with GOYN is informed by previously announced Opportunity Beyond Borders research collaboration with the Center for Global Development. The research initiative to address the barriers refugees face in accessing formal labor markets reached an important milestone this month, contributing to the policy shift in Columbia to grant temporary legal status to 1.7M Venezuelan migrants over the next decade. 

Aligned with this commitment to build more inclusive economies, GOYN will launch a new initiative in Columbia to create digital skilling pathways for migrant and Columbian female youth to thrive in tech careers, leveraging the current growth in Columbia’s digital sector. 

In the U.S., the Western Union Foundation and NPNA will build on local efforts to empower migrant and refugee youth by developing leadership skills critical for integration and economic success. The investment will develop a youth immigrant and refugee leadership curriculum and launch the New American Youth Leadership Council, connecting young adults to career opportunities while training the next generation of leaders. 

“Empowering youth with skills to succeed is vital to our future economy. Our collaborations with GOYN and NPNA enable young migrants to overcome significant obstacles hindering their progress,” said Elizabeth Roscoe, Western Union Foundation Executive Director. “Enabling these opportunities is needed more now than ever, as young migrants and refugees are a promising asset in rebuilding our global economy. We are focused on taking action today to build leaders empowered to forge a more resilient and sustainable future that benefits our communities.” 


About the Western Union Foundation

The Western Union Foundation believes that education is the surest pathway to economic opportunity. After 20 years of impact, we continue to deliver on our mission with Opportunity Beyond Borders, focused on empowering forcibly displaced and marginalized youth with the training and education needed to succeed in today’s technology-driven global economy. The Foundation also provides funding for humanitarian efforts for communities in crisis and disaster, one key reason for forced migration. To date, we have funded more than $131 million for projects and scholarships. The Western Union Foundation is a separate, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable corporation and receives support from The Western Union Company, its employees, agents, and business partners. Contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible for U.S. income tax purposes. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter @TheWUFoundation.


About Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN) 

The Aspen Institute’s Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN) catalyzes systems shifts for youth opportunity in communities around the world through the creation of sustainable training, employment and income-earning pathways.  Working with Anchor Partners situated in communities around the world, we work to create economic mobility and improve the quality of life for “Opportunity Youth” — young people aged 15-29 who are out of school, unemployed, or working in informal jobs. Our approach focuses on multi-sector collaboration and participatory solution design with an emphasis on equity, systems-level change, and amplifying the voices of youth. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter @GlobalOYNetwork


About NPNA

The National Partnership for New Americans is a national multiethnic, multiracial organization that represents 41 of the largest regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations in 35 states. Its members provide large-scale services for the communities to leverage their collective power and expertise for a national strategy.




Media Relations:


Western Union Global Communications: Pia De Lima;
Western Union Europe & CIS: Nicholas Mandalas;

Western Union Middle East & Africa: Mohamed El Khalouki;
Western Union Asia-Pacific: Karen Santos;
Western Union Foundation: Emily Larson;