Mission, Story, and Objective
Gladeo is a digital media studio and technology nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to helping underserved youth from diverse backgrounds gain awareness, preparedness, and access to upwardly mobile careers. We're building a more inclusive, equitable, and prepared workforce of the future.
Gladeo is a research-based online career inspiration and navigation platform that features inspiring videos of diverse professionals and innovative interactive career planning tools (career assessment quiz, digital informational interviews, and resource discovery tool) to help career starters find, plan, and navigate their own, personal career journeys.
Gladeo is a member of the 2019 Acumen CivicX Future of Work Accelerator. supported by the PwC Charitable Foundation and Starbucks, the 2019 Fast Forward Tech Nonprofit Accelerator, and the 2019 Grid110 Residency program, a partnership with the LA Mayor's Office and the LA Economic Workforce Development Department.
Gladeo and its founders have received numerous honors and awards including Aspen Institute Festival Scholar, Ashoka/American Express Emerging Innovator, National League of Cities Local Hero Award, Social Venture Partner LA’s Social Innovation Fast Pitch Award, and The Gratitude Network Award.
Gladeo bridges the information, network, and belief gaps that often prevent historically under-served youth from accessing and thriving in careers. Gladeo's free, online platform, www.gladeo.org, is a kind of super-charged, personalized "virtual" career day, which leverages the power of video storytelling and technology to inspire and educate students to a wide variety of careers, not just the ones they see in their community. Our online platform helps students discover the many career paths by letting them explore the experiences of others through diverse storytelling, learn what steps to take to pursue a particular career and connect them with the necessary resources, content and organizations to pursue their goals. Our approach is:
Inspirational: The challenge with non-celebrity careers is that the people who do them and their success stories (and they do exist) are less flashy and aren't blasted across social media. As a result, the inspiration they could have sparked doesn’t spread immediately to social media savvy youth. Utilizing both written and video formats, Gladeo shares inspiring career stories of diverse individuals to breakdown stereotypes, to open eyes to new opportunities, and to inspire people to believe that their aspirations are achievable. “You need to see it, to believe it in order to achieve it."
Informational: We take a personal and action-oriented approach, gathering first-hand, practical knowledge directly from actively working professionals, not just information downloaded from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The information that is many times only available if you know somebody in that career. We also include non-linear career tracks that don't follow an easily navigable path. We include preparatory information that identifies career plans that support access into select careers. Students are informed of courses to take in high school and college and exposed to educational institutions that offer the highest level of career training and access. Students are challenged to independently learn about their career choices by consulting trade magazines and, given inside tips that increase their understanding of how to get their foot in the door and successfully land that first job.
Dynamic, entertaining, engaging: We don't just deliver information. We make the career exploration fun and engaging. Through the Gladeo League, our college internship program, college students participate in the content creation process. This ensures that our resources are millennial/Gen Z friendly.
Gladeo gives schools, youth development non-profits and community-based organizations the resources they need to inspire and expose their students to the vast world of possibilities, not just the ones in their community and to empower their students to make informed decisions about their future.
Co-Founder Michelle Cho had served many years as a mentor and volunteer in low-income communities when she realized that her students had so few career role models. Their awareness often started with what their older siblings did and ended with what they saw on TV. (e.g. professional athlete or musician) They often relied primarily on their teachers and counselors for any further career exploration. However, in low-income neighborhoods, schools don't have as many career resources and high school counselors are stretched dangerously thin. In the United States, the student-to-counselor ratio is 500:1. Moreover, career and college counseling is merely one of their many responsibilities. So how do these kids aspire to careers they've never heard of?
Matching her experience in media and entertainment with this need, Michelle and co-founder Grace Cho created Gladeo to introduce career options to students by creating rich, engaging multimedia content and a tech platform and partnering with school counselors and other nonprofits to help students learn about and access careers in ways that are inspiring, engaging, relatable and actionable.
LISTEN TO WHAT SCHOOL COUNSELORS AND STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT GLADEO
GLADEO IN ACTION