SEATTLE, May 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Koru (www.joinkoru.com), a company focused on transforming the college-to-career landscape, today announced a partnership with Nas, the legendary rapper, songwriter and actor, to bring Nas' expertise in real world training and business to college graduates in the Koru program. The Nas Scholarship Fund will sponsor students who are carefully selected by the celebrated musician to receive financial aid. Koru is a highly selective program that has partnered with 13 of the country's top colleges to accept top graduates who exhibit high levels of competency, academics, potential and grit. As part of the partnership, Nas and his investment company, Queensbridge Venture Partners, also made a significant investment in Koru.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 50 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. At the same time, nearly half of U.S. employers report difficulty finding qualified recent graduates. Koru is eager to obliterate that statistic and has started a company that is transforming the often-difficult college-to-career transition with an immersive, experiential learning program. Nas has committed to a role as an engaged and involved partner with Koru to help teach, guide and mentor select college graduates as they enter the workforce.
"I'm inspired to support Koru participants because I know how hard it can be to carve out your path and purpose in life. It takes conviction, hard work and the right network. The young people going through Koru are gritty, book smart and street smart. The Koru program gives them an opportunity to put those smarts to work. I can't wait to work directly with them and share what I've learned through my own life experiences, " said Nas.
Koru runs employer-embedded programs with world-class companies that are actively hiring. College students can apply for the Koru program and an opportunity to receive a Nas Scholarship at www.joinkoru.com. The program is designed to make recent college graduates workplace-ready and place them inside some of the most exciting, high-growth companies in the US. The deadline for the July program is June 9th and the deadline for the September programs in Seattle and San Francisco is June 30th.
Two of the first recipients of the Nas Scholarship Fund are Steeve Simbert, a Georgetown University class of 2015 graduate with a major in Government, and Marixa Rodriguez, an Occidental University class of 2014 graduate with a double major in History and Spanish. Nas, and the team at Koru, carefully selected these remarkable young graduations for their high level of grit, academic excellence and personal accomplishments.
"We're thrilled to work with Nas and are impressed with his commitment to Koru's mission of providing a bridge between recent graduates and world-class companies," said Kristen Hamilton, cofounder and CEO of Koru. "The level of expertise and knowledge that Nas brings to our team is exceptional and a unique opportunity for the participants in our program."
For more information on Koru, please visit www.joinkoru.com.
Koru is transforming the college-to-career landscape with an immersive, experiential career bootcamp designed to quickly make recent college graduates workplace-ready and place them inside high-growth work environments. Koru was founded by veteran entrepreneurs; Kristen Hamilton, former co-founder at Onvia and COO at World Learning, and Josh Jarrett, former head of Higher Education Innovation for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and engagement manager with McKinsey & Company. Koru has raised $4.45 million in funding from Maveron, Battery Ventures, First Round Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as a number of successful business leaders and investors. Headquartered in Seattle, Koru runs employer-embedded programs with partners like and zulily, Payscale and REI to give recent graduates the skills, experience and connections they need to get hired and make an immediate impact at leading companies. Koru's Thirteen Founding College Partners include Bates, Brown, Georgetown, Pomona, USC, and Williams College. For more information on Koru and details on upcoming programs and partners, please visit www.joinkoru.com.
A hip-hop icon since the early 1990s, Nas emerged from the Queensbridge neighborhood of Long Island City, a hotbed of rap artists since the '80s. The son of jazz trumpeter Olu Dara, he has since gone on to sell over 20 million albums worldwide over the span of his legendary career, and has acted as an ambassador for hip-hop culture throughout the globe. The first full-length album by the poet and rhyme-master Nas arrived in 1994, the RIAA platinum Illmatic. Since then he has released nine solo albums and 3 compilation albums that have been certified double-platinum, platinum or gold. In recent years, Nas has transcended mere rapper status and engaged in greater levels of philanthropy. He is an avid UNICEF supporter, helping to raise funds for East African region Horn of Africa and teaming up with the family of George Harrison for the organization's Month of Giving. Nas also donated all proceeds of Distant Relatives, his 2010 collaboration with longtime friend Damian Marley, to help end poverty in Africa. His most recent release was 2011's Life Is Good, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, marking the sixth #1 album that Nas has produced in his career. The collection also received four GRAMMY nominations bringing the rap icon's GRAMMY recognition count to 13 overall. Most recently, Nas' seminal debut album, Illmatic, was released as a special 20th Anniversary Edition, titled Illmatic XX, by SONY Legacy. In conjunction with the release, Time Is Illmatic – a feature length documentary film that examines the album – opened the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.