Apprenticeship Program an Opportunity for Low-Income Youth

In the United States, low-income neighborhoods generate a cycle of poverty, where children are raised in environments that prevent them from securing jobs that break the pattern. Education is critical to disrupting this cycle and can prepare children in these situations for higher paying professions in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. However, the social and financial pressures these students face can make those kinds of jobs seem unreachable.

BigHope, a nonprofit organisation that prepares students in underserved communities in Dallas, Texas, has equipped thousands of students with the education needed to lift themselves out of poverty. In partnership with the Dallas School System, BigHope conducts programs that accelerate these students’ paths to high school diplomas. BigHope also recruits local corporations to shape curriculum and apprenticeships for students so they can learn valuable skills that directly equip them for jobs.

These apprenticeships serve two valuable functions. First, they provide training defined by local companies that translate to qualifications for local, high-paying jobs. Second, they provide income opportunities for students, who have to work during their education to support their families. Many students drop out of high school or would never pursue higher education because of these financial pressures.

“A student who makes it through this program is going to be positioned to immediately obtain a career that will pay them potentially more than anyone in their family has ever earned, completely changing their future and their family’s future as well,” said Brandon Sosa, CEO of the Barzilai Foundation.

The Barzilai Foundation is partnering with BigHope to provide continued support and expand upon this successful program. Through our partnership, eligible students are receiving financial incentives to both complete certifications that qualify them for post-high school jobs as well as remain on track for admittance into a state university.

“Without this program, most students’ options are to try to sort out the pitfalls of higher education or to work a low-paying job and perpetuate the cycle of poverty,” said Oren O’Neal, founder of BigHope. “Through this program, they have a path to a strong university education or a means to secure a high-paying career. These are two life-changing, fantastic options.”

Related Work We Do