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Helping young people from disadvantaged areas value their skills

As a business school student, over the past few years I’ve come to realize how lucky I had been to get a proper education. It gave me knowledge about a huge variety of subjects, but most of all, it gave me the power to choose what I’d do in my life. Because this is what education truly does. It empowers you.

At MakeSense, we’ve recently launched a mobilization around the access to education through digital, in order to raise awareness about projects that help people get a better access to education thanks to digital tools. This mobilization got huge and enabled people all around the world to get involved on many innovative projects around education. You can read here to get more information about this movement.

But we didn’t want to stop there! We wanted to go deeper. We wanted to increase significantly the impact of these projects, so that more and more people can have an access to education and use it as a tool for personal and professional empowerment.

During our mobilization, we got to hear about Passeport Avenir. This French association identifies students coming from disadvantaged areas and help them in their studies and their career by providing them mentorship and personnalized support. Since 2006, they’ve been supporting 5,000 young people per year, enabling them to fight against discriminations and keep moving forward.

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But Passeport Avenir is currently facing a big challenge. They recently realized that in spite of their bright academic background, the youngsters that they support had huge difficulties in identifying and valuing all the skills that they have acquired over the years. Many of them do not even realize that they have learnt a lot from their professional and personal experiences. As a consequence, finding a job keeps on being a real struggle for them.

This is why, in February, we launched a 2-month program involving 8 French volunteers, in order to help Passeport Avenir create a digital tool to help their students better value their professional skills.

This kind of program was developed a few years ago by SenseSchool, the pedagogical branch of MakeSense. They aim at getting people to learn by doing and taking action. They have their own name: SenseAcademy.

Hence, for this new program, we recruited 8 young motivated folks that are keen on solving social issues related to education. They are… the SenseEight !

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Welcome Anaïs, Pauline, Manon, Mehdi, Camille, Nawelle, Alpha & Mourad !

During this SenseAcademy, they will first go out on the field and interview a wide range of people to make sure that they understood the challenge very well, before imagining a new solution that could be implemented by Passeport Avenir by the end of the program. All along these 2 months, they will be helped by experts and mentors towards their goal.

As for now, they are currently conducting their immersion mission very well! They have already collected a wide range of testimonies, which will be extremely helpful when comes the time to imagine the final solution that will be implemented.

If they succeed, their solution could be potentially be replicated and used all over the country. This is huge! And this is why this program has the support of many partners : Nokia, France Université Numérique, but also the UNESCO and the French Ministry of Education.

Here are the next steps: on March 5th, after collecting data on the field, our participants will attend a full day of workshops in order to imagine innovative solutions to Passeport Avenir’s challenge. Then, they will attend two more prototyping sessions and a pitch training, before presenting their final solution during the closing ceremony, which will take place on March 30th in Paris.

Want to mobilize for education too? Want to take part in a SenseAcademy? We have some good news for you: you can! A similar program will be held in MEXICO, in April and May 2016. So, if you know any project about education there, or if you want to get involved in this program as a volunteer, please let us know! Do not hesitate to contact Julien for more information.

Let’s all work together to empower people through education!

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makesense est une communauté internationale de citoyens, d’entrepreneurs et d’organisations qui résolvent ensemble les défis sociaux et environnementaux

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