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Our 1:1 Promise: Work with local communities during college in exchange for guaranteed job placement after graduation

Companies commit to hiring students from "Our Promise" & donate salaries towards community work in return for a student's 1-year commitment.

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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it reimagine the cost of college?

Our Promise targets students who have limited options for financial resources during their college education. By committing to work with a local non-profit partner in the town that the student's college is in, they are in turn enrolled in Our Promise program - which includes 50 of the most innovative companies in the U.S. & globally. These companies would include Whole Foods, TOMS, Starbucks, and others that are committed to local community work and student success after graduation.

Our Promise is a program that aims to connect three seemingly disparate groups: local non-profit & community groups, students requiring financial assistance, and the top 50 business in the United States & globally.

The way we see this program working together is through a multi-stage process: First, connecting untapped talent (students) with community groups that need the resources and time of people who can lend important skills (e.g. videography, writing, event coordination). Second, educating students with career skills through the community work, and in turn, then applying those skills and training through Our Promise programming, to the one-year job commitment at a top U.S. company. And third, our business partners would invest in a salaried position for a student at the local community organization, in order to affirm the commitment to the student after graduation. 

We are thinking about this as the new 1:1 model. 1 job in exchange for 1 semester (or 1 year) of working in a local community. 

We think this has the opportunity to be a game changer for all involved and to make a real commitment that has an impact over multiple years.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

An early experiment would be getting one non-profit partner on board as a participating community partner and seeing what is interesting or challenging about this model. Next, we would experiment by pitching New York City based companies that could commit to creating an abbreviated version of this model (which may look like 1 week, instead of 1 year of a job).

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

It would be great to partner with the OpenIDEO community on sourcing and testing what community partners resonate and which companies students would be most interested in working with. Because our program runs over the course of the college life cycle and the year following, it would be great to talk with students or administrators who could speak to this type of experience and desires for students, businesses, and local communities.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • A student collaboration

Are you interested in the Path to Pitching track we've developed for this challenge?

  • Yes

Evaluation results

8 evaluations so far

1. Does this idea make college more accessible, especially for low income students in the U.S.?

Yes! - 25%

To a degree - 50%

Not that I can tell - 25%

2. Does this idea think beyond current cost structures of college and activate new sectors or partners?

Yes! - 50%

It's attempting to - 37.5%

Not that I can tell - 12.5%

3. How excited are you about this idea?

I'm so excited I just can't hide it! - 25%

I'm pretty neutral in my excitement level - 50%

I don't feel very excited about this idea. - 25%


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