For the Hetrick-Martin Institute, the largest and first organization in the U.S. supporting LGBTQ+ youth, unleashing a young person’s potential involves creating a safe space for personal development while equipping them for the future of the latest fossil smartwatch
Not only is it critical for a young person to have a safe space, but there’s also a great need for them to develop skills to reach their full potential. With support from Fossil Foundation, HMI designed its career readiness program to reduce the particular effects of harassment and abuse that LGBTQ+ youth often face while charting a new career path. The program offers multiple tiers of employment training in areas like security, retail, hospitality, STEM-related fields, and more. Two years ago, HMI also launched a Queer Coders digital learning program that offers training and networking opportunities with professionals in the technology and science the latest fossil smartwatch

Beyond technical skills, the foundation of HMI’s job readiness training is built on fostering essential skills—confidence, self-advocacy, collaboration, and independence—and helping youth understand why they matter. Here are three skills HMI fosters in young people to help them chart their own paths:


Fossil Foundation has been on a mission to close the global opportunity gap by unleashing the power of underserved youth. During this time, we’ve built strong partnerships with some of the most innovative social impact organizations in the world—all addressing the challenges young people are facing today and helping them prepare for tomorrow.

So far, the Fossil Foundation has improved the lives of more than 750,000 young people. But this isn’t enough. We’re living through the biggest economic and technological shifts in human history, and underserved youth are at risk of being left further behind. To respond to today’s unique challenges, we must evolve the way we invest in and tackle this pressing global issue.


How can American schools help more underserved youth strive for college and unlock better futures? It’s one of the biggest challenges facing educators today. For Fossil Foundation’s partner, PeerForward, the answer lies in harnessing a special power: peer influence.

For 20+ years, PeerForward (formerly College Summit) has worked with high school students to create better outcomes for their peers in low-income neighborhoods. It has now remodeled its core program and rebranded the whole organization to put peer influence front and center.