Genesys Works founder named to Forbes ‘Impact 30’


Forbes Magazine has published its first-ever ‘Impact 30’  list of global social entrepreneurs and Genesys Works founder Rafael Alvarez was recognized for “tackling the world’s most intractable problems.”

Rafael Alvarez Genesys Works

His earned-income nonprofit creation provides students from economically disadvantaged high schools with professional internships and mentoring opportunities within the IT division of various corporations.

“This recognition is really a tribute to all of those involved at Genesys Works…Thank you for being there and for seeing the vision of how we can fundamentally change the tracks of life for so many young people across our country,” Alvarez said.


Started in 2001 and based in Houston, TX, Genesys Works has trained hundreds of students to date — many from the Twin Cities — where the org’s only sister location is led by  “reformed venture capitalist” (Crescendo) Jeff Tollefson.

Since launching Genesys Works here in St.Paul early 2008, Tollefson’s team has helped train and place 235 local high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds into paid year-long internships throughout IT departments of 37 companies — including 3M, Medtronic, Ecolab, Cargill, Target and UnitedHealth, among others.

“The recognition of Rafael as a leading social entrepreneur is well-deserved.  He has architected a non-profit business model that not only serves the needs of low-income youth, but provides valuable services to the business community at the same time,” said Tollefson, noting that the earned income stream funds 80% of operations.

Solid work.