BASTA launched five years ago with the audacious goal of closing the employment gap for first-generation college students of color. We launched in what was then a nascent field, with only anecdotal results, and few organizations that had proven outcomes in supporting students to launch great careers. As a first-mover in a growing field, we have directly supported more than 500 college students, 80% of whom are securing career pathway jobs upon college graduation. We wanted to demonstrate that first-gen college students of color can thrive in white collar jobs in blue-chip companies and are now poised to scale our growth to impact thousands more students across the country.
Since 2016 we’ve codified a suite of career readiness content, tools and resources specifically for first-generation students. Those tools are already supporting the broader field through a range of partnerships with brand name organizations. We’ve leveraged technology in new and innovative ways to accelerate a young person’s journey from career exploration to first job; most recently, we developed a first-of-its-kind career readiness assessment that provides the K-16 ecosystem a shared language and data framework with which to transform career outcomes for first-generation college students.