DENVER, Jan. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- HighView, the next generation of after school empowerment and career development, has launched today in partnership with five of Denver's fastest-growing tech companies to address significant opportunity gaps in the area.
HighView pairs high-potential high school students from low-income, underserved and underrepresented communities with successful companies in their local areas. As part of the program, PaySimple, Guild Education, Evolve Vacation Rental, Xactly and GoSpotCheck will each host a cohort of students in their modern offices after school every week. In addition to providing a quiet and inspirational homework space, these companies will offer valuable exposure to well-paying career paths in high growth industries like tech. In collaboration with company employees, HighView will also provide students with one-on-one mentorship, college preparation guidance and professional development workshops that will help set them up for lifelong success.
"With the achievement gap between students from lower-income and higher-income families widening by 40% in the last 30 years, I wanted to help level the playing field. I wanted to open doors for motivated students from historically disenfranchised backgrounds and ensure that they have the same educational and professional opportunities as their more affluent peers," said Nicole Sherman, Founder & CEO of HighView.
To make a real impact, the model has to be scalable and has to go beyond academic support and college guidance. "Long-term success for these students is contingent upon learning skills for navigating the professional world and connections to professionals in high-growth industries that they may not have received through their existing networks. This is why I created HighView in partnership with some of the most forward-thinking companies who are stepping up to make a change. I am truly inspired by each of these companies' commitments to their communities and to ensuring equity in the tech industry," said Nicole Sherman.
"We are honored to be a part of the HighView launch and to do our part to help close the achievement gap for students in our local area," said David Sharp, President of PaySimple. "Corporate social responsibility should not just be a buzzword, but rather a practice to be embedded into a company's fabric that can make a tangible, positive change in our society."
Guild Education, education-as-a-benefit pioneer and Denver's newest billion-dollar "unicorn," takes corporate social responsibility seriously as well. "HighView's mission aligns with our broader goal of unlocking opportunities for America's workforce, so we are excited to support this program and give underrepresented students a first-hand look at promising careers in business and tech," said Rachel Carlson, CEO and Co-Founder of Guild Education.
Many of HighView's participants are students of color, from communities that have been historically underrepresented in Denver's fastest growing sectors (including tech, in which LatinX and Black individuals make up less than 10% of the workforce). According to Kelly Stevens, Chief Impact Officer of the Colorado Technology Association, "Cultivating a more diverse talent pipeline is an important part of our mission to advance Colorado's tech ecosystem, and we recognize that this effort starts with getting more students interested in these fields early on. HighView's innovative approach bolsters these efforts and we're excited to open up more opportunities for underrepresented students in our local area to take advantage of Colorado's thriving economic growth."
According to McKinsey research entitled Why Diversity Matters, companies in the top quartile for racial & ethnic workforce diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above respective national industry medians. With this positive bottom-line benefit and growing social activism among young workforces, the message is clear: today's companies must take real steps to promote diversity and enrich the communities in which they operate. The most powerful Fortune 500 CEOs have just redefined the purpose of a corporation?to foster diversity & inclusion among employees and to serve all stakeholders, including the communities in which they work. HighView plans to leverage the power of corporations to scale nationwide, which will make a transformative impact on closing opportunity gaps in communities across the country.
HighView has already solidified its cohort of Partner Companies and students for the launch but will be accepting applications for the next cohort of forward-thinking companies and highly driven students for Fall 2020. Please visit gohighview.com to learn more.
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