The Challenge

  • 2 in 3 students from low-income backgrounds who graduate high school do so without meeting college-readiness standards; 1 in 2 of those who go to college fail to earn a degree

  • 86 percent of new college graduates reported having no job offers

  • 49 percent of recent college graduates reported they didn’t need to go to college to do their current jobs

The status quo allows circumstance to dictate outcome, creating barriers to success for those who are resource-constrained. Students fall through the cracks in the transitions between high school, college, and career, and employers can neither access nor retain them. 


Our Solution

Arena solves this coordination problem by connecting stakeholders that are already doing great work and empowering students with the leadership fundamentals needed to succeed in any environment

Through Arena, students complete an Associate’s degree within one year of graduating high school, gain meaningful work experience, and preserve the option of later pursuing a Bachelor’s degree.


The initial fellowship is a two-year
degree- and job-yielding educational and apprenticeship program embedded within schools and co-created by employers.  


Who We Are


We enable prosperity by equipping all students with a college degree, a job, and the mindsets, habits and skills for sustained success.


Circumstance need not dictate outcomes

  • Adversity is an asset that yields greater tenacity and creativity

  • Education is an investment with high ROI

Diverse labor forces win

  • Quality talent exists everywhere, and varied perspectives benefit teams and outcomes

  • Training is an investment with high ROI

Proof points lead to systemic change

  • Our Fellows are the vanguard of an agile, resilient generation of workers

  • Our Partners lead the charge in their communities and industries




Arena works with:

  • Motivated, resource-constrained students, whose strengths may be overshadowed by their challenges

  • High school partners, of a variety of governance structures, that focus on innovation

  • Synchronous, student-centered college partners, offering best-in-class support services

  • Corporate partners that (1) attract, hire, and retain diverse work forces, (2) prioritize professional learning and development, (3) provide stable career trajectories, and (4) invest in young people


In June 2019, Arena hosted a summer immersion pilot in the San Francisco Bay Area

  • Student participants were 21 rising seniors from a public high school in East Oakland

  • Employer participants were a major professional sports team, a biotech start-up, a retail conglomerate, and a Fortune 500 tech company

  • The program consisted of career exploration, professional skills-building, and individualized coaching

  • NPS averaged 80%+ across stakeholder groups, compared to an education sector average of 51%


The first Arena Fellowship cohorts will begin in August 2019 and January 2020. Reach out to hear more about their journey, learn about career opportunities, and join the team as a school or corporate partner!



Claire Fisher is a recipient of the Stanford GSB Social Innovation Fellowship, a graduate of the Stanford Schools of Business and Education, a Relay Graduate School of Education alumna, and was formerly on the Charter School Growth Fund team, a Teach For America corps member, a math teacher, and leader at a public high school in New Orleans, LA. Arena’s board of directors is comprised of experts on education and innovation, consulting and client services, recruiting and corporate partnerships, and early stage startups. 


 © 2019 The Arena, Inc.

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