Institut de l’Engagement

About the Project

This project is one of the 2019 WISE Awards finalists. 

Our goal is to leverage volunteering to reveal talented young people in an alternative way, and give them the access to high-quality education they could not get.

Context and Issue

The French society suffers from a slowdown of social mobility, rooted in the difficulties of the education system to bridge social gaps and too rigid recruitment practices. Moreover, while programs encouraging volunteering among young people grow, there is a persistent lack of recognition of the skills acquired during these missions. This affects young people with fewer opportunities: after their voluntary mission, they can be thrown back into a compartmentalized and discriminating system. Lacking the “right” education, they will face major obstacles in accessing diplomas and jobs, despite their true potential.

Solution and Impact

Our innovative approach:

  • Breaking away from academic criteria, we spot via a customized procedure young people with fewer cultural and educational opportunities who proved their potential during a volunteer mission.
  • We provide each of our “graduates” with a complete case-by-case support program delivering training excellence: a professional advisor, a mentor, grants, seminars, help them lift social, financial, cultural, educational obstacles, in order to carry out their projects and fulfill their potential.

Our impact is to change our graduates’ future by enabling them to enter high-quality schools and fulfilling jobs; their success rate in completing their academic year exceeds 90%.

Our program answers the needs of young people with fewer opportunities – by opening new paths to education – and the needs of schools and employers – by encouraging them to diversify students and staff, valorizing soft skills, initiative, responsibility and commitment.

Future Developments

In the next years, we aim to strengthen our offer to the “graduates”, build on our “Alumni” network, while further widen our scope, providing 3000+ young applicants each year (of which 2000 interviewees) with more advice and support for their projects.

May 23, 2019 (last update 12-30-2020)