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Potential is equally distributed, opportunity is not.


What is Launchpad?

Launchpad is a new initiative from Building 21 that seeks to directly connect young people to living-wage paying jobs that offer upwardly mobile career opportunities, while providing them with the credentials, skills, mindsets, and experience to thrive in these roles.

By integrating career-connected learning, authentic work experiences, and the development of general “Future Ready” skills across high school and the ensuing two years, Launchpad will prepare students to thrive as they transition into full-time work.

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A program designed to connect young people to high-paying jobs in growing industries

Four Years of Year Round Support

Beginning in 11th grade, we work closely with our students for four years including the two years following their graduation from high school. Our supports include academic coaching, counseling, career guidance and job placement.

Future Ready

Launchpad provides educational experiences that go beyond what is traditionally taught in schools. Our program ensures that every student develops the critical academic and social-emotional skills to thrive in their future careers.

Technical Skills Training

In year 3 of our program, all students will engage in an intense 8 month software design bootcamp to prepare them for jobs in the information technology field.

College Credit

Students will accumulate college credit in each of their four years in the program through our partnership with Arizona State University.

Real, Paid Work Experience

To ensure that our students are prepared for jobs in the information technology sector, we will provide them with 12-18 months of real-world, paid job experience at Launchpad prior to their job placement.

Job Placement

Our staff will work to find a job in the information technology sector that pays a competitive wage for every one of our graduates.

Your success is our success!

We measure our success by ensuring every one of our graduates obtains and succeeds in a good job in the information technology sector and beyond.

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When should my student apply to Launchpad?

Students must currently be enrolled in the 11th grade and be residents of Philadelphia to apply.

Who are Launchpad students?

Launchpad students are on track to graduate in 4 years and are leaders in their schools. Launchpad students embrace hard work, challenging tasks, and honest feedback. They support and encourage their peers, are excited to explore and learn new things, and set goals, and meet them.

What is the commitment?

Launchpad students are expected to participate actively in the program starting in eleventh grade. During eleventh grade, the program consists of weekly after-school programs. After a six-week, intensive summer session the summer before twelfth grade, students will spend the first half of the day during twelfth grade at their current high school and then the second half of the day at Launchpad. Students must commit to 30 hours per week for the two years following high school graduation.

Do students need approval from their high schools?

Yes! Students must get approval from their high schools to apply.

What is the commitment for participating high schools?

High schools that would like to have students participate in the program must commit to:

  • Early (½ day) release for all Launchpad students during their twelfth-grade year
  • Identifying a point person at the school to coordinate with Launchpad staff to ensure student success
  • Providing administrator and teacher references during the application process
  • Supporting Launchpad enrollment efforts through access to all prospective applicants

Contact us to learn more about Launchpad and how you or your students can make an impact.

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