Genesys Works and Fairfax County Public Schools Bring High School Internship Program to the National Capital Area

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Program builds on its success in four markets to expand into the Washington, D.C. region

Genesys Works

“The Genesys Works highly trained interns provide tremendous value to their employers,” said George Newstrom, Vice President and General Manager, Dell Services Federal Government, and Genesys Works NCR Founding Board Chair.

Genesys Works is teaming up with Fairfax County Public Schools and the business community in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area to provide opportunities for underprivileged high school students to experience meaningful year-long IT internships in businesses. This expansion is funded in part by a $500,000 contribution from AT&T announced last year as part of the company’s signature initiative, AT&T Aspire.

“With young Americans experiencing unemployment rates that are at least twice the national average, it’s essential that we empower today’s young people with the skills and work experiences to develop a mindset that they can succeed in corporate America and pursue a professional career” said Mahan Tavakoli, Executive Director, National Capital Region, Genesys Works. “Our new collaboration with Fairfax County Public Schools will help us prepare more youth in the National Capital region to succeed in the jobs of tomorrow.”

Genesys Works is an innovative organization that changes the life trajectory of underprivileged high school students by providing extensive training and year-long IT focused internships at major corporations during their senior year in high school. The students are trained to perform critical job functions including; PC deployment and imaging, hardware and software upgrades, PC and network troubleshooting and help desk support.

The program boasts a remarkable success rate. 94 percent of Genesys Works’ student interns enroll in college, and 84 percent of program graduates persist in higher education after their freshman year. Genesys Works currently serves students in Houston, Chicago, the Twin Cities, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Approximately 90 percent of students involved in the program are from low-income households, and many represent the “quiet middle”—“B” or “C” students who may require additional support to realize their full potential.

“The Genesys Works highly trained interns provide tremendous value to their employers,” said George Newstrom, Vice President and General Manager, Dell Services Federal Government, and Genesys Works NCR Founding Board Chair. “Our business economy is based on highly skilled, professional employees and Genesys Works is a partner that ensures a win-win for the students and the employers. The expansion of this program in the National Capital Region is tremendous for the business community.”    

With support from the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the first six schools that will incorporate the Genesys Works program in the National Capital Region next year include: Falls Church High School, South Lakes High School, Stuart High School, Mount Vernon High School, Lee High School and West Potomac High School. The goal is to expand the program throughout Fairfax County and the DC region in the upcoming years.

FCPS serves a diverse student body, with more than 28,000 students receiving English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) services, and 52,000 students eligible for free and reduced lunches. Adopting the Genesys Works program aligns with the district’s Portrait of a Graduate, which focuses on preparing all students, no matter their background, to excel in the workforce.

“Our mission at Fairfax County Public Schools is to help equip students with the necessary skills for success in our rapidly changing and interconnected world,” said Karen K. Garza, Superintendent, Fairfax County Public Schools. “Genesys Works shares this mission and our work together will grow and increase our impact. I look forward to hearing the stories of our students who participate in these workplace internships and who go on to achieve their dreams.”

About Genesys Works
Genesys Works is committed to empowering economically disadvantaged high school students to enter and thrive in the economic mainstream by providing the knowledge and work experience required to succeed as professionals, changing the trajectory of their lives forever. To this end, Genesys Works trains and engages high school seniors in meaningful corporate internships at one of more than 180 major companies in Houston, the Twin Cities, Chicago, and the Bay Area. The organization keeps them on track to graduate and prepares them for successful futures in a competitive marketplace.

About Fairfax County Public Schools
Fairfax County Public Schools, the tenth largest school system in the U.S., inspires and empowers its more than 186,000 students to meet high academic standards; lead healthy, ethical lives; and be responsible and innovative global citizens. The Fairfax County School Board has adopted Portrait of a Graduate, an outline of what the community believes is important for graduates to know and be able to do when they graduate. While still focusing on the academic content areas, the Portrait of a Graduate allows FCPS to move beyond high stakes testing and help students develop the skills that employers are seeking. The four strategic goal areas are: student success, caring culture, premier workforce, and resource stewardship.

About the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools:
Established in 2010, the mission of the Foundation is to be the philanthropic arm of the school system and connect the strategic initiatives of FCPS to the community. The Foundation, as a separate 501c3 organization, supports the goals of the school system in three areas: workforce development, classroom innovation and student success. More information can be found at

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Jeffrey Tollefson

Jeff Tollefson
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