Economic Mobility, Education

New Profit Welcomes Four Build Organizations Strengthening Economic Mobility and Education

March 5, 2024

New Profit is thrilled to announce investments of $1.5 million each in four nonprofit organizations driving transformational change in economic mobility and education in America. These organizations, led by visionary entrepreneurs, are centering the assets, expertise, and aspirations of the communities they serve, aligning with New Profit’s mission to build an America where everyone can thrive. 

This unrestricted funding is coupled with strategic advisory support through a four-year term to help each organization deepen its impact, broaden its scale, and drive systems-level change. Keep reading to learn more about each organization:

America On Tech

America on Tech Full Logo

America On Tech is creating equitable pathways for the next generation of leaders from underestimated communities into degrees and/or careers in technology. 

Founded in 2014, America On Tech focuses on reaching the 16-24-year-old pipeline of students of color from public and charter high schools in communities where 75% of the student population is eligible for free or reduced lunch. It currently operates in New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles. America on Tech’s culturally responsive model includes technical skills training, professional development, exposure to hiring managers, and internship and/or job placements. As of 2023, 85% of America On Tech alumni report enrollment in a Computer Science college program and/or in a tech-related job and 99% of the organization’s employer partners say they would hire another America on Tech intern. 

America On Tech is led by its CEO Jessica Santana, who co-founded the organization with President Evin Floyd Robinson. Jessica is a Brooklyn-born Afro-Latinx woman, a former resident of Pink House projects, proud graduate of the New York City public school system, and a first-generation college graduate. Prior to founding and leading America On Tech, she worked as a technology consultant for global brands such as JPMorgan Chase, Accenture, and Deloitte. Led by Jessica, America On Tech was also part of New Profit’s 2022 Economic Mobility Catalyze cohort. 

Digital Promise

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Digital Promise is shaping the future of learning and advancing equitable education systems by bringing together solutions across research, practices, and technology.

Digital Promise was originally launched by the Obama administration in 2011 as a national center to advance technologies that can transform teaching and learning. The organization partners with educators, researchers, and product developers to design, investigate, and scale technology that empowers historically and systematically excluded (HSE) learners and benefits all learners. Digital Promise does this by helping its partners to shift beliefs around traditional partnerships and build capacity to collaborate as co-designers of solutions while centering the voices of those directly impacted by those solutions. Through its range of programs, Digital Promise has reached 3.8M+ students, 240,000+ teachers, and 300+ districts in states across the country.

Digital Promise is led by Jean-Claude Brizard, who joined the organization in 2021 as its CEO. Jean-Claude is a nationally recognized education leader who draws from his personal experience as a Haitian immigrant to maximize the crucial role educators and parents play in shaping the lives and success of students. Under his visionary leadership, Digital Promise has doubled down on its equity-centered approach, seeing that learning science, educational technology, and innovation break down barriers to powerful learning rather than perpetuate them. 

The Marcy Lab School

The Marcy Lab School logo

The Marcy Lab School seeks to close gaps in the education-to-employment ecosystem by creating an alternative to college for low-income students of color through a robust technical software engineering training program. 

Founded in 2019, The Marcy Lab School was created to provide Black and Brown students from low-income New York City communities who are hindered by circumstances rather than their potential with the opportunity for life-changing earning potential. The Marcy Lab School serves recent high school graduates through its flagship Software Engineering Fellowship, a one-year, tuition-free program designed to build both in-demand technical skills and leadership development. Classroom training is followed by a capstone project or paid apprenticeship with employer partners. Since its founding, Marcy Labhas supported 150 students with achieving careers as software engineers making starting salaries of over $100,000 per year on average. 

The Marcy Lab School is led by its Executive Director, Reuben Ogbonna, who co-founded the organization alongside Chief Program Officer, Maya Bhattacharjee-Marcantonio. Before founding Marcy Lab, Reuben served low-income students of color as a math teacher, school leader, and leadership coach. Throughout his career as an educator, including as a Teach For America Corps Member in Atlanta, GA, Reuben found himself frustrated by the unmet potential of his students who were not able to persist in college. The Marcy Lab School, led by Reuben, was a member of New Profit’s 2022 Economic Mobility Catalyze cohort.

Propel America

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Propel America is pioneering a viable “third way” alternative for young adults who are seeking access to postsecondary pathways that lead to meaningful, upwardly mobile careers.

Founded in 2019, Propel’s theory of change is grounded in the fact that many young adults – especially those from marginalized and lower-income communities – cannot afford in both time and dollars to wait four years for that good first job. Propel offers these young people a tuition-free “jobs-first higher education” that prioritizes accessibility and affordability so that young people can have the quickest path to gainful employment. Its fellowship provides young adults with hands-on training, individualized and culturally responsive coaching, and externships with employer partners that result in guaranteed interviews for full-time entry-level roles in allied health careers. Propel Fellows also earn stackable college credits that can be applied to future education. Propel has increased enrollment by nearly 30% in the last year while maintaining a hire rate of 70%. A recent alumni survey found that 74% remain employed years after placement. Propel America is an alumnus of New Profit’s 2020 Postsecondary Innovation for Equity I Catalyze cohort.

Propel America is led by Chad Rountree, who became CEO in 2022 after spending over a year as its inaugural Chief Program Officer and later being promoted to President. Chad’s connection to Propel’s mission stems from his own non-traditional pathway to career success. After high school, he pursued a culinary degree and worked in the restaurant industry before later earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees and holding leadership positions in K-12 education. Chad shares many of the lived experiences of the young people whom Propel America serves and is committed to offering a fellowship program that is responsive to the voices, needs, and experiences of the young adults it supports. 


These four organizations join a portfolio of nonprofit organizations led by visionary social entrepreneurs advancing opportunity in America. New Profit also recently announced its investment in 4 other Build organizations, as well as 8 organizations as a part of its Catalyze Civic Lab cohort and 16 organizations in its Catalyze Economic Mobility cohort. Subscribe to New Profit’s newsletter to stay up-to-date on all upcoming investments and funding opportunities! 

About New Profit

New Profit is a venture philanthropy organization that backs social entrepreneurs who are advancing equity and opportunity in America. New Profit exists to build a bridge between these leaders and a community of philanthropists who are committed to catalyzing their impact. New Profit provides unrestricted grants and strategic support to a portfolio of organizations led by visionary social entrepreneurs to increase their impact, scale, and sustainability. It also partners with social entrepreneurs and other cross-sector leaders to shift how government and philanthropy pursue social change to ensure that all people can thrive. Since its founding in 1998, New Profit has invested over $350M in 250+ organizations and, through the America Forward Coalition’s collective advocacy efforts, has unlocked over $1.9B in government funding for social innovation. Learn more at



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Nikhil Gehani

Managing Partner, Communications