January 11, 2021
Over the holiday season Old Navy generated $1 million from its campaign to support the nonprofit organizations that fuel This Way ONward (previously known as This Way Ahead), a program providing underserved youth with employment opportunities and career skills that last a lifetime.
In the final month of 2020, the brand donated to the cause $10 for every BOPIS and curbside order. At the end of the campaign, the achievement was announced on Old Navy’s Instagram with messages from program graduates.
Despite an unprecedented, challenging year, This Way ONWard was able to hold over a hundred virtual career fairs and provide opportunities to 900 young people. The program is well on its way toward the goal of hiring 20,000 young people by 2025.
One person who helped make this season such a success for the program, Chantal Horton, won an employee award for her efforts. She’s a senior recruiter who jumped in to support virtual career fairs and to ensure This way ONward kept moving forward this year. “I love being able to make an impact, build talent legacy, and be able to challenge business partners or businesses to think differently. Talent can be found anywhere, and the diversity and inclusion piece is my jam,” she said.
Chantal supported multiple career fairs including those in Las Vagas, Reno, and Santa Monia, in collaboration with our long-established nonprofit partner, Boys and Girls Clubs of America. She was inspired by the young people who had the “chance to be able to step out of this stereotype about ‘under privileged’ youth,” she said.
During the career fairs, she saw young people making an effort to better their lives, and spoke passionately about their hopes and dreams.
“It makes you feel connected to them,” Chantal said of the virtual career fair experience. “To be in that space and see someone’s potential and understand the place they are coming from and where a lot of them end up and how they have this hunger and passion to not be a statistic: It's cool to see it,” she said.
Chantal also pointed out the tangible benefits to the business This Way ONward programming provides.
“When you shop at a store, you want to see the store team reflect the community, and This Way ONward helps create a space where customers feel comfortable. They feel like they are being seen, their needs are being met—it’s someone from their community. They understand what product they are looking for, and that translates to sales because we have people who connect with the community.”
The social media campaign tied to the fundraising featured stories from several This Way ONward participants. Gloire Yahve, a 2018 alumni of the program said, “Because I have a job, because of the skills and encouragement I’ve gotten from This Way ONward, I can see the finish line, I know I can do it, I will not give up. This Way ONward was my golden ticket.”