In an effort to catapult students into meaningful careers and level the playing field for all students the Catalyze Challenge awarded over $4M in grants to accelerate bold career-connected learning solutions that help young people better access economic opportunity after leaving school. Fifteen winners – community organizations, entrepreneurs, and cross-sector partnerships from across the country – will pilot, launch and scale solutions designed for the leaders of tomorrow’s workforce.
Created to meet this moment, grants are funding inventive ideas for career-connected learning at middle and high schools, and programs supporting the transition to early college coursework. All winners have an explicit focus on reaching historically underserved students, including Black, Indigenous, and people of color, first-generation, low-income, and rural students – some of the groups hardest hit by the pandemic.
A program that engages students grades 6 and up in emerging technologies while working on solutions to urgent, authentic problems facing professionals in these fields.
A digital transformation plan emphasizing social and emotional learning skills, 21st-century skills, career readiness, social capital, and real-world project-based learning.
An initiative that will directly connect young people to living-wage jobs while providing them with the credentials, skills, mindsets, and experience to thrive in these roles.
A creative agency of BIPOC high school students from underserved communities who get real-world experience doing web development and social media marketing for mission-driven organizations.
A free, one-year fellowship for graduating seniors of New Orleans’ Public Schools that counters obstacles students traditionally face in their postsecondary pursuits.
A Texas-based network that facilitates the transformation of rural student outcomes and rural workforce development by partnering with local school, community, and business leaders.
An initiative to reshape the narrative about career opportunities in rural America to include a flourishing digital workforce.
A program providing paid work-based experiences to English learner students in 11th grade through college, receiving credentials that will lead to higher pay in one year.
A pilot program to teach collaboration, creative problem-solving, and empathy to 11th and 12th graders who will receive digital micro-credentials for their resumes.
Hack the Hood uplifts early career youth and communities of color through tech skill-building programs grounded in justice while ensuring economic mobility.
A 4-year high school curriculum that allows students to engage in career exploration through the lens of purpose and identity while cultivating their social and emotional learning skills.
Accelerate serves recent high school graduates from historically marginalized communities who primarily identify as Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC).
Just and Thriving Remote Futures Initiative hopes to bring remote work opportunities to students in rural communities throughout Arkansas.
A model aiming to unify three currently disconnected “dimensions” of our current education system – K-12, higher education, and workforce development – to eliminate barriers to student success.
A work-based learning program helping youth launch and run real businesses, leveraging best-in-class curriculum and self-guided interactive modules to activate youth as change makers.
By Ron Perkins at Trib Live
By Gretchen Bolander at fourstateshompage.com