ASA Partnerships

LET'S WORK TOGETHER TO IGNITE
A CAREER READINESS REVOLUTION

ASA provides U.S. middle and high school students with the tools to stay engaged with their education and prepare for life after high school. In doing so, we’re helping Gen Z make more informed decisions about their post-secondary education and career options, increasing their chances for long-term success.

Through grants and multi-year commitments to forward-looking schools, businesses, and community-based organizations, we foster bold ideas and drive real student outcomes in the areas of career exploration, education equity and access, experiential learning, mentorship, and more. With an emphasis on reaching marginalized and economically disadvantaged learners, our partnerships expand the availability of high-quality digital and in-person products, services, and opportunities for grade 6–12 students.

Since January 2018, ASA has committed over $19 million in grants and partnering arrangements and helped implement programming that has reached young people nationwide. As we look to the future, we are committed to reaching 15 million middle and high school students by the year 2025.

ASA Grantmaking

ASA proudly provides grants to educators, policymakers, service providers, community-based organizations, and businesses that share our mission to help middle and high school students learn about traditional and nontraditional post-secondary education and career pathways, gain skills and confidence through hands-on learning, and create actionable plans for the future. Since the beginning of 2018, we have committed nearly $10 million in funding to these efforts. Working in collaboration with partners in our home base of New England and nationwide, ASA grants support critical initiatives such as:

  • Providing career exploration curriculum

  • Expanding access to experiential learning opportunities (e.g., internships & apprenticeships)

  • Delivering early college & career pathway programs in high-need communities

Recent Grant Recipients

ASA selects grant recipients that support the student journey from middle school to high school and beyond, ensuring that we are meeting students’ needs at every critical decision point, whether that’s exploring their options, experimenting with what paths fit them, or executing on next steps toward their future goals. Some of our current grant recipients include:

Types of Grants We Provide

Grants for Community-Based Organizations

We work with community-based organizations nationwide to increase student access to college and career exploration and planning resources. Since 2018, we have provided $2 million in grants to organizations including Boys and Girls Club of Greater Boston, Big Sisters Association of Greater Boston, Apprentice Learning, and Junior Achievement, enabling us to help serve thousands of young people. Today we are continuing to expand our reach across the U.S. as we seek to fund internship and career exploration programs as well as community-based career readiness coaches nationwide.

For more information, please contact Krystal Windley, Strategic Partnerships Operations Manager at kwindley@asa.org.

Grants for Scaling Partner Impact

We collaborate with local and national education institutions, policymakers, service providers, and businesses to deliver and scale innovative programs and services. We provide a combination of grant funding, digital programming, professional development, and impact measurement support to these partners as needed. These partnership opportunities directly impact students and enable us to test new models and best practices that can later be replicated and scaled nationwide. Our current partners include, Edmit, World of Work, Nepris and Big Picture Learning.

For more information please contact, Alisa Wilke, Vice President of Strategy & Innovation, at awilke@asa.org.

Grants for In-School Programs

We award grants for developing and expanding in-school programs that advance ASA’s mission to help students know themselves, know their options, and make informed decisions to achieve their education and career goals. These include:

Massachusetts Middle School Career Exploration Grants:

Since 2019, we have awarded $1.3 million to 13 middle schools in Massachusetts. As a result, we helped provide 9,000 students with career exploration programming in their classrooms. Learn more about participating schools and their cutting-edge programs.

Massachusetts College & Career Pathways Grants:

In 2019, we committed $1.8 million to the Commonwealth’s High-Quality College and Career Pathways Initiative to expand Innovation Pathways programs to 60 high schools over three years. The goal of this program is to ensure students can earn college credits and gain hands-on work experience while in high school

Workforce Development Grants:

In 2020, we committed $1.5 million over three years for a summer internship program administered by Skills for Rhode Island’s Future. The program ensures high school juniors receive high-quality, paid summer internships, establishes work readiness coaches to rotate through high-need schools in Rhode Island, and expands an existing career bootcamp.

Micro Grants:

ASA committed $200,000 to helping middle and high school educators who work in New York City Public Schools through a series of COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants. These grants support educators’ initiatives to prepare themselves, their colleagues, and their students or school community to adapt to educational challenges.

For more information, please contact Liliana Ornelas, Manager of Programs & Curriculum, at Lornelas@asa.org.

Catalyzing Innovation

ASA partners with like-minded organizations to spark interest and foster student engagement in career exploration. In 2020, we teamed up with MassiveU/Solvably to launch a virtual career exploration challenge for middle schoolers. The Solve Together Challenge encourages students working in teams to solve real-world problems. Topics include the health and economic impact of COVID-19, climate change, and the colonization of Mars. Together students develop and use creative problem-solving and communication skills while learning about various careers. As part of the 2021 MIT/SOLVE Global Challenge, ASA is providing prize money to social entrepreneurs focused on solving challenges related to career exploration and experimentation in K-12 classrooms nationwide.

For more information please contact, Alisa Wilke, Vice President of Strategy & Innovation, at awilke@asa.org.

Supporting Changemakers

ASA supports organizations that help the educational ecosystem usher in innovation and scale changemaking initiatives. Through our sponsorships, we raise awareness and foster critical conversations on the importance of middle school career exploration and high school career experimentation.