The Olin B. and Desta Schwab Foundation is dedicated to the belief that no student should ever be deprived of an opportunity to recognize and realize his or her talents and potential. Based on that belief, the goal of the Foundation is to identify, support and fund programs that provide students in 5th to 12th grade or duel credit situation (combination of high school/early college credits) with the skill sets and competencies that make them “career ready” in the 21st century. The Foundation also believes that good internships (shadowing) are a requirement for both high school and college aged students. We believe the best way to teach career readiness is to have the student live it. We also believe that a very vital part of a healthy community is an underpinning of entrepreneurial spirt. Therefore, attention should be given to nurturing that aspect in today’s students.
The Foundation is looking to fund programs that:
- Are transformational and will have a significant impact on the problem the program will be addressing
- Are part of a system not just a stand along event. Experience has proven that a single program that is not embedded in an organization or school/school district will not be successful. Schwab will first establish whether the project they are being asked to fund is part of a system or just an event/program. If a school/school/district, must be embedded in current curriculum.
- Engage not only the student but their parents. Needs to be a connection between education (school or non profit organization), students and parents
- Use technology and learning techniques that connect with today’s students
- Assess, increase awareness, or prepare students to be career ready and finally connect them to the world of work
- Include Career Readiness education and skill building for typical work skills such as oral/written communication skills, punctuality, working in a team environment, critical thinking, etc. In other words, excellent “soft skills” are a requirement with today’s employers.
- Are collaborative and not duplicating an existing idea or program. Grantees should work with other like-minded programs. (For example, if another organization has a very similar program that the grantee is trying to create and is willing to bring that program into the grantee’s organization, Schwab may provide funds to make that happen.)
The mission of the Schwab Foundation is not to create its own programs but partner with organizations with a proven track record to grow good existing programs or new ideas. We prefer programs that actively engage students in learning about careers and making career decision.