Basta in the News

Basta x Snap: Partner Profile

May 7th, 2020

"Most college internships at tech companies don’t involve the opportunity to quiz a CEO about his innermost thoughts, but that’s one of the things that Jade Thompson remembers most about her time at Snap last year. During one of the company’s trademark “Council” sessions, Jade asked Evan Spiegel how he would introduce himself to a stranger on a deserted island, and she remembers his reaction vividly."

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Innovator Spotlight: Project Basta

April 14, 2021

"To successfully transition from education to employment, learners need clear information and guidance at every stage of the journey. Support with navigation is critical at the start to identify an education program that aligns with a learner’s interests and career goals. Throughout the program, wraparound supports like mentoring and peer networking keep learners engaged and focused. As learners approach graduation, they’ll need navigation support to chart a seamless path to career opportunity."

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Basta Helps College Students Of Color Secure Quality Employment

April 14, 2021

"Basta supports college students of color who are first-generation students or from low-income backgrounds in securing career-pathway jobs upon program completion. This lays the foundation for quality employment and higher earnings throughout their careers."

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Think a college degree is enough? Here's why peers and alumni can make all the difference

October 21, 2020

"For Sheila Sarem, getting her first job was an opaque process that came down, largely, to luck. Sarem graduated college short on resources and without a clear plan for what came next. As she explained in her TEDX talk, “The Social Capital Gap”: “My family had been in this country for less than one generation… I wasn’t the kind of teenager asking my friends’ families what they did for a living,” she explained. “And I can’t even tell you if my college had good career support.” After college she moved home, waited tables, and eventually traveled abroad in search of opportunities to put her major in International Business to work. Armed with her degree and tip money, Sarem literally knocked on doors asking for a job until an expat answered who was willing to take a bet on her."

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A Multiple Measures Approach to Workforce Equity

October 20, 2020

"The depth of the current economic recession in the United States exposes a workforce and employment system that is complacent about precarious work conditions, job insecurity, and economic inequality. While labor market inequality predates the COVID-19 pandemic, Black and Latinx people have fared disproportionately worse in this crisis on a number of health and employment indicators than their white counterparts.1 At a time when the quality of work is arguably more vital to economic resilience, workforce development has the potential to make the nature of work more equitable."

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How first-generation college graduates are seeing their perspectives as strengths

April 30, 2020

"Without being able to rely on a parent or older sibling’s experience or connections, the task of launching a career can be daunting. Even knowing how to format a resume or attempting to build a professional network can be open-ended questions, without clear answers. As first-generation college graduates are being recruited, hired, and empowered at more and more companies, their strength as a community and predilection towards helping and supporting one another is hugely valuable. And it’s changing company culture in the process."

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How Project Basta is Connecting Employers and First-Gen College Goers of Color on Front Lines of COVID-19

April 27, 2020

"In our series spotlighting how nonprofits on the front lines of COVID-19 are responding and how you can support their mission, I connected with Project Basta's co-founder and CEO, Sheila Sarem. Project Basta's mission is to create a bridge of opportunity between employers and first-generation college goers of color to increase knowledge workforce diversity at all levels."

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Hustle, drive, and determination: Two Bloomberg employees on the benefits of hiring and working with first-generation college graduates

April 30, 2020

"According to research, first-generation college graduates consistently outscore their peers in educational commitment, self-efficacy, and academic and campus engagement. These traits, and the resiliency they require, evolve into highly marketable skills and attitudes as first-generation graduates enter the workforce. The experience of earning a college degree amid often significant obstacles gives them an inspiring story to tell potential employers.."

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The Social Capital Gap | Sheila Sarem | TEDxWilmingtonED

March 6, 2018

"A college degree is the baseline, but social capital is the connective tissue that leads to a first job.  Sheila recently founded Basta - an organization aimed at bridging the gap between employers and 1st-generation college graduates. Prior to Basta, Sheila served as the Director of National Leadership Recruitment Team for the KIPP network. Sheila began her work in education inn HR at DC Public schools where she started in Principal Human Capital and was then tapped to build a Recruitment & Selection team from the ground up. Her team managed all recruitment and selection across the district and rolled out a cutting edge teacher selection model that was recognized nationwide. Prior to education, she worked on political campaigns including the 2008 presidential and 2009 [WHERE]gubernatorial races. She started her career working in the tech industry across Paris, Amsterdam, and London. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community."

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Bridging College and Profession: Inside the ‘Basta’ Mentoring Program Helping First-Generation Graduates Pursue Their Careers

October 24, 2017

"Like most students, Luis Espinosa was terrified by the job hunt looming over his senior year of college. But unlike most students, Espinosa was the first person in his family to graduate from college, and he felt the additional pressure of securing a job as quickly as possible to help support his mother and sister in the Dominican Republic."

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