Ending Poverty: Empowering Youth to Change Their Future

December 19, 2019



What you need to know

  • Increasing rates of inequality around the world is detrimental to economic growth. What’s worse: just having a job does not guarantee a decent living. In fact, 8 per cent of employed workers and their families worldwide lived in extreme poverty in 2018.
  • 24/7 Wall Street reviewed 2019 American Community Data from the U.S. Census Bureau to identify 11 distinct groups of Americans who are more likely than their peers to live in poverty. Some of these populations are: service workers, women, Hispanics and Latinos, non-citizen immigrants, Black and African-Americans, and adults with less than a high school diploma.


With 15 million children living in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold, poverty is a prevalent problem across the United States. Limited or no access to resources that create opportunities to advance continues the vicious cycle.

While ending poverty seems like an impossible promise, today’s youth are taking the steps to do so. Young people who successfully navigate college and career can and are ending generational poverty for their families. The difference is this: when provided an opportunity to supplement their high school curriculum with learning future-proof skills and exposed to real-world work experience, youth have the power to change their future trajectory.


In 2010, Manuel was a junior at Hubbard High School on Chicago’s southwest side. At that time, Genesys Works was a brand new program in Chicago—he had never heard of it and didn’t know anyone who had participated. This fear of the unknown almost held him back, but he thought about how much he loved computers and decided to apply. Once in the program, he spent his summer in intensive skills training.

Genesys Works placed him in an internship with Chicago Public Schools (CPS). By the end of the year, he was overseeing the redeployment of all the computer labs at the CPS offices. Manuel enrolled in college, and because Genesys Works connected him with an alumni summer internship with AT&T, he was able to leverage that into a job throughout the rest of his time in college.

Today, Manuel is a proud graduate of St. Xavier’s University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science – he is the first in his family to have a college degree. Manuel works as an Information Security analyst at TransUnion. His two younger brothers followed in his footsteps and participated in the Genesys Works program and went on to enroll in college. Manuel’s hard work and determination has made a difference for his entire family.


Genesys Works students follow multiple pathways to economic success. Whether it’s a two- or four-year college plan or direct-to-workforce, they are entering viable careers within proven industries. According to our annual survey of former program participants, the median salary of Genesys Works alumni who are out of college and employed is $45,000-50,000. Beyond that, 72% of alumni aged 25 years and above, currently earn more than at least one parent with over a quarter earning more than both parents combined. This is the face of change. Genesys Works students are achieving career aspirations against all odds, improving the economic status of their families and becoming strong economic contributors.


You can give the gift of change to students like Manuel.

to impact a student’s future.

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