Our sixth cohort of Catalysts is here, and we’re excited to welcome 16 new for-purpose organizations to our Catalyst Network!
In the Catalyst Program, organizations will gain access to networking opportunities, facilitated workshop experiences, and robust discussions focused on the application of sound economic and business thinking to the social sector. High-impact, in-person summits, in-person learning sessions, and tailored coaching calls comprise a hands-on learning environment where Catalysts can apply the economic thinking directly to their organization to think differently about growth.
Organizations were chosen based on their belief in the potential of individuals to transform their lives, their program effectiveness, interest in growth or scaling, and their area of focus.
Through partnerships with these organizations, our goal is to help them grow sustainably to reach more men, women, and children with their transformative programs and services.
Catalysts will gather in Arlington, VA to kick off their cohort with an in-person workshop focused on the critical role vision plays in an organization’s success and growth.
Read about each of these new Catalysts below!
The Master’s Apprentice is a faith-based workforce development program that prepares low-income individuals for skills-based trade jobs that are experiencing a shortage in workers, namely in the construction industry such as carpentry, electrical, and masonry. After graduating from The Master Apprentice’s pre-apprenticeship program, many students are hired into a stable, 4-year apprenticeship in a trade of their choice. This training prepares them for a sustainable career for the rest of their lives.
Las Vegas, NV
The only program of its kind in the state of Nevada, Hope for Prisoners assists men and women exiting the judicial system return to a successful and effective path in society. By providing pre-vocational training, life skills and job readiness, job search assistance, case management, and long-term mentoring, Hope for Prisoners comes alongside individuals and fosters a functioning mix of hard and soft skills. Men and women who go through the HOPE program re-acclimate to society quickly and form sustainable habits and relationships with their families, at work, and in the community.
Project Return coaches men and women after incarceration and prepares them for a “new beginning” through workforce development as they transition back to society. Participants receive resources, mentorship, education, and employment opportunities that enable them to live Project Return’s vision — a full and free life.
With a proven model for reducing gang violence and street crime among youth between the formative ages of 17-25, UTEC breaks down barriers preventing youth from flourishing and delivers a program that leads to a transformed future of employment longevity. Through its personal coaching, skills-based training for job readiness, and education, UTEC helps young adults reverse their lives and find economic and social success.
Youth With Faces (YWF) found a system that replaces the bitter cycle of youth incarceration with work readiness. Young adults receive personal development in three categories: character, capabilities, and connection. Two of YWF’s innovative programs include a culinary program and a homeless dog training program, both of which positively shape the boy or girls’ character and teach them important life lessons.
Birch Community Services (BCS) wraps its arms around impoverished families and empowers them to establish healthy living and financial habits so that they are able to not only become free from debt, but also learn the joy and dignity of serving and giving back to the community they live in. BCS empowers participants through accountability and goal-setting to reach self-sufficiency, structuring programs in the context of community.
Leap to Success embraces female victims of domestic violence and helps them rediscover their worth and confidence. Through leadership development, education, and entrepreneurship, women who come from a background of abuse, homelessness, and poverty are able to find hope again. Leap to Success gives women the resources and framework to be resilient and take a path forward towards a brighter future, usually involving going back to school or maintaining a job.
New York, NY
The Arthur Project matches disadvantaged middle school youth with research-informed, strategically-trained, professional mentors. The mentors build relationships with the students and foster a belief within the child that they know they matter. This sense of mattering is the key to building up future personal responsibility — a vital character quality missing among disconnected youth in highly underserved middle schools.
Families Empowered is an information platform that equips both parents and school districts with the knowledge, tools, and resources to make the best schooling decision for their children. This “education marketplace” — a place where all forms of schooling, from public to private and beyond, are considered and advocated — creates an optimal education outcome for each unique student.
Gateway to College carves out creative and sustainable pathways for disconnected youth to earn a high school diploma and meaningful college credential. Gateway to College’s alternative education program addresses the poor outcomes of youth who have experienced foster care, homelessness, or the juvenile justice system and while these young adults may wish to go to college, they have often aged out of pre-existing systems. Gateway to College gives them a chance, the support, and the pathway to obtain a college degree.
San Francisco, CA
A remarkable violence prevention program, Old Skool Cafe channels the energies of disadvantaged youth ages 16-22 by employing them in a thriving restaurant environment at a youth-run supper club. The kids are trained with marketable skills and receive leadership training in the form of food management, customer service, conflict resolution, and even public speaking that they can use for the rest of their careers.
As an innovative campus serving foster care families and children, Peppers Ranch tenderly embraces abused and neglected children and knits them together in a loving host family. The families all live together on a 240-acre property. The community supports growing families and children overcoming trauma and rekindles health and hope through multi-purpose learning programs and a safe and secure environment.
Statistically, youth who are abandoned and experience homelessness are at risk of dropping out of school, being incarcerated, and repeating the cycle of poverty. Starting Right, Now reaches homeless youth with mentorship, stable housing, employment opportunities, financial literacy, and academic support. The programs start the transformative process and empower disadvantaged teens towards the development of strong character and financial self-sufficiency.
Teen Success reimagines the life trajectory of impoverished teen mothers and provides a relationship-based framework for achieving health, education, and financial security. Teen moms receive renewed hope and practical guidance towards school attendance, loving parent-child interaction, and self-empowerment through one-on-one mentoring and peer coaching.
Founded in 1996, City of Refuge serves the residents of one of Atlanta’s poorest and most crime-ridden zip codes—30314. While the organization focuses on one geographic segment, it provides whole life services for all residents of the neighborhood. This holistic approach includes services such as housing, kitchen meal programs, youth development, and vocational training. As a result, City of Refuge has a multi-generational impact on the individuals and families it empowers.
Falls Church, VA
Homestretch works with displaced families with children who don’t have a place to live. Through its services for adults, teens, and children, Homestretch meets the unique needs of the whole family, from health habits to financial stability to interpersonal skills and work readiness. Graduates of the Homestretch program experience a rise in income and not only move into market rate housing, but remain housed and employed for years to come.