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Shipt pledges $1 million to Birmingham Promise

Shipt, the Birmingham-based grocery delivery service, today announced a $1 million pledge to the Birmingham Promise in its effort to reduce financial barriers to college and increase access to mentoring for Birmingham City School students.

Over the next five years, Shipt’s investment will support the Birmingham Promise in its long-term plan to help more local students have access to funding for higher education, the opportunity to explore career paths and a network of support to increase college persistence and workforce readiness, the company said in a written statement.

“Every young person should have access to opportunities to pursue their dreams of success – and it is important to us to do what we can to make that a reality in our hometown,” Kamau Witherspoon, Shipt CEO, said. “Shipt’s investment will increase access to college and career options beyond high school for Birmingham City Schools students while also doing our part to support students on their journeys through one-on-one mentorship.”

The Birmingham Promise provides up to four years of tuition assistance for graduates of Birmingham City Schools to attend any public two-year or four-year college or university in Alabama. Since its inception in 2020, the program has provided $3.4 million in tuition assistance and other support to 800 Birmingham graduates.

“Access to opportunity can make all the difference in a student’s life,” Samantha Williams, executive director of The Birmingham Promise, said. “We are thrilled to partner with Shipt to ensure that every Birmingham City School student is supported and prepared to achieve economic security, mobility, and prosperity.”

Part of the funding will go toward launching The Magic City Mentorship program, which will pair students with Shipt team members.

Shipt says mentorship can significantly impact success in school and the workplace, and this initiative is part of its commitment to help level the playing field for underrepresented communities in Birmingham.

Its 2022 Diversity Equity and Inclusion Report, released on Tuesday morning, estimates that the company’s senior leadership is 73% people of color and 64% women. In addition, across all Shipt employees, 47% are women and more than 40% are people of color.

Last year, the company spent $13.9 million with diverse suppliers, including minority- and women-owned businesses, awarded $242,000 to 15 local companies through its community grant program, and announced three new initiatives to address food insecurity.

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