The Destiny Project
A pipeline for diverse talent
in financial services
Did You Know?
The achievement, wealth & career attainment gaps between White & Black communities have widened past levels seen in 1967 during Jim Crow.
The median wealth of White households is twelve times that of Black & Latino households.
Wealth that a Black household with children has for every $1 that White households with children have.
Students of color are not taught about money & lack access and exposure to the tools neccessary in building generational wealth.
What Is
The Destiny Project?

The Destiny Project is a rigorously immersive program that prepares high school & college students to thrive in Corporate America.

Students gain a mastery of investing concepts, address being a minority on Wall Street, and become financially fluent through conversations about money.

The Destiny Project combines financial assistance, real-world learning tools, and meaningful mentorships with scholarship competitions to increase exposure & inspire a new generation of investors.

Our Story
The Destiny Project began with a $20,000 simulated scholarship competition on the Rapunzl mobile app in Chicago, April 2018, to celebrate Financial Literacy Month, sponsored by Ariel Investments.
High schoolers participated in the Chicagoland competition & over 50 students became fractional shareholders.
Our program's namesake, Destiny Davis, won a $5,000 scholarship to help attend Northeastern Illinois University. Roughly 8% of CPS students drop-out ever year, so it was unsurprising Destiny had dropped out in 6th grade.

What happened next, was unexpected.

Destiny visited Chicago Public Libraries for 4 years before being accepted at West Town Academy on Chicago's West Side. Destiny had never learned about investing. Over the course of the month, she was inspired by the concept of ownership and build a portfolio which soared 27% in April.

Destiny shows us that talent is ubiquitous: we need to provide students with the tools & guidance to unlock it.
Total scholarships distributed through Rapunzl hosted, scholarship competitions.
Since April, 2018, Rapunzl grew their reach & hosted competitions in Los Angeles, New York City, and between 11 Northeast Liberal Arts Colleges. Rapunzl also developed custom curriculum for several high school education programs & hosted professional development workshops with Chicago-area teachers.
Number of students that have participated in scholarship competitions, as of June 1, 2020.
The Destiny Project leverages Rapunzl's proven success with simulated investing competitions to provide free, citywide scholarship opportunities to low-income, college-bound seniors. Top students are selected for a rigorous 14-week program teaching practical financial skills & offering necessary professional development to prepare students for internships in Financial Services. Throughout this time, we pair students with mentors of color in financial services to begin fostering long-term relationships and seeking internship opportunities.

Only with deliberate and sustained action, can we break the invisible color barriers blocking Wall Street.
The Problem Is Systemic
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& Representation
The chronic lack of diversity in financial services results in few minorites achieving jobs in finance & undermines potential for their career growth.
Of S&P 500 Executives and senior-level managers are Black as opposed to 14% of the US Population.
Black Female CEOs are in charge of any of the Fortune 500 companies.
The wage difference between Blacks and Whites when controlling for age, gender, education, and region.
The number of Black CEOs at Fortune 500 Companies in America in 2020.
Fewer financial advisors of color perpetuates a cycle of unequal opportunity & community disenfranchisement.
Black Voices On Wall St.
"The lack of representation is tough. It's discouraging to go into a company you're told to call home, but no one at the top looks like you."
- Lester
"It doesn’t matter your background or how hard you studied. Forget your pedigree. Once you’re in the door, you’re still Black."
- John
"Blacks in the corporate world must be the cream of the crop while our White counterparts simply have to fit the description."
- Emmanuel
One Step
In The Right
The Destiny Project empowers the next generation of investors. We demystify financial concepts and use the stock market as a portal to explore careers, develop practical skills, compete for scholarships, and forge quality mentor & internship connections.
Exposure &
Mentors &
Direct & deliberate investment promoting diversity in financial services will transform community banking & how communities of color interact with financial institutions.
Let's Begin
To Shift The
By Creating A Pipeline
For Low-Income Students
To Pursue Careers In
Financial Services

Ubiquitous Talent
The Original Destiny
10% of Chicago Public School students drop out every year and in 5th grade, Destiny Davis was one of them. For 4-years, Destiny taught herself by going to the public library.

Destiny applied and was accepted into West Town Academy on Chicago’s West Side, where she was a senior for Rapunzl’s first investment competition.
"They just don’t teach you about this in school. We consume from these brands without ever learning the value of ownership. That’s really important if a community is ever trying to build wealth."
Destiny’s portfolio placed first amongst more than 2,500 entries in Rapunzl’s inaugural investment competition April, 2018, sponsored by Ariel Investments & Nasdaq, winning her a $5,000 scholarship.

Destiny rang Nasdaq's Opening Bell and used her scholarship to attend Northeastern Illinois University where she’s studying Computer Science & Finance. She's planning to intern with Ariel Investments Summer, 2020.
Our Founding Story
GCE Lab School has developed & taught experiential learning models for over a decade. When Rapunzl was founded, the platform was initially piloted at their school before launching to the public in 2018.

As Rapunzl grew, so did their social impact and partnership with GCE Lab School. Together they developed digital curriculum & a network for hosting a broader array of student-driven learning experiences. When Rapunzl's founders approached GCE Lab School with the idea of developing a formal program to help increase the exposure & access which students of color receive to financial services careers, The Destiny Project was borne.

The Destiny Project is a sustainable program within GCE Lab School which leverages Rapunzl's technology to have a real impact increasing diversity in financial services. This program plays a small part in addressing systemic inequities in financial services & provides financial assistance to low-income, minority students who have been disenfranchised from the financial industry.
Our Advisors
Tim Schwertfeger
Former Chairman & CEO of Nuveen Investments. Founder of Chicago Scholars & A Better Chicago.
John W Rogers Jr.
Former CEO & Chairman of Ariel Investments and Founder of Ariel Community Academy.
Tim Knowles
Managing Director of Academy Group. Former Director of Urban Labs & Founder of the Urban Education Institute.
Forrest Moore
Policy Fellow at The University of Chicago, Chapin Hall.
Auyanna Orr
Director of Community Affairs & School Relations at Ariel Investments.
Jim Ongena
General Counsel at Chicago Trading Company & Former General Counsel at Chicago Stock Exchange.
Lead By Example
How Your Firm Could Join
The Destiny Project
City-Wide Talent Search
Host a 3-month, white-labeled investment competition with your firm’s logo & color scheme integrated into Rapunzl’s simulated trading platform.

The competition will be city-wide and open to all high school and community college students with $5,000 in scholarship prizes allocated to students of color from low-income communities.

We support educators by sharing digital learning tools & hosting professional development workshops.

The top 100 performing students write essays about their portfolios to win prizes, including being selected to join the Destiny Project.
Destiny Training Program
Twelve students will be accepted into The Destiny Project based on their competition performance, personal essay & interview.

All students will follow a rigorous 14-week training program, meeting 2 hours every Saturday, and establish early connections with mentors in financial services.

Each week, students will participate in private investment competitions with cash prizes to tie learning about money with money.

Students will all be awarded fractional shares of stock & receive a weekly cash stipend throughout the program.
Career Support
We recognize our corporate partners in April, during Financial Literacy Month with a city-wide, white-labeled competition.

Mentors and The Destiny Project assist students with interview practice, resume building, and discussing the social pressures of being a minority on Wall Street.

In May, partner firms host interviews with the intention of hiring at least one student for a paid-summer internship.

We then provide ongoing support throughout the internship & foster long-term relationships with our students.
to expose over 10,000 students to the stock market, train 12 talented individuals to thrive in Financial Services, and implement a program to confront diversity directly & sustainably at your firm.
Firms Bullish On Diversity
We are fortunate to work with some of the most reputable financial institutions in the world to provide access to financial services careers by helping educate & foster diverse talent.

Our corporate partners provide equitable access & support as our students grow as young adults & investors while transitioning from high school to college.

Financial institutions play an integral role in our students' career growth. Our small cohort sizes allow for meaningful mentorships between employees & students to forge connections that persist beyond our 14-week course.

Their time, support & financial assistance are the reason The Destiny Project exists today.
a new generation
of investors
High schools with teachers that use our investment competitions
Students that have created a free portfolio & placed their first trade
Cities where we have hosted scholarship competitions
High school participants that come from low-to-middle income communities
Scholarships & fractional share awards we have provided to students
High school participants that identify as Black of Latino
Get In Touch With Us!
We cannot solve these problems alone. Only through persistent & vocal action can financial services transform beyond a history of disenfranchisement. Together, we will change the face of finance & inspire a new generation of financially fluency.

Want to learn more?

Drop us a note! We would love to hear from you.
Email Us
How You Can Help
Explore Benefits of Various Donation Sizes
Fund the scholarship prizes for a high school or community college investment competition!
Train 3 teachers to implement our Financial Fluency curriculum into their classroom & access our digital library of teaching tools!
Host a white-labeled, city-wide investment competition for high school or community college students & provide them with free access to an online financial education portal!
Adopt a school and establish meaningful mentorships between students interested in financial services & corporate partners! Provide annual scholarship prizes & transform over 100 students into shareholders!
Sponsor an entire Destiny Project Intern Cohort and invest in changing the face of finance! Join our Bullish Partners and provide The Destiny Project with the resources to host city-wide competitions for exposure & rigorous programming for meaningful professional development.
Donate Now
Get In Touch With Us
Don't Stay Silent.
Financial illiteracy is a national crisis.

Inequities in financial services including a lack of quality financial education tools & exposure to safe financial products exacerbate a racial wealth gap that has widened to Jim Crow levels.

If your house were on fire, you would call the fire department. Fixing financial illiteracy requires the help of financial professionals.

The time to act is now.
• We need to provide equitable access to mentorship & internship opportunities.
• We need increased exposure to real-world learning tools for young students of color.
• We need to inspire the next diverse generation of investors with scholarship prizes.
• We need advocates for a more inclusive financial industry.

We need your Voice.