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Foundational Year

Cause Area

  • Children & Youth
  • Education & Literacy


8511 260th streetFloral Park, NY 11001 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

SPEAKHIRE's Foundational Year develops knowledge, skills, and networking for youth, who we call interns, of immigrant backgrounds. Our model enhances the social and cultural capital of immigrant youth by matching them with career professionals, who we call Career Pathways Champions and who mentor and coach them on the high school to career pathway, identity development, and network development.

We use a hybrid mentoring model, utilizing virtual one mentor-to-two youth mentoring sessions along with in-person job site visits. With the help of school administrations, we provide youth with a familiar safe space in their school while they conduct mentoring sessions that focus on self-development, including ethnic identity exploration and college and career exploration. Sessions often take place during the school day, and Career Pathways Champions (CPCs) and mentees meet virtually.


We need career professionals who are culturally aware and responsive to work with youth of immigrant and first-generation American backgrounds. Our mentors, who we call Career Pathways Champions (CPCs), assist youth, who we call interns, on ethnic identity exploration as well as exploration of college and career pathways. We match CPCs and interns using culturally-similar matching practices and the mentee's expressed career interests. Internship rounds are for a total of 10 sessions, 9 sessions training career specific skills, discussing job title ecosystems, and reflecting on developing ethnic identities. The 10th session is an optional job-site visit that allows the mentee to better understand the job ecosystem, pathway, and pace, developing a more valuable and intimate experience with a specific career pathway.


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