We Believe
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.
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.

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
The Destiny Project was founded in 2020 by Rapunzl Investments in collaboration with GCE Lab School. Since 2018, Rapunzl has been providing educational opportunities for underserved high school students through fun and free investment competitions with scholarship and cash prizes. Since inception, Rapunzl has engaged more than 12,000 students across the country and awarded more than $80,000 in scholarship prize money, inspiring a new generation of investors. Rapunzl began by testing their investment app technology with GCE Lab School students.

For 10 years, GCE Lab School has been at the forefront of experiential learning with a strong track record in partnering with companies and organizations to create courses grounded in real world applications. The Destiny Project is part of the GCE Lab School Learning Lab portfolio of community programming, providing real-world educational resources to students, educators and learners everywhere.

In 2020 the racial divides in our country directed us all to face some hard realities and re-examine our roles in the systemic inequities that allow these injustices to persist. Working in partnership with financial institutions, The Destiny Project provides financial assistance and unique educational opportunities to low-income, minority students, who have been historically disenfranchised from the financial world, helping close the gap and lay the foundation to build generational wealth.

All companies are tasked with a great challenge in thinking and acting strategically to authentically increase diversity in the workplace. The Destiny Project presents the business world with a compelling opportunity to address economic disparities and equips traditionally underserved students with the skills they need to secure internships that lead to more full time placements in the financial services industry. Working together, we can bridge the gap and realize our shared vision of a more equitable, sustainable future for all.
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.