Gladeo Offers Students a Trusted Career Exploration Resource No Matter Their Background
After overcoming struggles at a young age and developing a passion for mentoring children through volunteer work, Stanford graduate and film professional Michelle Cho founded Gladeo. With the intention of helping our youth and informing them of the endless opportunities in the work place, no matter one’s background, Cho is bringing something unique to the table. By offering free readily available career content to high school and college students, this 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is going above and beyond to help students understand that their dreams are possible by telling inspiring career stories of diverse individuals through videos.
Struggling to get through each day after her mom died, Michelle Cho, the founder and president of Gladeo, always reminded herself to look at the big picture and go after her dreams. At age 15, Michelle and her younger sisters were having a hard time waking up to do things they were supposed to. However, reminding themselves of their future goals motivated the sisters to work hard and overcome their sadness. Cho began mentoring children through volunteer work, helping with math, reading, and college applications. Not until several years ago when mentoring an unmotivated young boy, did Cho notice the excitement that comes across a child’s face when they start talking about their goals and dreams.
This young boy, enrolled in a tough school with a tumultuous home life lacked the motivation that would allow him to think about his future. It wasn’t easy for Michelle, who is in her 30’s, and this eleven year old boy to connect until they began talking about video games. Noticing the boy’s love for video games, Michelle decided to tell him that one day he could find a job in this industry, and that she actually had a friend who designs video games. The boy was thrilled to hear this, and immediately began to engage with Michelle, asking questions about careers involving video games. Michelle connected her mentee with her friend, where the newly motivated boy was able to hear expertise, advice, and experience from a professional in an area that interested him.
“It wasn’t only that my mentee learned about what a video game designer was. It was that he had connected with an actual person that he could relate to, who shared similar childhood experiences, who was succeeding in that career. Learning about the career gave him a dream. Hearing my friend’s personal story made him believe that the dream could actually come true. It was a transformative moment.” says Cho.
This sharing of knowledge and a personal career story from a professional to a young person became the inspiration behind Gladeo, and the core of what the organization seeks to do. Today the non-profit works to a greater degree and on a much larger scale, creating career and industry content that is shared online for anyone to see. Michelle’s experience with her mentee was a one-to-one knowledge sharing model. By creating Gladeo, Michelle and her team have developed a one-to-many knowledge sharing model they believe can transform the lives of many young people.
By introducing innovative multimedia career content and distributing it through their career exploration website and social media, Gladeo strives to make the career exploration process fun and engaging. Through their inspiring and entertaining videos, in-depth career profiles, infographics, and live streaming Q&A sessions, the organization provides students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, mentors, and non-profit program directors with resources that help young people explore career paths and gain valuable insight and knowledge about those careers. With student loan debt and delinquency at an all-time high, and the lack of diversity in high-paying industry sectors, Cho is on a mission to alter these statistics.
Gladeo’s mission is to help young individuals find and pursue their career. The non-profit is bridging the gap between school and the professional world. By providing freely available online content, Gladeo strives to ensure that young people have access to quality career information, regardless of their socio-economics, ethnicity, or geographic location. The organization aims to create awareness surrounding all careers that young people can choose from, including those that they don’t know about or know how to pursue, and to increase diversity in each field.
Since its founding, career exploration website has already helped thousands of young people find resources online, averaging 30-35 signups per day and over 6,000 monthly unique visitors. Gladeo has also worked with a variety of educational organizations by providing them with career exploration resources such as the The Ed Fund, West Contra Costa Unified School District, and Boys and Girls Club of Oakland.
In the future, Michelle is hopeful that students will no longer be in the dark about certain careers and industries as a result of Gladeo. The organization’s goal is for all high school and college students, regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomics, or geographic location, to see, believe and truly understand how to pursue their dream career. Michelle sees Gladeo becoming the “go-to” trusted career exploration resource for high school and college students.
Gladeo is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and helping young individuals discover, navigate and achieve their dream careers by creating innovative multimedia career content and distributing it through the web and social media. Founded by Stanford graduate and film professional Michelle Cho, Gladeo provides freely available online content. The organization strives to ensure that young people have access to quality career information, regardless of their socio-economics, ethnicity, or geographic location. Gladeo’s mission is to improve career-readiness, reduce un/under-employment, and bring down educational debt burdens by guiding youth towards better-informed educational and career choices. Connect with Gladeo on Facebook and Twitter.
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