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Société Générale's committment to Youth inclusion

Solenn Paumier

Socitété Générale

-Who are you? What has been your career within SG?

I was born and raised in France. I first joined Société Générale (SG) in Paris in 2000 where I spent 8 years in various roles within the support functions for Investment Banking. I arrived in the US in 2008 when I followed my husband who took a position in Philadelphia. I joined SG New York in 2011. I am currently Head of IT & Operations for the Financing businesses in the Americas since 2016.

- How did your « adventure » with LP4Y start ? How did you get to know the NGO?

I discovered LP4Y in 2011 when I arrived in NY through a group of friends who were close family members from Jean-Marc Delaporte, the founder of LP4Y. I was immediately impressed by their personal story: the Delaporte family left their comfortable life and career to live in the poorest regions in Asia and start building a local community to help the Youth living there in a situation of extreme poverty and exclusion. The LP4Y model is unique as combining a professional education program targeting youths in extreme poverty, leveraging volunteered and talented professionals as coaches, while ensuring a strong ethics and a very lean organization where every dollar donated is invested for the Youth and the development of the Life Project Centers.

- How are you involved in? What type of actions did you work on?

I started to be involved in local fundraising events personally and very quickly connected with my colleagues at SG in New York and Paris who were already supporting LP4Y for many years through the SG Paris Corporate Foundation. In my role at SG New-York, I am interacting with teams in Bengaluru on a daily basis and I thought that supporting the organization from New York could make sense. Very quickly, the Asian Professional Network (APN) Employee Resource Group (ERG) headed by Aadesh Gandhre organized some very creative and successful fundraising corporate events. Thanks to the SG NY matching program, APN was able to support the development of the LP4Y Center in Bengaluru focusing on Women and Digital. This year, the fund raised helped with the development of the LP4Y Center in Chennai centered around youth empowerment through sports.

- Have you been in contact with the Youth? What did you do ? How did you feel?

In November last year, during a trip to visit my team in Bengaluru, I had the chance to visit the LP4Y Center there with some of my colleagues. It was an incredible life changing experience. It was very heartwarming to see the evolution of those young women, from the ones very shy and uncomfortable who just joined the center to the other ones at the last stage of this 9 months program, speaking English fluently and full of confidence to start looking for a job and begin their professional life! I was very proud of SG being a valuable and strong partner to LP4Y for so many years and took some pictures to show to our generous SG employees what they have helped to accomplish.

- What are the next steps?

During this summer, I have been participating in a remote mock interviews mentoring program with two youths from the Life Project Center in Chennai. I was very impressed by their professionalism, energy and positive spirit and was glad to build a direct relationship with them. I will continue to be involved in the future fundraising events organized by the APN ERG at SG NY and to closely follow the development of project to create of an LP4Y lab in the Bronx, even if it has had to slow down with the pandemic.


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