What happens when ambitious millennials stop being polite, and start getting real? Enstitute’s 18- to 24-year-olds live in New York City, learn together, and work with companies like Warby Parker and Bit.ly–no college degree required. Before their year was up, 70% of the pilot class had full-time job offers from the companies they worked for. The nonprofit, which aims to create “the first national apprenticeship program for 21st-century careers,” is donor funded and provides the fellows with a stipend.
Today Enstitute’s founders, Kane Sarhan and Shaila Ittycheria, announced that with the help of over $100,000 in grants, they are launching in two new cities, Washington D.C. this year and St. Louis starting January 2014. The D.C. program will begin with 20 students and aim to be at 100 by the end of the year. “We’ve had a huge influx of students and companies applying,” says Sarhan. “We realized we were sitting on a program with a massive demand. We sat down with our board and looked at our growth path and realized that if we put some work into our infrastructure, we could launch in some new cities quickly.” With almost half of young college grads unemployed or underemployed, and confidence in the value of college wavering,
the combination of real-world experience, mentorship, and a living-learning community seems to be filling a strong need.