New Book is revolutionizing employment programs for African-American youth with a single phrase: social capital.

February 13, 2019

When 46% of people get jobs through who they know – and only 20% do through job boards – those who are well connected have a thousand-foot-high lead over those who build up their careers from the bottom.

What if, in addition to teaching underserved African-American and other young people how to crank out a resume and answer the ten commonly asked interview questions, someone were generating tools to help them build social capital, counteract the negative influences that inhibit them from developing it, set a foundation for dealing with trauma and neglect, and permanently and effectively break the cycle of poverty and oppression that plagues so many?

Edward DeJesus has been doing just that. “Many youth are stuck in a trap,” he says, “and we are here to get them unstuck.” When his own life was revolutionized thanks to social capital 35 years ago, DeJesus knew he’d lit upon a key to combating marginalization in the workforce and getting youth on track. That’s why for over thirty years, DeJesus and his approach have transformed the way the workforce systems think about serving the nation’s 4.9 million disconnected youth and young adults.

Now, DeJesus is bringing the message to Gen Z with his book MAKiN’ iT. Smartphones, side hustles, and the gig economy have launched our young people into a landscape unexplored by older generations. Many adults, according to DeJesus, hesitate to communicate old-school values for success in new-school ways. “I’m not saying change the message; just change the methodology.” MAKiN’ iT delivers just that, serving as a viable guide and workbook that equips young people of all backgrounds with the tools to thrive in today’s world, including advice on building social capital, hacking it in the gig economy, and addressing the deleterious effects of power, privilege and injustice.

MAKiN’ iT has a message that can’t be passed up. Ready to show young folks how to tap into their best potential? DeJesus will be conducting numerous book signings across the country in Feb. and March.

MAKiN’ iT is available at or on Amazon. If you would like more information about DeJesus and his groundbreaking work on social capital, contact [email protected] or call (202) 713-8393.

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