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El Mundo Boston 2018.

FRANCISCO CALDERÓN

Founder/CTO, ScholarJet

Age:27

Heritage: Dominican

 

Francisco Calderon was born and raised in the Dominican Republic until the age of eleven when he emigrated to the United States with his mother and brothers. After briefly returning to the Dominican Republic at age fourteen to attend High School, he returned to the United States to attend college. He first obtained his Associate's degree in Computer Science from Bunker Hill Community College, and ultimately was granted a full scholarship to Northeastern University, where he graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science.

 

At the age of 23, he co-founded ScholarJet: a technology company that connects diverse candidates to entry-level tech jobs through online, skills-based competitions hosted by employers. Seeing how hard it is for students from underserved communities, like his own, to earn money towards education and finding jobs is what led him to follow his entrepreneurial pursuits. ScholarJet provides a fun, rewarding and fair process for candidates to be evaluated for positions based on their skills rather than where they went to school or where they grew up. Successful candidates within the ScholarJet platform are either given money to help pay off their student debt or are offered roles at the companies hosting the competition. Regardless of who wins the competition, anyone who participates is considered by the hosting company for a role.

 

In founding ScholarJet, Francisco leads a team of engineers to build the platform that has helped ScholarJet impact over 300 students with over $80k in prizes and job connections with notable employers like Wayfair, Toast, Rapid7, and Akamai Technologies. ScholarJet has been featured in 33 media outlets including Forbes, Boston Innovation Magazine, and The Boston Globe. 

 

Francisco continues to work diligently with kindness in mind and hopes that his success and story will continue to motivate and inspire the next generation of Latin Americans, especially in STEM-related fields.

 

During his free time, Francisco volunteers as an Academic and Squash Coach at SquashBuster, a non-profit organization that uses the sport of squash, along with academic support and enrichment, community service, and college mentoring, to improve the lives of our youth and expose them to opportunities. He has supported more than 100 young people during his time at SquashBuster.

 

Francisco's future goals include continuing being a leader in his organization while inspiring other Latinos to pursue STEM-related careers.