San Francisco, CA– Google.org has committed $500,000 to non-profit Genesys Works – Bay Area to build pathways to academic and professional success for the youth of San Jose. Since 2013, Genesys Works has provided underserved high school students with technical and professional skills training, meaningful internships at leading Bay Area companies, and college support so they can succeed in today’s economy.  Their inaugural cohort of students from San Jose Unified and East Side Union High School Districts started their Summer Training on Monday, June 6.

Justin Steele, Principal of Google.org, joined the group to launch the new South Bay office last month. “Too many of our communities’ young people grow up believing that success in the corporate world is unattainable. Genesys Works is changing the life trajectory of economically disadvantaged students in our Bay Area high schools. And we’re proud to support them.”

Google’s support goes beyond grants; for the past school year, they have hosted a Genesys Works young professional in an IT internship.  Through meaningful workplace experience, students learn how to navigate workplace settings while building confidence and communication and problem-solving skills.

Casey Blas, a recent graduate of Burton High School in San Francisco, just completed his Google internship. He says the internship and training program were the first steps in becoming “the new Casey.”  During a final presentation to his supervisors, he shared: “I never thought I’d see myself at such a big company. The internship has set a foundation for the rest of my life.”

His supervisors benefitted too. They said at times they would forget that he was a high school intern, and that he made tangible contributions to the team.

Google’s grant will allow Genesys Works to serve over 200 students across Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose this year in partnership with over 25 corporations hosting interns. The end result is that students graduate high school with the tools and vision to thrive in the modern economy, and ultimately, close the opportunity gap.  For more information on the program, visit:genesysworks.org/BayArea

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