If we don't help kids start thinking ahead, we're going to end up with a country of basketball players, bounty hunters, and crime scene investigators.
Boston, MA (PRWEB) December 29, 2013
As the year winds to a close, the pace is quickening at a Boston-based nonprofit in a race to raise funding for thousands of high school students to get career advice. Facing the dramatic shortage of mentors for American high school students, and the lack of career knowledge, CareerVillage.org uses crowdsourcing to help students get career advice. One of a growing number of career preparation programs targeting younger students, the two-year old tech nonprofit claims it is able to source the answer to any question about any career, personalized for any student. But with the end of the year rapidly approaching, the CareerVillage crowdfunding campaign will soon determine how many thousands of students could benefit.
The organization was founded by Jared Chung, a New Yorker who left his career as a manager at McKinsey & Company after spending years mentoring high school students in his off-hours. Together with some friends in the Boston Tech community, he started crowdsourcing advice for 500 students in local high schools in Boston and New York. "If we don't help kids start thinking ahead, we're going to end up with a country of basketball players, bounty hunters, and crime scene investigators," says Jared Chung, founder at CareerVillage.org. Students are attracted to what Chung calls "TV careers", often because they know little about other career options. This knowledge gap is especially prevalent in low-income communities, where most of CareerVillage's students reside. The website allows any volunteer to give advice to any student, forming a "crowd of mentors".
The CareerVillage crowdfunding campaign, taking place on the popular site Indiegogo, has raised over $17,500 so far in addition to funding from grants paid for by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The CareerVillage.org team is now racing to reach their target of $25,000 by the end of the year, an amount Chung says is "necessary for CareerVillage to be able to serve thousands of additional students in 2014". CareerVillage.org already operates in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and is planning to expand to California, Michigan, and Georgia. To attract contributions, the campaign has started introducing some novel perks, including the ability to pick the next school to benefit, and tongue-in-cheek letters the founding team is writing to donors' mothers to give them kudos for raising "such swell kids". With the campaign deadline of January 1st looming, Chung says he's "extremely hopeful" that the organization will reach its goal. To learn more about CareerVillage.org and the campaign, visit the CareerVillage campaign page.