Four years after its formation, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative (“100K”) has assembled a broad coalition of private, public, and non-profit partners to raise the profile of opportunity youth (young people who are disconnected from employment or educational opportunities) as untapped assets and young talent. Made up of 55 national companies, the program reached its original goal of hiring and engaging 100,000 young adults well ahead of schedule. Since the Initiative launched in 2015, the coalition member companies collectively have hired over 200,000 opportunity youth.
100K is based on a vision of sparking a national employer movement that fully embraces opportunity youth, recognizing their untapped potential as workforce talent. To take that vision to new heights, we are thrilled to announce that Charles Hiteshew has joined 100K as the Initiative’s Executive Director. Charles is highly qualified for this position, given his expertise in building successful programs and ventures in a variety of settings, paired with a lifelong commitment to underserved youth – the very young people our member companies aim to engage. Moreover, his enthusiasm for this role and mission is palpable.
Charles is based in the Washington, DC area, where he was most recently the CEO of Talent Development Secondary (TDS). As CEO, he oversaw the organization as it supported the transformation of up to 50 schools across the country annually. During his tenure, TDS served as the lead partner in the i3 award-winning Diplomas Now validation study (in collaboration with City Year and Communities In Schools) which generated statistically significant impact in supporting off-track 6th and 9th graders in getting back on track to graduation in our most challenged secondary schools. Also, during his tenure, he managed the spin-off of the organization’s field operations from Johns Hopkins University, executed a strategic planning process in partnership with Bridgespan and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, and raised on average a $10M operating budget annually.
He started his career as a street counselor in Boston, connecting homeless and transient youth to a wide array of needed services. Charles increasingly worked with businesses to connect young people to career exploration and jobs at the Boston Private Industry Council and spent years in leadership roles at nationally recognized nonprofits like United Way, the National Academy Foundation, Communities In Schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and America’s Promise Alliance.
Over its short life, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative has achieved tangible results and gathered many learnings along the way. I’m confident that as Executive Director, Charles will use his incredible skills and experience to build on 100K’s existing momentum, positioning the Initiative for continued success in the future.