Genesys Works is Announced as Minnesota Google Impact Challenge Winner

February 13, 2020


Twin Cities

Genesys Works is one of five organizations to receive $175,000 with specialized support and announced as winner of the People’s Choice public vote for an additional $125,000.

Genesys Works will receive an investment of $300,000 through the Minnesota Impact Challenge, part of a national initiative to distribute $1 million across five organizations in each state. The organization also won the People’s Choice award through a week-long public vote. Funds will help further the Genesys Works mission to break the cycle of generational poverty and expand multiple pathways to economic mobility for youth in low-income communities.

Genesys Works Twin Cities employed its first class of students in 2008 and since its inaugural year, has placed more than 2,100 young professionals into paid, year-long internships. The organization partners with 56 top Twin Cities companies to employ high school seniors from more than 50 partner high schools. After intensive training, students earn a professional business technology internship – among the fastest growing and most lucrative careers in Minnesota. This year alone, more than $4.7M will go back into the pockets of these youth, favorably impacting their communities.

“We want to continue to expand upon the multiple pathways for youth to achieve economic mobility and career success,” said Executive Director Karen Marben. “There is power in one opportunity: one paid, professional work experience, one mentor, one scholarship earned could be enough to break the cycle of generational poverty in their family.”

Winners were determined using the criteria of community impact, innovation, potential reach, and feasibility. The panelist of judges included:

  • Eric Dayton, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Askov Finlayson;
  • Shawntera M. Hardy, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Civic Eagle;
  • Susan Marvin, Chair of the Board of The Marvin Companies;
  • Gersson Rosas, President of Basketball Operations of Minnesota Timberwolves;
  • Tony Sertich, President of Northland Foundation; and
  • Sandra Vargas, Senior Executive Leadership Fellow of Humphrey School of Public Affairs and former President and Chief Executive Officer of The Minneapolis Foundation.

In addition to Genesys Works, four other organizations were recipients of $175,000 in earnings, including The BrandLab, First Children’s Finance, Hmong American Farmers Association, and Tech Dump.


About Genesys Works

Genesys Works Twin Cities is a nonprofit social enterprise providing opportunities for driven, low-income high school students through meaningful work experiences. Our program consists of eight weeks of technical and professional skills training, a paid year-long corporate internship, college and career coaching, and alumni support to and through college. In partnership with educational institutions and impactful businesses, we are transforming the workforce by creating inclusive opportunities in STEM careers – the fastest growing and most lucrative careers of our state. To learn more, visit


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