PLATINUM2022

Embarc, Inc.

aka Embarc   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.embarcchicago.org

Mission

Embarc is a three-year program that provides community-driven, experienced-based learning opportunities to low-income high school students to inspire and prepare them for college and career success.

Ruling year info

2011

CEO & Co-Founder

Imran Khan

Chief Programming Officer

Amanda Long

Main address

P.O. Box 221450

Chicago, IL 60622 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-3453182

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Business, Youth Development (O53)

Citizenship Programs, Youth Development (O54)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Reflecting the legacy of racism, inequitable investment, and segregation, public schools are failing students of color. Systemic disinvestment affects students' entire educational experience, from the quality of their teachers to opportunities for meaningful experiences. Black and brown students’ graduation rates trail their white peers; and students from low-income families are 10 times more likely to drop out of high school. High school non-completion affects lifetime earnings, employment, and mental and physical health. This does irreparable harm to young people, their families, and communities. Experiential learning is a powerful antidote to public education’s many failures. By embedding students in a rich context for learning, it delivers the social-emotional learning that is essential for personal growth and future success. With Embarc's model, experiential learning is integrated into the school day, helping public schools fulfill their promise to create equity at scale.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Embarc

Embarc’s mission is to cultivate postsecondary success by inspiring students to build their social capital, stretch beyond the boundaries of their neighborhood, alter their world view, and seize opportunities in school and life. Embarc is one of the most exciting organizations in the movement toward equitable experiential learning and closing the opportunity gap in Chicago and beyond.

Our goal is an education system that no longer fails students - especially students of color - and is the foundation for a just, equitable, and anti-racist society.

In Embarc’s learning model serving 98% students of color we combine social-emotional learning and experiences in the school day, organized around career, college, change agency, collaboration, and culture. The experiences, created by 200+ community partners, incorporate focused reflection that helps students connect the experiences to identity, life, and goals. We provide instructional resources, teacher supports, and administrative tools.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Children and youth
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2019)

Affiliations & memberships

Chicago Public Schools Strategic Source Vendor 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Embarc

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Embarc tracks by school year. 2021: School year 2020-21 2020: School year 2019-20 2019: School year 2018-19

Number of program participants who receive a secondary school diploma or GED

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Embarc

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Metrics are given in percentages. Years correlate with ending of school year (ex: 2021 is School Year 2020-21).

Number of teachers trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Embarc

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Metrics given by school year. 2021: School year 2020-21 2020: School year 2019-20 2019: School year 2018-19

Number of students educated through field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Embarc

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Embarc tracks by school year. 2021: School year 2020-21 2020: School year 2019-20 2019: School year 2018-19

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Embarc and its partners in the movement for experiential learning aspire to create lasting, systemic impact to ensure all students have an educational experience that prepares them for success in college, careers, and life. Scaling Embarc is key to the systems-level approach required to make ubiquitous and sustainable impact.

Educators across the country are working to reimagine and improve their schools and they are looking for the tools, resources, and hands-on support to incorporate experiential learning into their schools and the school day. We have the potential to address this growing demand through direct services to schools and school districts at an affordable cost, but also through communications, capacity-building, and collaboration with like-minded leaders and organizations.

As a leader in the movement for experiential learning, Embarc aspires to:
- Scale to meet massive, increasing demand; demonstrate Chicago as proof-of-concept; create experiential learning school transformation models that work across networks, districts, cities, or states
- Support meaningful, lasting change in every school we serve
- Amplify the voices of families, educators, and students in the movement
- Shift norms in how student success is measured and how schools, teachers, and leadership are assessed
- Build the field by helping to increase skills, tools, relationships, and capacity; fostering a community of practice among schools and individual teachers; hosting peer-learning convenings for educators; creating an innovation fund to provide resources for teachers to design and share compelling real-world learning experiences
- Collaborate with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, the Network for Experiential Learning and Teaching, and others to fuel a broader movement for experiential learning that spans K-Higher Education; and connecting with others doing related work through convenings, introductions, investments, and programs to build the movement’s shared identity and agenda
- Inspire philanthropy to make bold, transformative investments in an approach that leverages this country's public education system to build a foundation for success for all students

Our aspiration is a more equitable society where a high-quality education that addresses the needs and unleashes the potential of all students is an inalienable right. For that to be possible, the American education system must change at scale. It must provide an educational experience that meets the needs of all students and centers the needs of the most vulnerable and those with the most to gain; addresses the racial wealth gap, contributes to healing from generations of racism and daily trauma; prepares young people for a changing world that needs their talent; and motivates educators to see this as the goal and equips them to achieve it.

Embarc’s approach to systems change is based on a belief in the power of real-world learning and a certainty that collaboration and capacity building are crucial. We put people and communities first in our efforts to center equity and serve where the need is greatest and the resources most limited. As the world changes and our understanding of learning evolves, we strive for continuous improvement. Because public education is an enduring institution, we believe that schools must achieve their promise as a powerful force for equitable opportunity and shared prosperity.

Our model merges the imperative for a strong academic foundation with other important mindsets and skills that correlate with success in young adulthood. We reimagine and redesign schools to transform them into places that promote success beyond academics for young adults.

The third-largest school district in the country, Chicago has been the right place to develop the powerful proof-of-concept for the movement for experiential learning. It Is a transferable solution that will resonate with others because of Chicago’s size, demographics, and array of challenges, and a foundation for implementation at scale.

The four pillars of our model are:
Partner with schools and systems to improve learning outcomes for whole schools or networks of schools
Offer integrated tools and resources designed to help schools achieve those outcomes
Provide schools with implementation support as a direct service and in collaboration with the community
Set ambitious goals for student outcomes, share responsibility for results, and establish feedback loops to continuously improve design and implementation

Our model supports fully experiential schools by aligning the whole school around the goal of implementing learning experiences, building relationships, and integrating social-emotional learning. This process is enabled by Embarc-designed tools and resources, grouped into three broad categories:
- Instructional resources: off-the-shelf experiences, experience design guides, curricula, before-during-after lessons for experiences, and instructional materials
- Teacher supports: professional development, coaching, and classroom management tools, and support to expand the array of rich experiences
- Administrative tools: Data tools, implementation strategies, plans and playbooks, community partner organization and tech-enabled experience support, and organizational tools

A commitment to continuous improvement requires that we observe, listen, and learn, and that the model adheres to research-based principles and practices even as it responds to local context, changing norms, workplace demands, and the challenges faced by young people, especially those who struggle with the effects of systemic racism and poverty.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Embarc serves high school students in Chicago Public Schools high schools. 98% of the students we serve identify as Black, Latinx, or people of color. An average 86% of students in schools we serve qualify as economically disadvantaged.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Embarc solicits feedback from students and adults after each experience in order to continuously improve our offerings and meet our communities’ needs. After one experience day, students and teachers provided feedback on how to make the beginning of day send off smoother for both students and teachers. Embarc staff implemented their feedback during the next experience day and received more positive feedback from the school community.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    One of Embarc’s measures of long-term success is seeing an entire school community taking ownership in creating an experiential school. Through experience feedback and other mindset survey data showing an increase in teachers’ perceptions of themselves as experience leaders, we can see Embarc’s support enables educators to become better facilitators of experiential learning and stronger teachers across all subject areas. Our work builds educators’ strength and agency and empower them to become experiential leaders on their own. We’ve also seen this growth empower students and teachers to design custom experiences together, effectively sharing power within a school while co-creating experiential learning in real time.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Embarc, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Embarc, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 06/02/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lynn Jerath

Citrine Investments

David Allocco

Ares Management Private Equity

Alan Anderson

Emory University

Marlene Coulis

Marketing Strategy Consultant

Lynn Jerath

Citrine Investment Group

Tellef Lundevall

Accelerated Digital Media

Nelly Pitocco

ESO

Larry Sablosky

Finish Line Inc.

Lindsey Mossman Shaw

JPMorgan Chase & Co

Lonnie Thomas

Throop Street Capital

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/8/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/08/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.