Propel America

Who we are

Our Story

We have been proudly a part of community efforts to improve education for all children, serving as leaders in New York City, Camden, New Orleans and across Louisiana. Because of those efforts, more young people in those communities  are proficient readers, have high school diplomas, and have gone on to higher education.

America’s education and workforce systems have been failing to support low-income Americans, and it is hurting employers and our economy alike. Despite increases in national high school graduation and college enrollment rates, college persistence continues to be low, and youth who start but do not complete college can find themselves in significant debt, beginning or continuing the cycle of financial insecurity. At the same time, many employers struggle to find and sustain entry-level talent, especially in middle-skill jobs requiring a postsecondary credential.

We believe a better system can exist — one that doesn’t ask high school graduates to choose between forestalling income and accruing significant debt while pursuing a traditional college degree or forestalling education and mobility for low-wage, entry-level work with few opportunities for advancement.

Propel is building that system — a ‘third way’ solution that allows low-income young adults to access an affordable and quick pathway to a good job that serves as a springboard to a choice-filled life. We are doing this by bringing together high schools, higher education institutions, and employers in a unified system of skill-building, job placement, and ongoing planning for young adults.

We are inspired by the potential we have seen with this ‘third way’ approach since founding Propel in 2019. And we look forward to advancing our mission across the country to ensure every young adult in America can access an affordable pathway to economic prosperity.

John White
Propel America Co-Founder, Board Chair

Paymon Rouhanifard
Propel America Co-Founder, CEO



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