Career Exploration

Revolutionizing Youth Career Readiness: ASA’s Impact in 2023 & Beyond

Contributions by Jean Eddy

At American Student Assistance® (ASA), every day is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young learners. In 2023, we hit a significant milestone, touching the lives of over 15 million students. How did we achieve this? By expanding access to vital career readiness resources and opportunities, empowering students to make informed choices about their futures.

Introducing EvolveMe®: Transforming Career Exploration

In the spring of 2023, we unveiled EvolveMe®, a groundbreaking digital experience designed to incentivize students to acquire career-ready skills and explore various career paths. EvolveMe® joins our existing digital platforms—Future Network, Futurescape®, and Next Voice™—bringing them together on a unified platform for the first time. This comprehensive ecosystem provides free, engaging tools for middle and high school students to explore and experiment with different careers.

Fostering Innovation and Investment

Beyond our own ecosystem, ASA is committed to spurring innovation in career readiness solutions. In 2023, we invested over $24 million in mission-aligned companies and third-party funds, driving forward the development of new tools and resources. Through our philanthropic efforts, we also distributed $6.8 million in grants to 25 organizations across 40 states, furthering our mission to expand access to career exploration opportunities.

Advocating for Change

Throughout the year, ASA remained steadfast in our advocacy efforts, championing the expansion of career exploration initiatives and access to work-based learning. We engaged with policymakers, educators, and employers to promote widespread acceptance of nondegree postsecondary pathways. Our vision was shared in national publications and educational events across the country, amplifying our message for systemic change.

Celebrating Success, Planning for the Future

Last year, we didn’t just set goals; we crafted a new five-year strategic plan that underscored our dedication to serving historically underserved communities. We pledged to reach four million learners who often lack access to crucial career readiness resources—think young students of color, those in rural areas, disconnected and justice-involved youth, indigenous communities, immigrant families, and individuals with disabilities or language barriers. It’s about leveling the playing field and ensuring everyone has a shot at success.

We also took a good, hard look in the mirror and decided it was time to refresh our values. We doubled down on our commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, recognizing that these aren’t just buzzwords—they’re the cornerstones of everything we stand for.

As we gaze into the horizon, we’re humbled by the challenges that lie ahead. But here’s the thing: we’re not backing down. We believe in our ability to make a difference—to pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive future, both within ASA and beyond. Because every young person deserves a fair shot at success, and we’re here to make sure they get it.

With that, I invite you to explore our 2023 Annual Report in its entirety. Within its pages, you’ll find a detailed account of our achievements and bold plans for the future.

Together, let’s continue to lead the charge in revolutionizing career education and preparing all students for their bright futures!