Today we’re spotlighting two current students in the Executive Program for Social Impact Strategy, Paige Korbakes and Jonathan Osei! They both work at Jobs for the Future (JFF) and have been asked to share a bit about their work, their experience in the program and some advice for future students. Welcome, Paige and Jonathan! Let’s dive in.
First off, tell us more about JFF..
Jobs for the Future (JFF) drives transformation of the U.S. education and workforce systems to achieve equitable economic advancement for all. We do this by designing solutions, scaling best practices, influencing policy and action, and investing in innovation. We forge deep partnerships with employers, investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and education and workforce development providers to break down barriers and reimagine what’s possible. You can learn more by finding us on LinkedIn or heading to our website!
Paige is the Director, Solutions Design & Delivery and Jonathan is a Manager, Solutions Design & Delivery.
And how about your social impact work? Why you are passionate about what you do?
Paige – My social impact work resides in working with philanthropic and corporate funders to manage the implementation of large-scale social responsibility initiatives. These programs sit at the intersection of workforce development and education by expanding access to high-quality training programs that prepare learners and workers to succeed in high-growth, in-demand occupations and sectors that enable a family-sustaining wage. I oversee the full project lifecycle, from initial concept design through continuous process improvement and measuring programmatic impact, a critical step in ensuring equitable outcomes.
Jonathan – I work with regional workforce leaders and their communities to modernize the approaches, technologies, and processes used by the public workforce system to better reflect the current and future state of learning and working environments. These engagements are designed and applied to promote and enable lasting systemic change that prioritizes equity, community dynamics and ecosystems, and high-quality jobs.
Both of us are passionate about and come to this work with previous direct service experience, rooted in place-based and racial equity approaches. Our professional careers have focused on work geared toward economic advancement. Paige has a background in immigrant and refugee workforce integration and Jonathan has a background in community financial education, job coaching, and supportive services.
Can you share a favorite moment, lesson, or connection with a classmate that resonates with you?
Paige – One of the most valuable learnings for me was during the in-person convening. The entire convening exceeded my expectations, but in particular, the Participatory Learning Workshop with Kaveh Sadeghian resonated with me because of its practical application for me and my work. In my current role, I design and facilitate peer learning opportunities and the frameworks presented allowed me to think more creatively about how to develop technical assistance strategies that are more creative and equity-centered while thinking not just about what people learn, but how they do so.
Jonathan – The convening was also my favorite moment!! It was extremely energizing, insightful, collaborative, and fun. The paired visioning exercise was one of many awesome sessions. It provided me with a framework to re-envision my role in bolstering community social impact efforts in my personal and professional life with more clarity, intentionality, and empathy. Months later and I’m still feeling inspired by all the awesome people, learning, and resources!
Do you have any advice for future applicants?
Paige – My advice for future applicants would be to take advantage of the collective knowledge and unique experiences of others in your cohort. Beyond Jamouts and PAKS (Peer Accountability, Knowledge and Support) group calls, I recommend reaching out to set up 1:1 virtual coffees to get to know other CSIS participants and learn more about other social impact ventures. Everyone is working on such interesting, dynamic initiatives so it’s nice to learn about them in a bit more detail. Also, as a remote program, I’ve enjoyed getting to know folks on a one-on-one basis and forming more meaningful, personal connections in this space.
Jonathan – My advice is pretty much the same! Take advantage of all the opportunities to connect with all the awesome members of the cohort and teaching staff!
Thank you, Paige and Jonathan, for sharing your thoughts with us! You can connect with them on LinkedIn by following the links in this article. If you’re a social impact leader looking for your next learning opportunity, we invite you to register for our summer information sessions or watch recorded ones from last year to review some of our FAQs related to the program experience.
All SIS graduates are also eligible to complete the Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership (NPL) in an accelerated, on-campus, or online format. The NPL program is a ten-credit master’s program, SIS Alumni must complete six credits to graduate. To learn more and register for information sessions, click this link.
Applications for the 2024 Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy will go live this summer. Stay tuned for the official launch and other important information!