Launched in 2016, Basta is a New York-based nonprofit organization with a mission to close the employment gap for first-generation students of color and change the face of workforce leadership. The organization connects first-generation college graduates with careers, tracks the experiences of young job seekers, and focuses on social capital (who you know) as a key component for first-generation college graduates searching for their first job. Since launch, Basta has served more than 9,000 young people.

Basta offers a number of tools to accomplish its mission.

  • A personalized program offers students a tool to assist in improving individual's career pathway outcomes.
  • Created in 2020, the Seekr survey is an AI-powered proprietary career navigation assessment that maps an early jobseeker's place in their career journey and how to move ahead. More than 10,000 people (the majority of Seekr participants are first-generation college students) have used the tool to learn about their strengths, career goals, and job search strategies.

The organization also provides fellowships to first-generation college students, initially in New York City – with plans to expand to other sites.  In the Basta model, students meet regularly in small groups for career coaching, receive help with crafting their resumes and practicing interviews, and make connections with potential employers in their field of interest.

Basta works with employers like Bloomberg, Snapchat, BNY Mellon, Citi, Justworks, and others to gain access to an untapped talent pool, drive interest in and affinity for their workplace, and discover insights for their hiring and retention practices. Some employer partners have developed mentorship programs for Basta fellows.

Basta partners with a growing number of universities to get Seekr in front of students and deliver content subsequently to help guide them on next steps.


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