Education Lab, Poverty Lab Genesys Works

Many youth from low-income households have little exposure to educational and career opportunities. Lacking access and experience, they often do not believe that success in postsecondary education and in the labor market is within their reach. Genesys Works is an education and workforce-development program that provides low-income high school seniors—primarily youth who will be the first in their families to attend college—with work experience, academic support, and mentorship.

The Genesys Works program has four core components: an eight-week workforce training program during the summer before students’ senior year of high school; a year-long paid internship in information technology or accounting during students’ senior year of high school; a weekly college-access class also during that year; and ongoing support throughout college. In an action-oriented research partnership funded by Chicago Beyond, the Education Lab and the Poverty Lab are working together to rigorously evaluate this approach, and to measure its impact on education and employment outcomes.