SPACE 4 US

Empowering underprivileged young people to find and pursue fulfilling careers that bring financial stability.

Photo of Crystal
4 5

Written by

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

www.space4usproject.org https://www.instagram.com/space4usproject/ https://www.facebook.com/space4usproject/

Date You Started Your Project Started

June/2018

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Compared to more well-off peers, underprivileged students lack the opportunities, resources and cultural capital to explore their passions and discover meaningful career paths. Connecting students with professional resources is essential to leveling the playing field and achieving economic and social equality. SPACE 4 US seeks to break the generational poverty cycle, bridge the income gap, and empower young people to reach their full potential.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

To achieve my vision of a world where every young person has an equal opportunity to pursue a meaningful career, I organize career exploration events in my community for students to network with working professionals. Through networking events, panel discussions, job shadows, and job simulation workshops, students can explore their passions and discover what it's like to work in different careers. We also have a blog that features stories written by professionals and we organize webinars with professionals in different areas of the world. To reach students who don't typically have access to these opportunities, we partner with nonprofit organizations that serve students from disadvantaged backgrounds. To expand our work to other states and countries, we provide a curriculum and chapter toolkit for our chapter leaders to organize these events in their own communities as well. Our two-tiered approach: 1) introduce students to the diverse career options available in this changing world 2) equip students with the skills to explore their interests & gain the necessary knowledge to pursue a fulfilling career that brings financial stability

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

Coming from a family with parents who didn’t get to go to college, don’t speak English and work in low-paying jobs, I often feel lost when thinking about future career options. The adults in my life work minimum wage and blue collar jobs that come with poor job security, so I have limited exposure to different career paths. I don’t have the luxury of getting guidance on how to navigate our complex educational system and forge a path to a fulfilling career. Compared to more well-off students, I don’t have access to the same social networks or connections that can introduce me to the diverse career opportunities out there. My peers from similar socioeconomic backgrounds feel the same way: we don’t know what we want to pursue and we want to explore different career paths, but we lack the resources to do so. My personal experiences inspired me to develop the idea for what is now SPACE 4 US.

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

When a student attends a career networking event, they get to meet and network with professionals who work in different career fields. Through this experience, they get to make new connections, learn about different careers, and receive opportunities to stay in touch and access internships. For instance, one girl who attended one of our career events in April was interested in pursuing a career as a photographer. Through our networking event, she met a freelance social media marketer and learned more in-depth about what it means to be a social media marketer and the skills required to work as a freelance photographer. She also met the owner of a small tech company who connected her with some freelance photography work in the area to help her pursue her interests.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

What makes SPACE 4 US unique is that the events we organize are open to all students. While programs out there limit their services to a specific age group or only students who have prior affililiation with the program, we welcome all students who are interested in participating to get involved. Instead of just having students talk to professionals, we offer them the opportunity to learn about different jobs through hands-on, interactive workshops led by professionals who actually work in those careers! Our volunteers come from diverse career paths rather than just one particular career field.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Since founding SPACE 4 US, I've organized career events for over 150 students in the Bay Area and built a community of over 60 volunteers who have dedicated a combined 30+ hours to share their career stories with us. I've also established partnerships with 4 different Bay Area nonprofits and 2 schools.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

This year, we're looking to expand our existing chapter network to schools and universities outside of the Bay Area and engage more young people around the world to get involved in the movement. We currently have a few chapters in the Bay Area and are looking to set up new chapters in New York and Los Angeles. I'm also working to create an app to connect students with working professionals who work in careers they're interested in exploring.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Legal Services


10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations between $100-$1k
  • Donations between $1k-$5k

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Ashoka page or contact
  • Email

Evaluation results

7 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 42.9%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 28.6%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 28.6%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 42.9%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 42.9%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 14.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 42.9%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 42.9%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 14.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 100%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 50%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 25%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 57.1%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 28.6%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 14.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

4 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Krith Gopal
Team

Hi Crystal!
I really love this idea and think it's a wonderful step forward in providing students with opportunities in the workforce.

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