Genesys Works Twin Cities Celebrates 10 Years of Impact | Honors Partners, Program Alumni and Community

May 11, 2018


Twin Cities

St. Paul, MN – May 17, 2018 — Genesys Works Twin Cities recently celebrated 10 years of providing meaningful internship opportunities and skills training to high school students from underserved communities.  This milestone was commemorated during the organization’s Breaking Through Ceremony on May 10, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

After a successful start in Texas for this innovative nonprofit social enterprise, Genesys Works Founder and CEO, Rafael Alvarez sought to expand to a new region. An early meeting with the organization’s first funder in the Twin Cities, Social Venture Partners, led to the hiring of its first Executive Director, Jeff Tollefson. Genesys Works Twin Cities began with a cohort of 11 students placed into internships at seven corporate partners. Six of those corporate partners have remained with the organization for the past decade: 3M, Bremer Bank, Deluxe Corporation, Ecolab, Land O’Lakes, and Travelers. These early partners, as well as the first school partners for the program – Harding, Humboldt, and Highland Park High Schools – were honored with a pre-event reception during the Breaking Through Ceremony on May 10th.

“This decade of success was made possible because of the hard work of our amazing young professionals and our corporate, school and philanthropic partners,” shared Genesys Works Twin Cities Executive Director Karen Marben. “Genesys Works is committed to closing the opportunity gap, and appreciates the supporters who have contributed to our success over the last 10 years.”

Throughout the ceremony, each of the 10-year company and school partners were also honored with an award for their commitment to the program, and the first class of Genesys Works Twin Cities interns were highlighted for their career progress and achievements since graduation from the program. Class 1 alumni include: Kierra Batiste, Kwame Collins, Kaneisha Jones, Brittany Jones, Kouly Moua, Zuleyka Omar, Sina Oub, Juan Puentes, Nou Xiong, Pa Yong Xiong, and Sou Yang. Senator Amy Klobuchar also made a surprise guest appearance, addressing and congratulating the Class of 2018 and program supporters.

Since its inception, Genesys Works Twin Cities has helped low-income high school students achieve career success and a lifetime of economic self-sufficiency through its innovative program, including eight weeks of skills training between a student’s junior and senior years of high school; a year-long paid internship at one of 58 corporate partners in the Twin Cities; college access support and assistance; and ongoing alumni services to help students reach the economic mainstream. To learn more about the Genesys Works program, visit


Genesys Works Twin Cities is a nonprofit social enterprise whose mission is to provide pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities through skills training, meaningful work experiences, and impactful relationships. Its 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. Cumulatively, Genesys Works Twin Cities has trained 1,970 underserved students, with 1,584 students being placed into internships at over 60 leading corporations, including Target, Deluxe, 3M, and Medtronic, among many others. Our goal is to move more students out of poverty and into professional careers, creating a more productive and diverse workforce in the process. To learn more, visit

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