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White House Recognizes Twin Cities SVP Partner as a “Champion of Change”

Posted by seattle

SVP Minnesota Partner, Jeff Tollefson was recently honored by the White House as a “Champion of Change,” for his leadership at Genesys Works. The Champions of Change program was created to honor ordinary Americans who are doing great work in their communities. This press release was originally posted here.

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the White House highlighted nine individuals and organizations that played a key role in the White House’s Youth Jobs+ program as “Champions of Change.” And one of the nine individuals being recognized is a Twin Cities changemaker – Jeff Tollefson.

Jeff proudly serves as the Executive Director of Genesys Works – Twin Cities, where he helps students break out of the poverty cycle and into the corporate world, shining a light on a path few students from low-income environments even know exists.

Through Genesys Works, Jeff is committed to building bridges between economically disadvantaged high school students, businesses seeking technology-proficient workers, and a public education system looking for innovative opportunities to produce college and career-ready graduates.

After spending more than 17 years in the venture capital industry, his involvement as a partner (and now board member) of Social Venture Partners Minnesota helped him to see how his time, talents and relationship networks could be better utilized in the social sector, leading Jeff to leave the for-profit world and launching the Genesys Works program in the Twin Cities in 2008.

“The work of these individuals and organizations has been vital in promoting youth employment, creating jobs, and providing young people with the skills they need to be successful” said Danielle Gray, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary. “Following on the President’s call to action, these ‘Champions of Change’ have helped connect young people with jobs and skills, creating opportunities in communities across this country.”

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals, businesses, and organizations doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.

To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program and the Champions that were recognized, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions. To learn more about the White House Youth Jobs+ initiative, visit www.whitehouse.gov/youthjobs

Genesys Works At a Glance

  • Since 2008, they’ve provided meaningful year-round corporate internships to 592 high school seniors from low-income families.
  • More than 97% of their program graduates have gone on to enroll in college.
  • Nearly 80% have either graduated from college or are persisting and on track to graduate.
  • Students in this year’s class will each earn approximately $9,000 during their senior year, putting more than $1.8 million into the hands of some of the poorest families in our community.

Genesys Works is  not only changing the course of these students lives, they’re training the next generation of our workforce – one that increasingly needs a college degree to be competitive in the evolving global market.

For more, visit http://www.genesysworks.org/twincities or contact Joe Cudzilo, Communications Coordinator, at 651-789-0088 or 605-360-4274.

Jeff is the second SVP Partner to be recognized as a Champion of Change!  Last year, SVP Seattle Partner, Nicole Trimble, was honored at the White House. You can learn more about her work here.


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