When Don Gino, a chaplain at a Milanese remand home for juvenile offenders, founded Fondazione Don Gino Rigoldi in 1972, he had an ambitious goal: to help disadvantaged and disenfranchised youths build a better future for themselves. So, he set to work helping these young people find their way in life again — a lifelong calling that Oliver Wyman has proudly been a part of.
The foundation initially embarked on its mission of helping young people coming out of the correctional system to re-enter society, by teaching them a trade and assisting with access to housing, education programs, as well as social and psychological support. Over time, the organization’s scope broadened to cover a wider demographic — young people facing economic difficulties and complex familial situations. The primary focus shifted towards facilitating fundamental education, employment opportunities, and housing solutions.
A partnership to help young people succeed
Fondazione Don Gino Rigoldi has always focused on the immediate and short-term survival needs of young people. But it had a larger vision and asked Oliver Wyman to help imagine a program aimed at longer term educational impact, focused on high school students from vulnerable neighborhoods of Milan. When the foundation first approached Oliver Wyman’s Italian team, we didn’t just build the framework for the program — we also did a round of fundraising among clients and signed up as volunteer mentors.
This initial program offered mentorship and financial support for students who have the potential to be successful at university, but lack the means, and often the vision, to even consider enrolling. The result was a program called Borse di Studio Gianfranco de Martini which identifies candidates displaying strong dedication and exceptional aptitude, giving those who would otherwise not dare to dream for more, access to a university education. We set up the program by first creating awareness in target high schools, then designing a selection process for candidates, supporting university access, and creating a mentoring infrastructure involving specialists and mentors from sponsoring partners, including Oliver Wyman and Marsh McLennan. As a result of the joint work, the foundation launched the first class of Borse di studio Gianfranco de Martini for the 2023 academic year. The program enrolled the first set of 10 sponsors, including one sponsorship from Marsh McLennan and one from the Oliver Wyman Milan partner team.
We are delighted to put our skills and client network at the service of such a relevant social cause. Contributing to shaping the future of young talented students, who otherwise would not have had the means to access university, makes this project incredibly rewardingTeam member
Amplifying educational impact with innovative tools
Recognizing the need for further empowerment, we have taken a significant step forward with the initial university access program by designing a comprehensive dashboard. This dashboard serves as a specialized information hub, sharing the details of the program with both sponsors and families, thereby offering a deep insight into its impact.
Our collaboration with the foundation has evolved into creating a system that monitors the holistic journey of students. This tool not only analyzes assessment of academic achievements, but tracks their motivation levels, engagement in extracurricular activities, and the identification of potential obstacles or necessities. Our objective extends beyond the provision of financial resources to facilitate university entrance. Our primary ambition is to actively support these ambitious students along the journey that leads to the promising futures they deserve.
The principal impact of our project centers on its capacity to facilitate program expansion. By affording sponsors a transparent perspective of the concrete outcomes that result from their donations, the foundation can foster heightened engagement among its sponsors, consequently broadening the scope and influence of the initiatives at hand.
Our impact, however, also extends to the scholarship students, since our system will ensure they receive the motivation and support they need throughout their academic journey. By fostering an environment of determination and skill enhancement, the foundation and Oliver Wyman are jointly contributing to the transformation of lives that have been historically marginalized.
Offering talented and motivated students the opportunity to access university and build themselves a different and brighter future, and supporting them throughout their development, was incredibly fulfillingTeam member