Enriching Philadelphia’s Student Body: Scholarships Foster Diversity in the Financial Sector

Seven Philadelphia high school students will have the opportunity to benefit from attractive grant options through a partnership between the Urban League of Philadelphia and the Science Leadership Academy at Beeber. Lincoln Financial Network’s LincABLE (Lincoln Accelerating Business Leadership Experiences) program, which recently received the Urban League’s Equity Award, aims to provide mentoring, financial education, and career development opportunities for select Black and African-American high school students in Philadelphia.

The program addresses the lack of representation of Black and African-American individuals in the financial services industry, where currently only 2.9% of financial advisors identify as such. By increasing representation in the industry, LincABLE contributes to Lincoln Financial Group’s broader diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) strategy.

Jennifer Burks, Assistant Vice President of Investment Products and Platforms at Lincoln, and manager of the LincABLE program, spoke about the personal significance of the program for her. As a Black woman in financial services, her interest in the industry was sparked by the encouragement of a former Lincoln employee who also happened to be a Black woman.

The LincABLE program provides various opportunities for participating students. In the first year, college-bound seniors engage in a paid job shadowing program and complete a curriculum that covers capital markets, resume writing, and career development. In the second year, students are offered a paid college internship at the Lincoln Financial Network, and in the third year, they can return for a broader paid internship with more exposure to leadership and networking.

Currently, around 30 students are participating in different phases of the LincABLE program, including high school students and alumni who are now college students. Burks emphasizes that the program aims to provide transferable knowledge on personal and professional finance, enhance students’ future employment competitiveness, and contribute to increasing diversity in the financial advice industry.

In addition to receiving the Urban League’s 2023 Equity Award, LincABLE was also named a finalist for WealthManagement.com’s 2023 Industry Awards in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion category. This recognition honors companies, organizations, and individuals that support the success of financial advisors. Furthermore, LincABLE was named a ThinkAdvisor LUMINaries 2023 finalist in the Community Impact category, highlighting their commitment to community-focused efforts with tangible results.

Darrin Anderson, President and CEO of The Urban League of Philadelphia, expresses the organization’s commitment to empowering the youth of Philadelphia through innovative programs like LincABLE. He praises Lincoln Financial Group and their employees for their dedication and passion in preparing the future workforce by supporting the LincABLE program and mentoring and employing student interns each year.

For more information on the LincABLE program students, please click here.