Named by Forbes Magazine as one of the world’s top 30 social
entrepreneurs, Rafael Alvarez is founder and CEO of Genesys Works.
Established in 2002, Genesys Works is a non-profit social
enterprise 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. This is done 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.
As a leading example of social enterprise, Genesys Works
has a “double bottom line” value proposition that allows it to engage the
largest corporations in each of the cities in which it operates, into its
mission. Under Rafael’s guidance and vision, Genesys Works has at an average
annual rate of 40 percent, from an idea in his head, to serving 10 students in
its first year, to now serving over 1,500 students a year in Houston, St. Paul,
Minneapolis, Chicago and San Francisco/Oakland.
Rafael is a faculty member of Rice University’s Jones
Business School, teaching social entrepreneurship. He became an Ashoka Fellow
in 2006, was awarded the sole Entrepreneurial Leadership Award from Texas
A&M University in 2012 and was inducted into the Immigrant Entrepreneur
Hall of Fame also in 2012.
Prior to starting Genesys Works, Rafael worked for eleven
years at Compaq Computer Corporation (now HP) as a corporate strategist and in other
engineering management positions. Rafael holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
from Texas A&M University and a M.S. in Engineering Management from the
University of Houston. He resides in Houston with his wife and three daughters.