The Stuyvesant High School and Harvard University alumnus, who led both combat patrols and economic development projects while serving in Iraq, formed Coalition for Queens in 2011.
The Long Island City-based social impact nonprofit organization, which rebranded last year as Pursuit, offers a four-year fellowship for participants, including one year of training and three years of career support in the tech industry.
Fellows come into the program earning an average of $18,000, and emerge with an average salary of $85,000.
“We’re focused on making sure that as our economy continues to grow, and technology changes everything, everyone in our community has access to those kinds of opportunities,” Hsu said.
“Technology has created more wealth, more companies and more jobs than ever before,” he added. “How can we make sure everyone gets the skills training, access to networks and the real jobs?”
Hsu said the program’s goal is to support all participants along the way to a successful career in tech. While finishing the program and finding an initial job are important benchmarks, Hsu said he wants participants to have “permanent change” in their lives.
“What success looks like for us is three years later, people are still on the job, have gone beyond the initial job and grown into a career,” he said. “We hope people become leaders and start companies in the future.”
Pursuit, which recruits heavily in public housing complexes across the city, changed its name last year to reflect that the program truly is citywide, not just serving Queens residents.
“In the future, we may expand to other places and cities,” Hsu said.