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Denver, CO — ActivateIT powered by Per Scholas is thrilled to announce Per Scholas as a winner of the 2021 Holiday Impact Prize, presented by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, and supported by Focusing Philanthropy. Kristof’s annual prize aims to raise the profiles of organizations driving impact on the issues he covers in his journalism—health, education, human rights and women’s rights.
Since January 2020, ActivateIT in Denver has partnered with Per Scholas to train and mentor people from Colorado’s underrepresented communities to access thriving careers in the IT field. Kristof named Per Scholas as one of the most exciting organizations to help young people find opportunity in the United States.
“Per Scholas is an opportunity machine here in the United States. It breaks down barriers in the tech industry, one graduate at a time. It’s a tuition-free program that trains participants—mostly people of color—for the tech jobs of the future. Four out of five graduates land a job within a year of completing the programing, earning far higher incomes and transforming their futures while also supporting the economy. This is one of the best escalators toward social mobility in America.”
ActivateIT is dedicated to preparing people to achieve economic freedom and professional mobility by reimagining recruitment and professional development. Currently, Denver is facing a talent shortage, with over 30,000 unfulfilled positions in the IT sectors of coding and cybersecurity each with salaries averaging out around $100,000 a year. ActivateIT offers a 12–15 week tuition-free IT training program that includes a curriculum of technical skills development alongside career-readiness coaching and job placement to prepare learners to succeed in those in-demand careers.
By providing individual coaching and mentoring throughout their first year in their new role, ActivateIT’s graduates are set up for a greater chance at success. Employers who hire from Activate IT report higher rates of retention and overall satisfaction.
The 2021 Holiday Impact grand prize winner was Seva Foundation, an international nonprofit organization working to provide eye care for more than 46 million people. Per Scholas and Panzi Foundation were runner ups each awarded a total of $25,000. The award will support Per Scholas’s Career Access Fund, providing learners with laptops, textbooks, internet services, lab supplies, and certification exam fees that could otherwise be a barrier to their education. In addition, all donations to the Career Access Fund through the end of the year will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $2M, thanks to generous individuals from Jane Street.
More information about Nicholas Kristof’s Holiday Impact Prize, this year’s winners, and Focusing Philanthropy can be found at https://kristofimpact.gift/To-PerScholas.
About ActivateIT Powered by Per Scholas: ActivateIT is a nonprofit IT recruiting, training, and coaching firm that connects employers to a diverse pool of exceptional tech talent. Traditional hiring processes leave valuable talent out. We help employers solve their talent gap by finding great candidates from underrepresented communities and preparing them to excel in tech careers. Our proprietary behavioral screening process, rigorous skills training, and 12 months of on-the-job coaching prepare our learners to be valuable new hires, with a 75% retention rate over 12 months. And with an average starting wage of more than $20/hour, our model is one of few proven to launch people to lasting economic mobility. More information about ActiveIT can be found at https://www.activateit.co/.