Accenture and Out & Equal Honor Green Chimneys with First Skills to Succeed LGBT Award

NEW YORK, June 29, 2012 – Accenture and Out & Equal today announced that Green Chimneys, a New York-based nonprofit, is the winner of the first Accenture Skills to Succeed LGBT Award. 

The award honors a nonprofit organization working to equip people in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities with workplace and entrepreneurial skills.  The Accenture Skills to Succeed LGBT Award was created to honor an organization or program improving job skills and employment opportunities for the LGBT community.  Aligned with Accenture’s global corporate citizenship initiative, Skills to Succeed – which by 2015 will equip 250,000 people around the world with the skills to get a job or build a business – the award seeks to highlight programs that help build individual work skills, increase the economic vitality of communities and open doors to employment and independence.

Accenture and Out & Equal chose Green Chimneys because of its Nature-Based Career Training Program for LGBTQ (Questioning) Youth, which meets the judges’ requirements of a program that employs creative solutions to social problems, is scalable, replicable, sustainable and demonstrates proven results. The award will be presented at the Out & Equal Global LGBT Workplace Summit in London in July 2012.

“This award reflects Accenture’s ongoing commitment to creating an inclusive and diverse workplace for our employees who live and work in communities around the world,” said Nellie Borrero, managing director of Inclusion & Diversity at Accenture. “The Green Chimneys Career Training program for people in the LGBT community supports both our diversity agenda as well as our commitment to building the skills of people around the world so they are better equipped to get jobs and build businesses.”

Organized in the mid-1980s, Green Chimneys’ NYC Division provides residential and skill-building programs for LGBTQ homeless, runaway and foster care youth.  By providing life, vocational and relational skills, participants in the 18-week intensive career training program are exposed to nature-based activities that work to develop a harmonious relationship between people, animals, plants, nature and the environment including educational field trips and workshops to increase skills such as developing and setting goals, networking, interviewing, and personal budgeting and finance. In addition, Green Chimneys offers internships with organizations such as the ASPCA, Randall’s Island Organic Farm and Van Cortlandt Park.

“We are truly honored to receive the Accenture Skills to Succeed LGBT award, as it highlights the importance and necessity of building life and employment skills for members of LGBTQ communities,” said Joseph Whalen, executive director, Green Chimneys. “Many of the youth served by Green Chimneys NYC program lack the support, guidance, and access to vocational opportunities needed to prepare for an independent, financially stable life. Helping them discover new possibilities and broadening our partnerships in this arena will benefit these youth who count on organizations like ours to help them enter adulthood as healthy, responsible members of their communities.”

Participants in the Green Chimneys program pilot year have demonstrated significant gains in self-esteem, life skills and job readiness and have received the support and guidance necessary to transition into adulthood, gain marketable skills and build healthy and professional relationships.  Of the 2011 summer session participants, 50 percent are enrolled in college and 75 percent are currently employed.

“We are delighted to honor Green Chimneys for their achievements in providing life and work skills to the LGBT community,” said Selisse Berry, founding executive director, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. “Their career training for LGBT youth has already shown results and should be seen as a model and best practice.  We look forward to highlighting their impressive work at the Global LGBT Workplace Summit in London this summer. ”

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 249,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries.  Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.  The company generated net revenues of US$25.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011.  Its home page is www.accenture.com.

About Out & Equal
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is an international nonprofit organization committed to ending employment discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees. We believe that people should be judged by the work they do, not by their sexual orientation or gender identity. Every day, we work to protect and empower employees to be productive and successful—so they can support themselves, their families, and contribute to achieving a world free of discrimination for everyone.

About Green Chimneys
Green Chimneys is a nonprofit organization helping young people to maximize their full potential by providing residential, educational, clinical and recreational services that create and nurture connections to the community and the natural world. Founded in 1947 and headquartered on a farm and wildlife center in Brewster, NY, Green Chimneys is recognized as a worldwide leader in animal-assisted therapy and educational activities for children with special needs. Green Chimneys services include an accredited special education school, residential treatment center, animal-assisted and nature-based therapeutic programs, and community based support for youth and families. In New York City, Green Chimneys provides residential resources, skill-building programs, and family support for homeless and foster care LGBTQ youth. www.greenchimneys.org\

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Caitlin Storhaug
Accenture
+1 (415) 537-5458
caitlin.storhaug@accenture.com

Jennifer Milillo
Green Chimneys
+1 (845) 279-2995 x109
jmilillo@greenchimneys.org