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Tulsa remote member creates skill opportunities for recent high school graduates

Posted at 10:38 PM, Aug 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 09:42:37-04

TULSA, Okla. — A member of the Tulsa Remote Program is using his $10,000 relocation stipend to award $1,000 grants to ten recent high school graduates so they can develop a skill they are passionate about.

Trae Sjogren said he's a creative by nature.

“I’m an animator by trade, more in advertising… not like Pixar, but I’ve been doing that for almost 11 years now,” Sjogren said.

His passion for animation began in high school and continued after graduation.

“I was a kid who didn’t go to college, who didn’t have access to resources, and I just had to find my own way," Sjogren said.

His road to success as an entrepreneur and freelancer was paved by self-taught experience.

“It took me almost seven or eight years to take off in my career and that was through a lot of hard work, a lot of guesses,” Trae Sjogren said.

For him, pursuing his passion paid off and his work has reached many corners of the world. Two years ago, he moved to Tulsa as part of the Tulsa remote program and got a $10,000 dollar relocation stipend.

Instead of investing it on himself, he launched Skill Fund to help recent high school graduates with creative potential pursue success in their respective fields.

“The whole motto of Skill Fund is helping young adults accelerate their career and so having access to 1,000 dollars really breaks down that barrier of getting started,” Sjogren said.

Just like Tulsa remote members have access to 36 Degrees North, each grant recipient will also have access to the co-working space.

They will be assigned a professional mentor from Tulsa and across the country, many of whom work with large brands. Sjorgren said the grant recipients will work on deadlines, just like in the real world, but grant recipients will be able to move at their own pace during the 90-day cohort.

The goal is that by the end these young creatives can be connected to job opportunities in fields Sjogren said are in high demand like animation, graphic design, and video editing.

“Having a mentor who can guide you, they can help you pick the right fights, you can go study what’s actually being studied for, and then get hired for it pretty quickly, you don’t have to wait seven or eight years for it to take off,” Sjogren said.

The deadline to apply for the grant is August 31. If you are interested in learning more about the program, you can click here.

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