Hartford, Conn. is known as the world’s insurance capital, but the city and region also struggle with poverty and educational achievement. The average Hartford family’s income is lower than all but three U.S. cities of similar size, and the city school district is in the midst of a several-year-long effort to raise the high school graduation rate (it was 71% in 2014 vs. 29% eight years ago).

Travelers, the largest of the insurance companies that call Hartford home, decided that it could make a difference in the lives of members of its community at the same time it wanted to raise the profile of the company and the insurance industry. The insurer started the Travelers EDGE program in 2007 with several colleges in the Hartford region – as well as other places it has significant corporate presence like St. Paul, Minn.; and Baltimore, Md. – with the goal of building a more diverse talent pool for the company.

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