Sparking Futures: Giving America’s Youth a Head Start

December 10, 2019


What you need to know

  • There is an entire population in the United States who lack access to learning resources and meaningful work opportunities, creating an “opportunity gap.” They have been historically disconnected from corporate America and the economic mobility that a professional career can bring.
  • Intelligent technology is changing the nature of work and the current educational systems are not keeping pace with the current demand for skills. According to McKinsey, 60% of employers said new graduates were not adequately prepared for work, including gaps in technical skills and soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and critical thinking. Experts anticipate that the skills gap will only widen as jobs become more demanding and employers search for candidates with the required skills.
  • But it isn’t all bad news. With the help of organizations like Genesys Works, more and more students are benefiting from opportunities they would otherwise not be able to access. Genesys Works and its corporate partners are reaching high school students in underserved communities and provide them with valuable learning and work opportunities.

An Important Question to Ask

What does it mean to give someone the gift of an opportunity? An opportunity can look like many things: a big break, a leg up, a head start, or simply…a chance.

We don’t talk much about this “opportunity gap” at the dinner table or on the news like we do hunger or homelessness. We rarely hear corporate leaders or politicians speak on the topic at conferences or rallies. But the truth is, those with extensive learning resources will academically out-perform those without. Although this lack of resource can be attributed to a number of sources, the outcome is always the same.

There are sadly thousands of young people in this country who have the ability to succeed, but simply don’t know how or don’t have access to the resources and pathways that lead to upward mobility.

Aline’s Story

Aline is just one example of this often overlooked population. A Rwandan refugee, Aline came to the United States when she was 17 years old. An overachiever she quickly learned English and excelled in school. But she realized that her ability and ambition may not be enough.

“Although I knew I wanted to go to college, I was afraid that I might never be able to get into or pay for a college of my choice,” Aline remembers.

Aline needed an opportunity.

Through Genesys Works, Aline got her opportunity.

After taking part in Genesys Works skills training, she was placed in an internship at Texas Children’s Hospital in the Texas Medical Center – the No. 1 children’s hospital in the country. During her internship, Aline learned professional computer skills as well important communication skills. Today, she’s a student at Wellesley College in Massachusetts studying hospital administration.

“Genesys Works changes young people’s lives, especially those who come from underserved communities,” Aline said. “I never thought I could be where I am today, but they made sure I had all the resources I needed to create a successful future. Genesys Works does not look for who you are but who you can become.”

Now Is Your Chance to Pay It Forward

You can give the gift of opportunity to high school students just like Aline. Help them gain the confidence and skills necessary to thrive.

to connect students with life-changing opportunities that will provide them a head start to a bright future.

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