Solution overview

Our Solution

7-Second Studio App

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Tagline

A digital professional branding tool that builds more inclusive job pipelines by connecting underserved populations and employers at scale

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Pitch us on your solution

Within the past decade, hiring managers admit reviewing candidate resumes for only 6-10 seconds when filling vacant roles. Applicants are often immediately disqualified due to lacking a post-secondary degree and/or professional experience. This disproportionately affects underserved communities, who are disconnected from career pathways due to poor educational systems, lack of resources, and economic challenges.

Year Up and Grads of Life’s 7-Second Resume (7SR) uses digital media to capture the practical business value that underserved communities offer employers looking to build an up-to-date workforce. 7SRs are 7-second videos focusing on applicants’ skills that are lost on paper when hiring managers review resumes. 7SRs help build applicants’ professional brands, enhance resumes, and shift perceptions about what defines talent. We propose developing, launching, and testing a mobile application to allow underserved individuals to create 7SRs independently. The app would change employer practices, connect underserved individuals to employers, and scale to have significant impact.

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What is the problem you are solving?

The U.S. is home to five million underserved youth, a disproportionate percentage are low-income and people of color, who are disconnected from career pathways. Poor educational systems, lack of resources, and economic challenges work in concert to prevent these Opportunity Youth (OY) from realizing their potential. Many OY have shown their grit, resilience, and critical thinking abilities outside of offices or classrooms, but they rarely get called in for interviews because their resume lacks professional experience or a post-secondary degree.

To showcase the value and talent OY possess, Year Up and Grads of Life created the 7-Second Resume (7SR) – short videos focusing on an applicant’s skills and experience that are hidden on a traditional resume. The 7SR is already leading to changes in employer practice that can have impact at a significant scale. We are assisting employers in recognizing that OY are a viable talent resource for middle-skills jobs, and that practices such as “degree inflation” not only hurt and disproportionately impact low- income adults of color, but also diminish the pool of talented candidates companies need to fill job vacancies. Through a mobile application, enabling independent 7SR creation, we could reach thousands—and potentially millions—of underserved individuals worldwide.

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Who are you serving?

Year Up Bay Area (YUBA) serves young people with educational credentials limited to a high school diploma or GED. The majority of our students are young adults of color, come from marginalized communities, and typically lack access to the necessary training needed to secure living-wages jobs with career-growth potential. Our students face challenges such as unstable housing, financial struggles, dependent care, criminal records, substance abuse, health concerns, immigration issues, and exposure to violence and/or trauma.

Year Up and Grads of Life developed the 7-Second Resume (7SR) to provide underserved young adults with a unique, personable way to share the marketable and transferrable skills they have acquired through valuable life experiences. These skills add value to them as employees, and translate into hiring and training costs savings and increased retention rates for employers. The 7SRs enhance an applicant’s online profile and/or resume submissions, making their applications stand out.

The 7-Second Studio (7SS) prototype mobile application will be tested with young adults enrolled in the YUBA program. After testing, the refined app will be spread throughout the Year Up network and beyond in order to reach underserved individuals – especially underserved youth – across the country, and potentially worldwide. 

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What is your solution?

Year Up and Grads of Life launched the 7-Second Resume (7SR) campaign in partnership with the Ad Council in 2016. It won Gold at the 2019 Effie Awards in the Positive Change: Social Good-Non-Profit category. There has been great success in facilitating 7SR trainings across the country—including at Salesforce’s Dreamforce, the Fortune Executive Summit, and the Obama Foundation’s Community Leadership Training Days.

This year, Year Up has explored how to incorporate 7SRs into the Year Up curriculum. One of the major challenges we faced was the high cost of having a production team on site to create the videos with young adults. Year Up is currently piloting a 7SR curriculum at Year Up Bay Area (YUBA), which involves partnering with JobSnap to create the 7SR videos.

After completion of the curriculum pilot, we will survey the interns to learn about their experience and request feedback. Year Up will use these findings to inform technology design of a prototype mobile application called 7-Second Studio (7SS), an app that will allow Year Up students and Opportunity Youth (OY) to independently create their own 7SR. This mobile app will scale the reach and impact of the 7SR campaign by providing underserved populations and community-based organizations with a low-touch, high-quality production tool to create 7SR videos. The app can be pre-loaded onto specific devices or eventually made available in the app store.

This solution will:

  • Incorporate guidelines to help guide job seekers to identify the type of information to include in their 7SRs, as well as how to best present the information.
  • Allow both training providers and underserved individuals to easily record and upload 7SRs to online platforms such as LinkedIn.
  • Control the consistency in video presentation and format for all 7SRs.
  • Automatically edit videos to include title cards and other information such as applicants’ names and the title/descriptor they choose to associate with their video.

The prototype app will be developed in partnership with 22squared, a pro bono ad agency and MediaMonks. Year Up will test the prototype app with YUBA students. We will then work with 22squared and MediaMonks to refine the app, aiming to launch it within a year of testing.

Through 7SRs, we will shift perceptions of underserved youth from social liabilities to economic assets, bolstering their ability to compete for jobs in an employment market that is increasingly saturated with four-year degree holding candidates.

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Select only the most relevant.

  • Create or advance equitable and inclusive economic growth
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Where is your solution team headquartered?

Boston, MA, USA
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Our solution's stage of development:

Prototype

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More about your solution

Select one of the below:

New application of an existing technology

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Describe what makes your solution innovative.

The 7-Second Resume (7SR) is an innovative solution that allows individuals to highlight marketable skills they have developed through life experiences, which cannot translated on a traditional resume. Traditional resume templates contains a great deal of information about a candidate, such as work history, projects completed, certifications, and degrees. Though with a traditional resume, a hiring manager cannot see the non-work-related characteristics of a person that are transferable and meaningful. 7SRs provide an engaging, powerful platform for individuals to showcase their talent, skills, strength, and resilience. 7SRs can change the way that employers perceive Opportunity Youth and individuals without degrees or certifications.

Through the 7-Second Studio (7SS) App, individuals are empowered to develop and create their own 7SRs without relying on a person to train them. 7SS will incorporate curriculum made up of videos, text, and images; including assessments to test users’ readiness to create a 7SR. The finalized 7SR videos will be automatically compressed and branded so they are in a shareable format that can be uploaded to multiple platforms. Additionally, there will be a QR code for each 7SR created, allowing individuals to include 7SRs on their resumes.

The 7SS app can serve not only Opportunity Youth, but people of all ages. It could be translated into multiple languages and to be available globally through other non-profits or non-governmental organizations. The 7SS app has the potential to reach thousands or even millions of people who have historically lacked the opportunity to highlight transferrable life experiences and skills.

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Describe the core technology that your solution utilizes.

The 7-Second Studio (7SS) Application uses web technologies, video, audio, and online platforms. This tool also uses online social networks to host complete 7-Second Resumes (7SRs).

To develop 7SS, we plan to undertake 11 key steps:

  • Wireframing: An app UX specialist and an app developer need to have discovery sessions with the project owner to iron out how the app is going to be designed and function. To complete the wireframing, an app UX specialist will draw up the navigation, screens, and all elements that go into the app screens, noting the functionalities for each screen.
  • App Screen Design: Designing the app screens (front-end) for both iOS and Android.
  • App Programming: Programming the app screens (front-end) for both iOS and Android.
  • Application/Database Framework: Setting up the application’s server-side framework (cloud/back-end) and creating the database structure.
  • Server-side Application Programming: Writing all of the server-side code for implementing the back-end functionality.
  • APIs Development: Writing all of the APIs that connect the app screens to the server-side application and database.
  • Usability QA: Testing the app screens for bugs and fixing any issues
  • Multi-platforms, Multi-devices, OS versions, Resolutions QA: Testing the app on all different platforms (iPhone, Android, Windows Phone) and different OS versions of each platform.
  • Back-end QA: Testing the back-end code for performance and security
  • Cloud Setup: Deploy the server-side application to the server/cloud
  • Submit to App Stores: Deploy the app to the App Stores
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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Behavioral Design
  • Social Networks
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Why do you expect your solution to address the problem?

Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by ensuring that young adults gain the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through careers and higher education. Our strategy includes a direct service training program and systems change efforts. Our systems change work focuses on the root causes of the Opportunity Divide, and expands our impact to reach many more young adults than we could through direct service alone.

As part of our systems change strategy, Year Up incubated Grads of Life and developed the 7-Second Resume (7SR). 7SRs are unique, 7-second videos that capture the practical business value that OY offer employers who are looking to build an up-to-date workforce. 7SRs are intended to shift employers’ perception of OY as a potential source of talent, and to shift employer practices to broaden talent sourcing and hiring.

The 7SR has already had incredible positive impact. After the PSA campaign launched, visits to GradsofLife.org increased by 74%. Companies contacting Grads of Life about candidates increased by 2150%. A global company embedded the 7SR into their hiring process after running a pilot for 1,000+ applicants. The recruiters found 7SRs a strong predictor for “fit”—something they describe as highly valuable and difficult to discern from a traditional resume. LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, even created his own 7SR. When scaled through the 7-Second Studio app, 7SRs will continue to shift employer’s perceptions and give underserved, diverse individuals a chance to get noticed by companies across the globe.

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Select the key characteristics of the population your solution serves.

  • Women & Girls
  • Pregnant Women
  • LGBTQ+
  • Rural Residents
  • Peri-Urban Residents
  • Urban Residents
  • Very Poor/Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income
  • Minorities/Previously Excluded Populations
  • Persons with Disabilities
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • United States
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • United States
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How many people are you currently serving with your solution? How many will you be serving in one year? How about in five years?

Year Up and Grads of Life have experienced great success with developing 7-Second Resumes (7SRs) during individual workshops with Opportunity Youth (OY). As of July 2019, approximately 400 individuals have created a 7SR. A number of these 7SRs can be found on the Grads of Life website, http://7seconds.gradsoflife.org.

7SR creation has required professional videography and production, and has therefore lacked the ability to scale. The 7-Second Studio (7SS) app will enable Year Up and Grads of Life to dramatically scale the 7SR innovation and reach thousands more underserved individuals.   

Year Up developed a 7SR curriculum to incorporate into the Year Up curriculum, and Year Up Bay Area (YUBA) is currently piloting this curriculum with approximately 230 young adults in the San Francisco, California area. We will gather feedback and apply learnings from this curriculum pilot to develop the new, scalable prototype mobile application, 7-Second Studio (7SS). 7SS will be created fall 2019, and will be tested with at least 250 YUBA students in the first half of 2020.

Within five years, by using the 7SS, Year Up will be able to directly train 20,000+ young adults across the United States to create and upload a 7SR onto their LinkedIn profile and other social media or resume posting sites. Additionally, if we partner with other collaborators (such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America) and online platforms, we could build capacity to potentially reach more than 100 million people across the globe.

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What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?

Within the next year, Year Up and Grads of Life’s objective for the 7-Second Studio (7SS) prototype mobile application is to leverage and scale Year Up Bay Area (YUBA) student engagement to answer the following research questions:

  • What level of instruction does an Opportunity Youth need to create a high-quality 7-Second Resume (7SR) statement?
  • What technology and features are required to allow Opportunity Youth to produce a high-quality 7SR video?
  • Are the features of the prototype application correct and intuitive?
  • Can high-quality, effective 7SR videos be uploaded onto multiple online platforms?

Within five years, Year Up’s goals include:

  • 85% of Year Up’s recent alumni complete and post a 7SR on an online platform.
  • Expand usage of the 7SS app across entire Year Up network (enrolled students and alumni), including affiliates.
  • Work with online platforms/networking groups to easily display 7SR videos.
  • Partner with other non-profits and NGOs to explore how the 7SS can be translated into multiple languages.
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What are the barriers that currently exist for you to accomplish your goals for the next year and for the next five years?

For the upcoming year, while the 7SS mobile application is built and tested at YUBA, we have identified the following challenges:

  • Significant capital investment is required to develop and launch the 7SS app.
  • Testing, add-ons, agile spec/features, and/or database could increase fees or may not be able to be accommodated.
  • The app will require ongoing maintenance and may require future iterations.

Within the next five years, the challenges we anticipate include:

  • The application’s features may not be sufficient for additional users’ needs.
  • It may be difficult for us to engage global partners to scale the use of 7SS and 7SRs.
  • We may face challenges with future integration.
  • As increasingly more 7SRs are created, we anticipate additional costs for cloud storage.
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How are you planning to overcome these barriers?

To overcome the identified short- and long-term barriers, Year Up and Grads of Life plan to increase our fundraising efforts in order to attract philanthropic support from donors. This support will help offset costs for any unexpected expenses that occur during the development, launch, and maintenance of the 7-Second Studio (7SS) app. We will also seek new partnerships with companies who can provide pro-bono services to support the 7SS app and the 7-Second Resume (7SR) campaign.

We partner closely with Accenture and 22squared, who are helping us to minimize potential risks with the 7SS prototype app. These companies are conducting extensive research to help mitigate the number of unforeseen challenges.

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About your team

Select an option below:

Nonprofit

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If you selected Other for the organization question, please explain here.

Year Up is a national nonprofit organization founded in 2000 by Gerald Chertavian, CEO, who recognized that while talent is equally distributed across the population, opportunity is not. Its mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by ensuring that young adults gain the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through careers and higher education. The Opportunity Divide is the vast gap that exists between underserved adults and companies with human capital needs.

Year Up’s strategy is to scale our impact and collectively take on the charge to serve millions of young adults through Direct Service and Systems Change. Direct service involves a training program to young adults for professional jobs. Systems change focuses on shifting the perceptions regarding underserved populations, employer practices to broaden talent sourcing and hiring, and public policies.

Year Up incubates The Grads of Life initiative, which launched as an Ad Council Public Service Announcement campaign 2015 and to date has generated over $106 million in donated media. Grads of Life is demonstrating that there is a market for Opportunity Youth, and is making great strides in the 7SR campaign, having launched successful employer pilot programs with Sodexo, Hyatt, etc.

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How many people work on your solution team?

Year Up Bay Area staff full-time: 93

Grads of Life Team full-time: 2 

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For how many years have you been working on your solution?

3 Years

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Why are you and your team best-placed to deliver this solution?

Year Up was founded in 2000, and has served 24,000+ young adults to date. We are an evidence-based program with proven success in connecting Opportunity Youth (OY) to livable wage jobs, career pathways, and economic mobility. Year Up graduates are employed and/or enrolled in postsecondary education at a rate of 90%, with employed graduates earning an average wage of $20.00/hour. Year Up incubated Grads of Life to further our impact and reach many more underserved individuals.

The 7-Second Studio (7SS) prototype app will be developed and launched by Grads of Life, led by Toi Eshun, Director of Marketing and Communications for Grads of Life. Toi is responsible for creating and executing a multi-media campaign strategy to drive a shift in employer perceptions about the business value of hiring OY. Before joining Grads of Life, she worked with Year Up as a director of development.

The 7SS app will be tested at Year Up Bay Area (YUBA) with Year Up students. Emily Schaffer, Executive Director of YUBA, leads both the YUBA site and the 7SS app testing. Emily has been with Year Up for seven years, serving as ED since March 2016. She led YUBA’s 2018 employer-based site launch at Facebook, and the 2017 Professional Training Corps launch at Diablo Valley College. In her prior role as Senior Director of Program, she led her team through several phases of growth and spearheaded key academic changes such as the introduction of new internship training tracks in cyber security and data analytics.

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With what organizations are you currently partnering, if any? How are you working with them?

To launch the 7-Second Resume (7SR) Public Service Announcement campaign, Year Up and Grads of Life partnered with the Ad Council. We are currently working with Accenture and 22squared to conduct the Research & Development prior to developing and launching the 7-Second Studio (7SS) app. We anticipate further partnering with 22squared and MediaMonks to create, test, launch, and advertise the 7SS app. To ensure distribution of the 7SS app and of individuals’ 7SRs, we will partner with social media platforms, such as LinkedIn.

As we aim to shift employers’ perceptions of underserved individuals, we will continue to partner with leading companies across the country and potentially worldwide. Year Up has 250+ corporate partners who invest in our career pathways program by hosting Year Up students for 6-month professional internships. These stakeholders are already interested in hiring Opportunity Youth and broadening their talent pipeline, and can potentially use 7SRs in their hiring processes.

Finally, we will continue to partner with non-profit and non-governmental organizations to scale the 7SS app and connect underserved communities to this valuable tool. 

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Your business model & funding

What is your business model?

Through 7-Second Resumes (7SR), and soon the 7-Second Studio (7SS) app, Year Up and Grads of Life provide value to underserved individuals who lack a post-secondary degree and/or professional experience, and who have valuable life experience and transferrable skills that will enable them to succeed in the workplace. We also provide value to employers who seek unique and diverse talent but who are missing out on this talent pool because of hiring practices. Through 7SRs, and soon the 7SS app, we create significant social impact; underserved individuals are connected to career pathways and livable wage jobs, and companies are able to meet their hiring needs and access an untapped pool of talent. Through the 7SS app, we will affect positive systems change that will help close the Opportunity Divide and potentially reach millions of underserved individuals worldwide.

Revenue raised by Year Up and Grads of Life will be the primary source of funding for the 7SS app. Year Up has a compelling business model centered on sustainability and scalability, enabling us to deliver an evidence-based, one-year direct service program and to invest revenue in our systems change strategies to close the Opportunity Divide. Year Up also raises philanthropic capital from a diverse portfolio of donors. Unrestricted revenue from philanthropic and corporate partners can be used to fund and scale innovation projects to close the Opportunity Divide, such as the 7SR and 7SS app. Year Up and Grads of Life also fundraise specifically for these types of activities.

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What is your path to financial sustainability?

By operating a sustainable and scalable direct service program, fundraising for innovative solutions for closing the Opportunity Divide, and partnering with other organizations, Year Up and Grads of Life will successfully launch the 7-Second Studio (7SS) app. These methods were used to launch the successful 7-Second Resume (7SR) PSA in 2016. While developing the 7SS app requires significant upfront capital, the app will require less expensive maintenance costs longer term. Year Up and Grads of Life are dedicated to maintaining 7SS for years to come, and will fund this work through revenue from corporate and philanthropic partners.

As described, Year Up’s direct service model is centered on sustainability. We collect revenue from corporate partners who host Year Up students as interns, and from a diverse portfolio of donors. Year Up also partners with employers and colleges to deliver our direct service program at many of our site locations. This allows Year Up to leverage the infrastructure and resources of our partners, grow our program sustainably, and create lasting change as we are able to put many more young adults on the path to economic self-sufficiency. In the Bay Area, Year Up operates co-located program delivery sites with Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, and with Facebook in Menlo Park. Because of our sustainable and scalable direct service model, Year Up can direct unrestricted funds towards innovative projects, such as the 7SRs and the 7SS app, that are part of our efforts to scale our impact and close the Opportunity Divide. 

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Partnership potential

Why are you applying to Solve?

To truly implement social change and close the Opportunity Divide, Year Up realizes we must engage other stakeholders worldwide (decision makers, corporate hiring managers, higher education providers) and galvanize interest around the Opportunity Movement. We endeavor to affect meaningful, systemic change, first on a national scale, through our systems change work, and to influence a shift around hiring policies and practices, public policies that shape America’s talent pool, and public perceptions of underserved individuals. We are eager to share what we know and what we have learned with workforce development programs and other underserved populations service providers more broadly to encourage program replication and scaling efforts in our field.

Therefore, while Year Up will be able to use the 7-Second Resume (7SR) and 7-Second Studio (7SS) app throughout our sites nationwide, the full benefit of a developed, easy-to-use platform and trainer module will be connecting with additional organizations that have the ability to roll out the app and the 7SR to their local communities. By applying to Solve, we are gaining exposure to other potential partners (non-profits, non-governmental organizations, companies, and/or even funders) who may be interested in Grads of Life, 7SRs, and 7SS.

Our ultimate project goal is to produce an app that can link underserved individuals to companies with hiring needs, and ultimately close the Opportunity Divide: when all underserved communities are able to gain economic independence and mobility. This systems change initiative will maximize the overall societal impact as we all endeavor to reach transformative scale.

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What types of connections and partnerships would be most catalytic for your solution?

  • Business model
  • Technology
  • Funding and revenue model
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Media and speaking opportunities
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If you selected Other, please explain here.

Partnerships that would additionally benefit 7SS would include organizations that could: further provide testing subjects (especially those with participants that have different backgrounds from Year Up), provide translation services (especially for mobile applications and curriculum development, where cultural nuances may be important), and employment platforms that would host the 7SRs.

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With what organizations would you like to partner, and how would you like to partner with them?

Year Up would welcome the opportunity to partner with organizations, governmental agencies, higher educational institutions, and corporations that would be willing to promote the 7-Second Resume and 7-Second Studio app as tools for job applicants and employers. We seek to partner with organizations and companies such as LinkedIn, Job Corps, Glassdoor, Monster, Bank of America, Hilton, and more. 

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If you would like to apply for the GM Prize on Community-Driven Innovation, describe how you and your team will utilize the prize to advance your solution.

In the U.S., there are 12 million jobs that will go unfilled over the next decade due to a lack of skilled labor, yet there are five million young adults who are disconnected from the economic mainstream. Many Opportunity Youth, that shown their grit, resilience, and critical thinking abilities outside of offices or classrooms, rarely get called in for interviews because their resume lacks traditional professional experience or degrees. Modern tech businesses are missing out on this motivated, untapped talent pool due to hiring practices that disqualify these individuals.

To showcase the value and talent underserved adults possess, the 7-Second Resume (7SR): short videos focusing on an applicant’s skills and experience that are hidden on a traditional resume. Our research has shown that 7SRs reveal that applicants demonstrate critical thinking, possess effective communication skills, understand the value of professional branding, and are tech-savvy and innovative. The proposed 7-Second Studio (7SS) mobile app will provide underrepresented community members the opportunity to create their own 7SR highlighting the life skills and experiences that would add value to them as employees. Through 7SRs, we are shifting perceptions of underserved individuals and assisting employers in recognizing that practices such as “degree inflation” not only hurt and disproportionately impact low-income adults of color, but also diminish the pool of candidates companies need to fill job vacancies. The 7SS mobile app will foster prosperity and social mobility for underrepresented communities by providing them with an opportunity to showcase their unique skills and stand out as applicants.

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If you would like to apply for the Innovation for Women Prize, describe how you and your team will utilize the prize to advance your solution.

Underserved young adults face tremendous barriers to accessing career pathways due to poor education systems, lack of resources, economic challenges, and bias. And underserved young women face even more challenges due to underrepresentation and the gender gap, which is especially prevalent in the field of technology. According to a 2015 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up just 20% of all software developers and computer programmers nationwide. A 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Commerce stated that despite making up about half of the U.S. workforce, women hold less than 25% of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs. The lack of women in technology careers presents a glaring disconnect with employment opportunities in the technology sector.

Year Up and Grads of Life work to break down the biases and stereotypes that limit women’s access to STEM training and careers. As the growing field of technology continues to present vast opportunities that remain dominated by men, it is critical that we provide additional tools to underserved women so that they become even more competitive in the field. The 7-Second Resume (7SR) showcases low-­income women by showing how a life experience translates to a business benefit for information technology jobs and professional careers that will empower women to move into the technology sector with confidence and skill, as seen in https://7seconds.gradsoflife.org/resume/briah-charles/. The 7-Second Studio app will provide  underserved women with the opportunity to create a 7SR that will connect their experiences to skills tech employers desire.

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If you would like to apply for the Morgridge Family Foundation Community-Driven Innovation Prize, describe how you and your team will utilize the prize to advance your solution.

Year Up and Grads of Life aim to connect leading companies to young people who face systemic, deeply entrenched social and economic barriers. Through our direct service program and our systems change work, we create meaningful pathways for underserved individuals to launch professional careers that offer living wages (usually with healthcare benefits) and economic mobility. Year Up recognizes that to truly close the Opportunity Divide on a broader scale and help dismantle the structures holding racial and economic injustice in place, we must create career pathways that can connect low-income adults to viable employment. Grads of Life has shown that it is possible to spark employer demand for Opportunity Youth as a business solution to a talent need. They show that the underserved communities are a substantial value-add to their companies, as they carry marketable and transferable skills, unique perspectives, determination, perseverance, and much more.

7-Second Studio (7SS) is Year Up’s innovative solution designed to counter racial inequity and provide economic justice by building an inclusive tech ecosystem that connects companies, eager to access previously overlooked talent, with applicants in their own communities, the vast majority of whom are people of color. Through the 7SS and the 7-Second Resume (7SR), Year Up and Grads of Life are disrupting the cycle of unemployment and underemployment, transforming it into a diverse and inclusive cycle of prosperity.

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If you would like to apply for the Everytown for Gun Safety Prize, describe how you and your team will utilize the prize to advance your solution. If your solution utilizes data, describe how you will ensure that the data is sourced, maintained, and used ethically and responsibly.

The conditions that drive violence are the same ones that drive the Opportunity Divide: lack of opportunity, financial stability, and resources (such as food, economic pathways, social services) all feed crime, and perpetuate the Divide that Year Up and Grads of Life aim to close. Economists have theorized that limited employment opportunities, especially for underserved youth, may cause people to be less attracted to alternatives to crime. The most promising violence prevention strategies are those that address underlying socioeconomic issues including lack of opportunity, access to education, support structures, productive networks, and professional role models. Through our systems change efforts, we aim to disrupt the cycle of poverty and close the Opportunity Divide. Opportunity Youth (OY) are too often characterized as an economic burden and a social liability. We work to reposition OY as a motivated and viable pipeline of talent. The 7-Second Resume (7SR) campaign has shown it is possible to spark employer demand for OY as a business solution to a talent need. In addition to supporting the economic prosperity of the individual and to helping companies meet their hiring needs, the 7SR also shifts employers’ perceptions; ultimately reducing bias and creating more inclusive and diverse workplaces. A Case Western Reserve University report advocates that “diversity promotes justice and tolerance among peers.” The innovative 7-Second Studio app will scale the 7SR so thousands more people can access this tool and career pathways. This will help disrupt the cycle of poverty and bias, and ultimately help prevent violence.

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