Annual event to honor underserved high school students and their acceptance into corporate internships will be held October 14, 2015 at 5:30 at the St. Regis Hotel, San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (September 30, 2015)
Genesys Works-Bay Area, a San Francisco-based non-profit that helps put underserved high school seniors on a college and career track through work skills training and professional internships, is hosting “Breaking Through 2015”, the third annual celebration of student leadership and success. Suzanne DiBianca, president of the Salesforce Foundation, will be the keynote speaker. In addition, Lynette Gibson McElhaney, President of the Oakland City Council, will receive the inaugural Community Partner Award. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 14th at 5:30pm at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco.

“These amazing young people are breaking through the cycle of poverty,” says Peter Katz, Executive Director for Genesys Works – Bay Area. “They are embarking on a new professional path that most thought unattainable just a short time ago.”

Breaking Through 2015 will recognize 70 seniors from 18 schools across San Francisco Unified and Oakland Unified School Districts. The program marries education and workforce development so that students can thrive in the corporate world. Participants have successfully completed a rigorous summer session consisting of technical training, including IT essentials and Microsoft Office, combined with interpersonal skills such as public speaking and team building, earning them 12-month part-time positions in meaningful roles within some of the Bay Area’s top corporations such as Salesforce, Google, PG&E, and Kaiser Permanente, Okta, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), and Clif Bar. For their entire senior year, the interns go to school in the morning and then work at these corporations in the afternoon.

Genesys Works – Bay Area is in its third year of operation. The program has doubled each year, reaching nearly 200 students across Oakland and San Francisco. Over 95% of students who completed the program have gone on to college, with a 100% persistence rate beyond their first year. The organization currently has training centers in San Francisco and Oakland, and will be opening a San Jose office in spring 2016. Previous speakers at Breaking Through have included angel investor Ron Conway and Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation for SFMTA. The event is sponsored in part by AT&T, PG&E, and Salesforce.

“The program works because of our strong alliance with schools and corporations,” adds Katz. “Companies are eager to source locally and support our communities, and we provide a young and talented workforce excited to learn and succeed.”

About Genesys Works
Genesys Works, established in Houston in 2002 and now with locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that enables economically disadvantaged high school students to break through barriers and discover through meaningful internships that they can succeed as professionals in the corporate world.

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