Q&A with District C

District C students smiling brightly and standing in front of a blue brick wall.

About the CEO

Dan Gonzalez is the CEO of District C, a North Carolina-based nonprofit that prepares the next generation of diverse talent for modern work. District C’s Teamship program gives small teams of high school students the opportunity to solve real problems for real businesses. 

What inspired you to launch District C?

More than ever, businesses need employees that know how to work with diverse people to solve novel problems. Work on a team to solve complex problems… we see this as the job description of the modern economy. But, our traditional education model doesn’t prepare students for this work. We built District C, and the Teamship program, to bridge this gap.

What can businesses expect from participating as a “Business Problem Provider”?

Teams of high school students work to solve a real problem for your business. We’ll help you scope the problem, and District C coaches will do all the student coaching and supervision. Your time commitment is only 5 hours over multiple weeks (show up for 3 meetings and answer questions about your business and the problem). Students get real-world experience, and your business gets creative solutions, fresh perspectives, and early access to potential interns or employees. In the words of one of our business partners: “low lift, high impact.” We’ve been honored to work with inspiring businesses such as Ablr, A Place At The Table, and so many others. We’re growing quickly, which means we’re looking for more partners. Interested businesses can fill out District C’s interest form. There is no cost to participate. 

What has surprised you the most from the Teamship program, that you didn’t expect when you first launched?

When we started 5 years ago, we knew that students would rise to the challenge. But we didn’t anticipate just how much value they could add to the business partners we work with. 84% of our business partners report that they have used or plan to use the solutions that student teams proposed to them. So this isn’t just good for students, it’s great for our business partners as well. 

Interested in learning more about District C? Check them out on the District C website!