Recognizing that as many students are now earning an associates degree or professional certificate as are earning a traditional bachelor’s degree, this local nonprofit is helping D.C. residents earn those credentials to set themselves up for professional success.
New Futures—a nonprofit that seeks to maximize the potential of young people from diverse backgrounds in the Greater Washington community—is leaning into data, diversity, and the power of human capital in its support of students.
Since its inception in 1999, New Futures has partnered with local community organizations to support more than 400 students—90% of whom are people of color—in their journeys to obtain certifications or associate’s degrees to develop skills and grow their networks to launch careers.
In addition to helping its students, known as New Futures Scholars, earn credentials, the nonprofit is joining forces with companies including Capital One to help its students build human capital by learning about different paths in their chosen industries and gaining the tools they need to land a job offer.
“Our goal is not only to support New Futures Scholars through gaining credentials but to help them leverage their degrees by understanding the paths that exist within their respective industries,” says Griselda Macias, Program Director at New Futures. “Our partners at Capital One offer insights to our Scholars about what skills employers are looking for and how best to navigate the process of launching a career.”
New Futures currently offers career pathway programs in six fields: IT, health sciences, hospitality, construction and trade, public service, and education.
Capital One built on its longstanding financial support of New Futures when the nonprofit began offering its Career Launch Workshops in 2018.
Since its launch, Capital One associates have volunteered to coach more than 100 New Futures Scholars through job readiness training focused on interviewing, resume writing, networking, and personal branding. Through each workshop, New Futures Scholars have the opportunity to attend a lecture and receive one-on-one coaching from a Capital One associate.
“There’s so much synergy in our relationship with Capital One because of our shared commitment to helping communities of color—regardless of where they are in their personal journeys,” said Macias. “Every volunteer from Capital One brings a genuine drive to serve their community and stands with our Scholars regardless of the challenges they face.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Capital One associates worked with New Futures to help translate its Career Launch Workshops to a virtual environment and incorporate interactive elements. Volunteers also helped New Futures gain the resources to sustain that virtual content, including facilitator guidance and recorded videos.
“As someone who wants to build connections with the populations that we serve at Capital One, volunteering with New Futures has been a tremendous way to immerse myself and get to know the people in our community,” says Capital One associate Sarah Kozlowski, who has led resume writing and networking workshops at New Futures.
That support comes as part of an initial $200 million, multi-year commitment to advance socioeconomic mobility through the Capital One Impact Initiative.
Launched in October 2020, the Capital One Impact Initiative seeks to create a world where everyone has an equal opportunity to prosper through advocating for an inclusive society, building thriving communities, and creating financial tools that enrich lives.
For Donte Brooks, a New Futures Scholar currently studying to pursue a career in law enforcement, New Futures has not only brought him the opportunity to pursue his passions. It’s created a support system to help him grow his human capital and achieve his goals.
“The people at New Futures have helped me to always believe ‘I can do this,’” Brooks said. “Everyone there is like a family. They are there for me every step of the way no matter what.”