American Student Assistance (ASA) will invest up to $125 million during the next four years in mission-aligned funds and private companies. The Boston-based nonprofit helps middle and high school students navigate education-to-career opportunities.
ASA’s funding will support programs that facilitate introductions to careers and education-to-career pathways through technology, such as students’ phones, laptops and other devices. The funding effort’s goals include exposing young people to nontraditional career options, including increasing hands-on career exploration outside of the classroom. ASA will also sponsor efforts to provide the tools and support students need to vet, rank and determine which options are high-quality and widely accepted by employers.
The investment program is focused on creating and maintaining equitable job opportunities for the poor, marginalized and disadvantaged young people who have been more severely affected by the pandemic than others.
The investments will support initiatives that aim to:
- Engage youth beyond the classroom through increased access to career readiness learning programs and technology;
- Decrease financial stress of a traditional postsecondary education, and increase knowledge of and confidence in choosing multiple pathways that lead to gainful employment and economic mobility;
- Create and maintain equitable job opportunities for the poor, marginalized and disadvantaged, especially those in communities severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic;
- Provide students with more voice and choice over their education-to-career journey, so learning becomes a more collaborative effort; and,
- Create workplaces that utilize technology and invest in training to promote a sustainable workforce with minimal skill-gaps and turnover.
“With millions of pandemic-era disconnected youth who are neither working or attending school, our strategic impact investment will address the lack of access to career readiness learning opportunities for students earlier in their education journey,” Jean Eddy, CEO and president of ASA said via a statement. “We embrace this tremendous opportunity to invest in targeted funds and partner with organizations that are dedicated to helping more young people achieve their education and career goals. We believe this will ultimately lead to less debt, more happiness in chosen career fields, and a more sustainable economy.”
Interested organizations can reach out to ASA’s Vice President of Mission Impact Investing, Rilwan Meeran, who can be reached at RMeeran@asa.org.