Genesys Works' Founder Named to Inaugural Forbes List of Top 30 Social Entrpreneurs
Houston, TX (January 19, 2012) - Forbes Magazine's inaugural list of the Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs named Rafael Alvarez, founder of Genesys Works, on the publication's "Impact 30" list of the world's top social entrepreneurs. The list, created by a panel of experts was released in December and defined a "social entrepreneur" as a person who uses business to solve social issues. The list also included Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach for America and Richard Barth, the CEO of KIPP schools.
Genesys Works, established in Houston in 2002, is a non-profit corporation that changes the trajectory of life for underprivileged high school students, from one destined to a lifetime of low wage, dead-end jobs, to one in which they will fully participate in the economic mainstream. The way the organization accomplishes this is by training and employing students to work in meaningful internships at major corporations during their senior year in high school so they can discover that they can indeed enter and succeed in the corporate world.
"Genesys Works operates like a for-profit corporation and has engaged as clients the largest corporations in each of the cities in which it operates," said Alvarez. "Genesys Works has grown from serving just 10 students in Houston in 2002, to serving over 600 students in Houston, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Chicago, in 2011. Genesys Works' compounded annual growth rate is over 50 percent in spite of the economic downturn of the recent years."
Genesys Works' innovative model has received wide recognition. When President Obama launched the White House Office of Social Innovation, Genesys Works was profiled as an example of social innovation that must be replicated across America. In 2006, Alvarez was inducted into the Ashoka Fellowship. Ashoka identifies, recognizes and supports the top social entrepreneurs around the world.
Prior to starting Genesys Works, Alvarez worked for eleven years at Compaq Computer Corporation (now HP) as a corporate strategist and in other engineering management positions.
Alvarez is involved in education reform initiatives where he is viewed as an innovator. In addition to serving on the national board of Genesys Works, as well as on each of the local boards, he also currently serves on the boards of the Spring Branch Education Foundation, the Houston Education Research Consortium, and his church, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
Alvarez obtained a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Houston. A native of Mexico City, Alvarez resides in Houston, Texas with his wife, Stephanie, and their three daughters.