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Launch Me ABQ Pilot to Help Teens Develop Work

Albuquerque – Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry, in partnership with Mission: Graduate, an initiative of the United Way of Central New Mexico, announced Launch Me ABQ, a mobile-friendly, web-based digital app designed to aid youth in Albuquerque in showcasing their talents, learning about careers, and building their skills.

“The more opportunities we provide our young people to learn about careers and connect to jobs, the better chance that they will have to be more successful,” Mayor Richard J. Berry said. “Launch Me ABQ is a great tool that is designed to provide youth with hands-on learning activities surrounding workforce aptitudes at an age when they are starting to think more intensely about their future careers.”

“The app encourages students to participate in online and ‘in-real-life’ activities to help build the skills needed in our local workforce,” says Angelo Gonzales, Mission: Graduate’s Executive Director. “This initiative advances two of our strategic objectives: engaging youth during the summer to help stem summer learning loss and increasing opportunities for young people to explore careers and develop the skills necessary to succeed in the workforce.”

Through the Launch Me ABQ platform, teens can earn two types of “digital badges”: Experience and Quest Badges. Experience Badges guide students to the realization that skills they already possess are transferable to the workplace.

Quest Badges direct students through three-tiered activity levels in four “soft skills” competency areas: Professionalism, Initiative, Communications, and Financial Wellness. By completing the activities within each Quest Badge, young people gain skills and knowledge specific to each category.

Nusenda Credit Union provided the content for the financial literacy badge that contains 6 topics focusing on goal setting, budgeting, earning, saving, insurance, and avoiding financial mistakes. The program was awarded the DollarWise Summer Youth Campaign’s $5,000 grant from the US Conference of Mayors and it will be featured nationally.

At any time, students can share their profile with potential employers as a complement to their resume.

The platform, which can be accessed at, was created by Mission: Graduate and the City of Albuquerque’s Innovation Team (i-Team) and developed by Cause Labs. The app was made possible by support from the City of Albuquerque, United Way of Central New Mexico,  Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Neusenda Credit Union.

Launch Me ABQ is part of Got Skills ABQ, a City of Albuquerque strategy that includes several initiatives for addressing unemployment and underemployment in youth ages 16-24 in Albuquerque.

Mission: Graduate is a cradle-to-career partnership consisting of educators, local employers, educational support providers, government leaders and citizens who are committed to a goal of 60,000 new graduates with college degrees and certificates in central New Mexico by the year 2020. Mission:

Graduate is an initiative of the United Way of Central New Mexico. #60Kby2020  #MissionGraduate #LaunchMeABQ

Nusenda Credit Union is a not-for profit organization that is focused on investing in the financial future of the community, and the journey that has made them the strong and secure financial cooperative that they are today. Their give-back philosophy is what fuels them to make a direct impact on the social and economic health of the community, investing in community members, as well as in innovations and education to build an exciting future for generations to come.

United Way of Central New Mexico, founded in 1934, serves a four-county region. UWCNM’s mission is to bring people and resources together to measurably improve lives and strengthen our communities. To learn more, visit or call 505-247-3671.

Albuquerque Innovation Team

The City of Albuquerque is one of nearly 20 cities around the world participating in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams program. The program aims to improve the capacity of City government to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve citizens’ lives. Innovation teams function as in-house consultants, moving from one mayoral priority to the next. For more information on the City of Albuquerque’s Innovation Team, please visit or follow @ABQiteam on Twitter.