In this tight job market, America's young people face record-high unemployment. Studies show that early work experience predicts success in the workforce -- and correlates with educational and personal success. High school students need more opportunities to earn and learn.
That's where we come in.
Juma Ventures is creating jobs for our most vulnerable youth. We provide work that caters to students' school schedules so that low-income students can develop professional skills, earn money, and stay connected to school. Juma reinforces the job experience with core education services and financial capability training.Juma's mission is to break the cycle of poverty by ensuring that young people complete a four-year college degree. Our award-winning model empowers America's next generation of workers from three angles:
- Employment: For most youth, Juma is a first job experience and lays the foundation for future employment and independent adulthood. Youth work year-round at vending and concession businesses at major sports venues in four cities -- San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego, and New Orleans -- with plans to expand to Seattle in April 2013. On average, students earn $1,000 per year.
- Financial capability: Students receive a financial literacy education and open a first bank account. For every dollar saved, Juma provides a two-to-one match, turning $1,000 into $3,000 that can be used for tuition, textbooks, or other qualified educational expenses.
- Academic support: Education and career services help students finish high school, get into and complete college, and develop career goals that will set them on a path toward a family-sustaining income.
The impact is clear:
- To date, Juma has employed more than 3,000 low-income youth who have earned $3 million in wages and saved more than $2 million for higher education.
- More than 400 young people worked events in New Orleans, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco in 2012.
- Students earned $372,000 in wages last year and saved over $110,000 for college.
- 100 percent of Juma's high school seniors graduated from high school in 2012, and more than 97 percent successfully transitioned to college -- far outperforming their peers.
There's still more to be done. Juma recently began operating in New Orleans, providing an additional 55 jobs for at-risk students. Our replication plans for scaling to other cities will increase the number of low-income, urban youth we serve by hundreds more within the next two years.
You're part of the solution.
We have a clear vision -- and funds from the JobRaising Challenge will allow Juma to expand its impact potential. Donate to Juma Ventures through our CrowdRise page, and we can expand to new cities and offer more jobs to low-income youth.
Together, we can break the cycle of poverty and significantly increase young people's ability to secure a job and succeed in adulthood.
Follow Juma Ventures on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jumaventures