To democratize access to career information and advice.
For young people around the world, the internet is a place where you can get any question answered. But when it comes to career guidance, reliable sources of information for youth are hard to come by and hard to digest, especially online. Ask any 16 year old around the world to take 10 minutes searching online for career advice and you’ll quickly discover that what they find is boring, complicated, often overwhelming, and almost never designed specifically for youth. 85% of low-income youth in the US search Google for questions about careers, college selection, skilled trades, summer activities, getting internships, improving academic performance, and much much more on a monthly basis. What they get is discouraging.
Traditionally, youth get career advice within their communities -- parents, teachers, and near-peers. We have seen how the limitations of this network approach plays out in low-income communities. This is a huge global problem. With global youth unemployment at record levels, being unable to find the answers to important questions about careers makes it nearly impossible to chart your path to gainful employment. We used to turn to educators to solve this problem, but with dramatic change taking place in the post-secondary world and 500 students for every guidance counselor in America (and often worse ratios outside the US), we can’t put it all on the educators’ shoulders. This problem is exacerbated for youth in the Global South where the work experience of elders is inapplicable to 21st Century STEAM careers. As jobs are moving to developing nations, the gulf between career role models and future workers has a huge opportunity-cost. The world needs a cloud-based solution for career advice - CareerVillage is that solution.
What if we could promise every student in the world that we could get them the answer to any question about any career, from real-life professionals speaking from real-life experience? And what if it was as easy and natural as using Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr? At CareerVillage.org we use crowdsourcing to provide personal career guidance to students at massive scale. Our web platform matches the career questions students ask to our volunteer corps of over 15,000 working professionals with relevant expertise and a wealth of experiences to share. The advice students get is tailored for them, it’s reliable, and it’s encouraging and inspirational. 100% of our program is digital, which makes it so accessible, so scalable, and so easy to participate no matter how much (or how little) time you want to spend volunteering.
Already we've provided career advice to over 1 million online learners covering over 10,000 career topics. We’ve shown that students love getting career guidance this way, and we’ve shown that working professionals love being able to do skills-based volunteering online through CareerVillage.org.
Points of Light
Winner, NCVS Innovation Awards 2013: National Conference on Volunteering and Service.
Social Innovation Award, 2016: Won a clean sweep of Lumina Foundation's first ever Social Innovation Awards at ASU-GSV 2016 in San Diego, CA.
1st Place, Social Impact: Picked from a pool of over 2,300 applicants to participate in MassChallenge 2014, from whom we were awarded the top prize in the Social Impact category.
1st place, Give It Away Award: Selected by a large panel of young people from a highly competitive pool of nonprofits.
Selected to participate in the world's first accelerator program exclusively for high tech nonprofit organizations.
College Knowledge Challenge
Selected for this program run by College Summit and sponsored by the Gates Foundation to improve college knowledge.
Incubated through the Technology Underwriting the Greater Good program in Boston, MA.
Invited to serve as a startup in residence at the iLab in Spring 2012 where we first launched our platform.
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Jared ChungChief Village Elder & Co-FounderBefore founding the organization Jared was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co. and a Director at TEDxCambridge. He holds a B.S. in Finance from NYU Stern, where he first began working with education organizations on a pro-bono basis. When he isn't evangelizing for our cause, he's usually writing code or cooking up something tasty.
Lindsey ManningDirector of PartnershipsLindsey attended the University of Oregon where she earned a B.A. in journalism and communications. She worked in project management after graduation and loves working at CareerVillage because it combines her entrepreneurial spirit with a mission she is passionate about. Lindsey is a lifelong volunteer, enjoys watching college football (Go Ducks!), hanging with her english bulldog Rutherford, and playing soccer. She believes CareerVillage will change the world, one question at a time!
Bryant GomerPartnerships ManagerBryant attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he earned a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis on International Relations. He completed a Masters degree in Teaching and Secondary Education at USC’s Rossier School of Education. Driven by a passion to positively impact the quality of the education experience, Bryant entered the classroom and taught high school social studies in Richmond, CA. He has also gained experience in middle school and Special Education classrooms. After two years in Ann Arbor Michigan, Bryant joined CareerVillage looking to expand his reach on impacting learners. Bryant’s free time is largely consumed with sports, music, and food. Lots of food. The quickest way to his musical heart is Bruce Springsteen.
Kelly LaBuffProduct DesignerKelly is a designer, product manager, and a tech geek at heart. She attended Stanford University where she earned a B.S in Mechanical Engineering, with a focus in product design. In her previous work, she has served as a designer, developer, and Innovation R&D Sr. Analyst in the Accenture Tech Labs. She is extremely passionate about fostering the next generation of diverse tech talent, as well as empowering nonprofit and social enterprises with design and technology! Outside of the office, she can be found mentoring high school students through BUILD.org, volunteering, and attempting to improve her kiteboarding skills in the bay.
Jessica PliskaBoardJessica Pliska is the Founder and Executive Director of the Opportunity Network. She has worked with a number of community organizations focused on economic development including One to World, the "I Have a Dream" Foundation and Prep for Prep. Jessica holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale.
Suzanne ReismanBoardSuzanne Reisman is the Program Manager, National Bank On 2.0 Initiative at the CFE Fund. At CFE Fund, Suzanne is implementing and managing all aspects of the access to banking programs, including Bank On 2.0. Suzanne has over 15 years of experience in the fields of community and economic development, social services, and affordable housing. During this time, she worked for several local and national organizations including Enterprise Community Partners and Low Income Investment Fund, as well as consulted for the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, Nonprofit Finance Fund, and Supportive Housing Network of New York. She has a Masters in Public Administration from the Columbia University.
Justin PollackBoardJustin Pollack is a private equity investor based in New York. He was formerly a Managing Director of Newbury Partners LLC, an investment firm focused on the secondary market for private equity funds. He started his career in the Investment Banking Department of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. Justin holds a B.S. in Finance and Marketing from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Michael ParkBoardMichael Park is a Principal at McKinsey & Company, and a 2011-2012 David Rockefeller Fellow - Partnership for New York City program. He also serves on the board of Achievement First Endeavor School. Michael holds an A.B. in Economics from Harvard College.
Jennifer PanAdvisorJennifer Pan is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University. Her research focuses on large-scale text analysis, how governments and citizens interact, and political economy. In the past Jen has been an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co. and worked for the Clinton Foundation. She holds a B.A. from Princeton University and a PhD from Harvard University. We think she is amazing.
Omar Wasow AdvisorOmar Wasow is an Assistant Professor in Princeton’s Department of Politics. His research focuses on race and politics. Before joining the academy, Omar was the co-founder of BlackPlanet.com. Under his leadership, BlackPlanet.com became the leading site for African Americans, reaching over three million active users a month. Omar also worked to demystify technology issues through regular TV and radio segments on programs like NBC’s Today Show, CNN’s American Morning and public radio’s Tavis Smiley show. Similarly, Omar tutored Oprah Winfrey in her first exploration of the Net in the 12-part series ‘Oprah Goes Online’. In 2003, Omar helped co-found a K-8 charter school in his hometown of Brooklyn. Most recently, the Aspen Institute selected him for the Henry Crown Fellowship. He received a BA from Stanford University and an MA in Government, an MA in Statistics, and a PhD in African American studies from Harvard University.
Ayesha KhanaAdvisorAyesha Khana and the Points of Light advise CareerVillage.org as a member of the Civic Accelerator program. Ayesha Khanna is the president of the Civic Incubator, which puts people at the center of change by supporting social entrepreneurs and early stage civic ventures around the world through programs such as the Civic Accelerator, Ventures in Residence and Global Service. The Civic Incubator is a division of Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, engaging and mobilizing more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year.
Meg Ansara AdvisorMeg Ansara is a partner with 270 Strategies and served as National Regional Director for Obama for America where she was responsible for overseeing the 2012 programs in the Midwest and southern states. Meg has worked on a number of key political and issue advocacy campaigns in addition to her experience on the most recent presidential cycle, including the final campaign of Senator Paul Wellstone in 2002, and the Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign of Robert Reich. Meg served 9 years at Stand for Children – a multi-state advocacy organization committed to improving public schools – where she held leadership positions including Chief of State Operations, Chief Operating Officer National Organizing Director, and Massachusetts State Director. Meg hails from a family of organizers and teachers and has long been passionate about education reform. In 2010, she worked with Governor Phil Bredesen in Tennessee to build grassroots support for a package of state legislative reforms called First to the Top. These changes in education policy – focused on improving outcomes for students and closing the achievement gap – paved the way for Tennessee to become in 2010 one of the two first-ever winners of the federal Race to the Top grant program.
Jeff AtwoodAdvisorJeff Atwood is an American software developer, author, blogger, and entrepreneur. He is known for the programming blog Coding Horror, and as the co-founder of the question-and-answer website Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange Network. Since founding Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange, Jeff has gone on to found Discourse.
Ajay KapoorAdvisorAjay Kapoor is a changemaker at Procter & Gamble, leading reinventing brand specific digital strategies, driving forward Big Data capabilities, and broadly focused on being an interpreneur within the larger organization. Prior to joining P&G, he was a serial entrepreneur, cofounding three companies across a variety of verticals, from cleantech, ecommerce, and biotech. He is motivated by big picture impact and social betterment for the globe, with all three of his startups embodying that social mission. He is an advisor and mentor to a variety of startups, a Trustee to the Awesome Foundation, functions on the Executive Team of Startup Leadership Program, and co-founded GrowDetroit, a non-profit focused on reimagining the economic and social ecosystem of Detroit and broader middle America. He was recently named as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. Follow Ajay on Twitter @ajayskapoor.
Rob MancabelliAdvisorRob Mancabelli is a speaker and author in the field of educational technology. He’s the co–author of the book Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education, a medal winner for Education Book of the Year. A dynamic and engaging speaker, Rob describes in vivid detail how technology is dramatically changing the way teachers and students learn in the 21st Century, and he outlines specific ways educators can make these changes happen in their schools. Rob has fifteen years of experience working in schools, working as a teacher before accepting roles as a Chief Technology Officer. He sits on the Educational Advisory Boards of Dell Computer and Acer Corporation, and he is a columnist for leading education publications. Rob is also an education entrepreneur, and he has earned an MBA in innovation and global leadership from MIT.
Oren Falkowitz AdvisorOren Falkowitz is President at Thursday Strategies and an expert on big data and security. He previously founded Sqrrl and worked within the Department of Defense at the National Security Agency where he held a number of positions focused on computer network operations and Big Data.
Kenneth WilliamsAdvisorKenneth Williams is a Management Consultant at Deloitte Consulting within their Strategy & Operations division. He primarily works with Deloitte’s Social Impact practice, where he helps foundations, NGOs and non-profits scale their interventions and increase their impact. Kenneth also serves on the Board of Directors for the Scholarship Academy and as a Special Advisor to the Gifted Education Foundation. He is a Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude graduate of Morehouse College where he majored in Economics.
Akhil SankaInternAkhil is the Web Development Intern. He's a sophmore at Homestead High School (Mustang Pride!). He loves playing many sports, especially volleyball! In his free time, he loves biking and photography. He knows a ton about TV shows, a little too much. He hopes to major in Computer Science in college.
Rohun SaxenaInternRohun is a rising sophomore at Stanford, currently studying Computer Science (Biocomputation track) . He loves watching sports, cooking, and eating (maybe a little too much). In his free time he loves playing golf and going on hikes with his family.
Anina HittInternAnina is the Product Intern, who works on Products and User Research and also some other things. She's an incoming freshman at Brown University (Class of 2020 represent!). She hopes to major in Computational Biology, or Computer Science. Currently, her main career goal is to become the Ultimate Pokemon Master, but she's also considering paths in software engineering, computational research, and pathology.
Ben LandisInternBen Landis is a third year student at San Jose State University studying Economics. When Ben is not at work or at school he loves going to the gym, spending time at the beach, checking out new food places, socializing with with friends, and photography. Also Ben is an avid coffee drinker and probably drinks more coffee than he should but Ben is obsessed with his coffee.
Trisha MicarsosInternTrisha Micarsos is an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara and is studying Economics and Accounting. Albeit being unsure about what exact career she wants to pursue, she aspires to give back to her community in the future. Her passion and dedication for higher education have pushed her through the many different obstacles that come with life. Aside from being an older sister, intern, and student, she loves basketball, Harry Potter, and just talking to people!
David Ohta is a second year student at Stanford University with a planned major in English or Economics. When David is not busy studying in the library or working away on new projects at CareerVillage, he enjoys hitting the weight room, reading and writing short fiction, and driving stick with friends down long, open roads.
Jaleel MackeyPastJaleel Mackey is a multi-talented USC grad who always comes into work with a smile. His mission is to make sure that students learn about the opportunity to use CareerVillage to get career advice, and to support students and educators who are using the platform. Jaleel is a young and curious professional with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. He harbors many interests, but, undoubtedly, his vested commitment to the empowerment of the underprivileged and underrepresented in society reigns supreme. He promotes excellent interpersonal skills across a myriad of cultures along with extensive research experience, advanced writing and oral communication skills, as well as administrative and organizational aptitude. He's an academically inclined first generation college graduate who completed a thesis on over-policing and the Prison Industrial Complex in California. For over a decade, he's continued to develop his passion for the written word by way of poetry, song writing, screenwriting, fiction and non-fiction writing, and blogging. His artistry spans multiple mediums to include sketching and the photography of architectural structures.
Mikia ManleyPastMikia Manley was a CareerVillage.org intern in 2013, while a senior at Harvard College, studying Human Evolutionary Biology. She was also Co-President of Harvard Students for Education Reform, as well as a Director for the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program. Mikia is really really really passionate about education reform. It's basically her calling.
Britney HermanPastBritney Herman was a CareerVillage.org intern in 2013, while a student at Boston University studying International Relations and Journalism. In her free time she enjoys eating fruit, practicing yoga, and exploring. And when we say she enjoys eating fruit, we mean she REALLY enjoys eating fruit. Ask her anything about fruit -- we dare you :
Marina WatsonPastMarina Watson is a student experience intern at CareerVillage.org. She is a senior at Harvard studying philosophy and enjoys breakfast foods, her home state of Oregon, and the great outdoors. She has several ties to education as a previous program director of South Boston Big Sibling mentoring program and a former education intern for MGH and Global Health Initiative in Rukungiri, Uganda. Marina plans to go to business school following her undergraduate studies and is thoroughly enjoying fostering those skills with CareerVillage as the company’s summer intern.
Gillian ShelleyPastGillian Shelley is a development intern at CareerVillage.org.