We believe the talent of young people fuels our economy and our world. Yet entire communities are economically insecure because we do not enable all young people to develop and contribute their talent. Too often, traditional career paths reflect the bias within our nation—stifling rather than cultivating the ambitions of Black and Brown students. 

HERE to HERE champions young people by working to redefine the systems that unfairly burden Black and Brown students as they pursue their career ambitions. We understand that the issues are complex and interrelated. That’s why we create effective partnerships, prioritize the thoughts and opinions of young people, and mobilize people and organizations—demonstrating how our collective efforts to create a just and inclusive talent system will create lasting change. How we reinvent these systems determines our future.

It won’t be easy, but when we work together to unlock the talent of an entire generation, our community is stronger, our businesses benefit, and all of New York thrives.

Why We Do What We Do

In many low-income neighborhoods, such as the South Bronx, a young person’s chance of getting a high school degree and an employer recognized postsecondary credential is, at best, 20%. Roughly 65% of American jobs today require some sort of postsecondary credential, and for jobs offering a family-sustaining wage, the percentage is even higher. Focusing solely on college and academic preparation, without connection to critical early work experience as well as the development of professional networks, is not the answer.

U.S. employers struggle to effectively match talent to the right opportunities and to develop predictable recruitment pipelines. Here in New York, companies in robust industries like healthcare, finance, and tech remain disconnected from talent pools located in their own backyard.

Additionally, our educational system is not designed to help students connect their passions and interests to meaningful careers. Too many young people enter college with hope and optimism and often leave with financial burdens, feelings of failure, and greater inequity

It’s time to build a youth talent development system that is sustainable, values strategic partnerships, and works–for students, employers, and the economy. Working together, we can create an effective system that supports students learning and growing through meaningful careers, businesses gaining a wealth of talent that fuels their economic growth, and a community that is more equitable and inclusive.

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The Work

HERE to HERE strives for systemic change by building trusted relationships, leveraging financial resources, and having an unyielding focus on redefining the systems that unfairly burden Bronx Black and Brown students. Our northstar is an effective youth talent development system that works for all Bronx and NYC students, educators, and employers. Everyday our team partners with unrelenting focus to realize this vision. 

To get there, we elevate student career success as the primary, shared goal of educators, public agencies, employers, and others who seek a thriving, inclusive economy. We also amplify and champion the organizations and influencers that pursue programs, policies, and research to demonstrate the value proposition of focusing on student career success, move best practice into common practice, and reach all Bronx and NYC students. 

Our work is far-reaching, and we aren’t afraid to stretch to achieve our goals. While we try new approaches, we base our work in two foundational areas:

ELEVATE STUDENT CAREER SUCCESS

Everyone wants young people to succeed, but truly coordinated action does not organize itself. It is not enough for educators to talk just with other educators, or employers just with other employers. We coordinate actionable steps for entire communities to break down silos and come together, because no one entity can do this work alone.

We are investing in building a robust network of champions who prioritize a shared metric of success: launching students into meaningful careers. This common goal requires intentionality, collaboration, and the development of new approaches, partnerships, and solutions.

MAKE BEST PRACTICE COMMON PRACTICE

Too often, the term “best practice” denotes an approach that is effective, but rare. We are not just identifying ideas that work—we are helping others make them routine.