How Dr. Rachel Angel Helps Students Find a Career

Tech tools prepare students and help them find employment

When Dr. Rachel Angel noticed a significant gap in career pathways for students in Ohio, she made a career change herself to help connect them to opportunities through a technology platform.

Angel is the founder and CEO of Peerro, developer of an app and career pathway management system that connects young people with employment opportunities and job training. Angel was inspired to launch her company in 2018 after seeing the challenges minority students face in the classroom and beyond. 

Rachel Angel
Rachel Angel.

Cherie Arvae

While the company mainly targets young students, Peerro's platform is open to all job seekers of any age. Users can access Peerro's platform through its iOS and Android apps, which showcase the latest job openings and training opportunities in their area. 

"I want to help be more efficient and effective," Angel told Lifewire in a phone interview. "I saw challenges that were beyond the control of the kids. I saw that the nonprofit space was very political and hard to navigate, so I became an entrepreneur to create technology that could efficiently and effectively help young people and expose them to new careers."

Quick Facts

Name: Rachel Angel

Age: 34

From: Cleveland, Ohio 

Favorite game(s) to play: Resident Evil, NBA 2K, and Grand Theft Auto

Key quote or motto: "A wise man knows that they know nothing at all."

Inspiring Students Early

Angel said she first broke into entrepreneurship by accident after earning a doctor of pharmacy degree from Hampton University at age 24. After that, she began volunteering at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Cleveland, where she helped students figure out which career paths they wanted to pursue. 

"I have always intended on creating an environment where I can become an entrepreneur and invest, and I think, like many Black people, I inherited a survivor's remorse and want to help others," Angel said. "After I graduated from pharmacy school, I felt like if I could get in front of individuals like myself, they may be encouraged or motivated to do the same thing."

With Peerro, Angel is looking to inspire young students at an earlier educational level, so they aren't overwhelmed with these big career decisions once they get to college. Peerro is on a mission to create clearer career pathways for young adults and help them land interviews for what they learn on the platform. The company also helps job seekers get certifications, connect with mentors, and more. 

Rachel Angel
Rachel Angel.

Cherie Arvae

"What's included in that pathway is interconnecting all things that are involved in the development and training of young people preparing for work," Angel said.

With Progress Comes Challenges 

Peerro's team is composed of six full-time employees and eight contracted developers working on the platform. The company has raised $1.3 million in venture capital to date, and Angel said the company is eyeing plans to raise more funding by the end of this year. 

Despite raising funds, Angel said it's still been a struggle to do it as a minority founder. She said she often had imposter syndrome when walking into certain rooms because of her skin color. 

"It's really interesting looking at funding dynamics. It's challenging for minority women and Black people in general to navigate a society that has already placed us in a bucket," Angel said. "Overall, it's even more challenging to navigate those same issues as Black founders from a financial standpoint."

"Whether it's creating the technology or partnerships, we want to make sure that all of the systems that require success for young people on Peerro's platform are interconnected."

Angel also said biases and lack of access to resources translate across the board for minority entrepreneurs. One of those biases is that investors don't think Black entrepreneurs are as responsible as their white counterparts when it comes to funding. 

"If you're a change seeker, the ability to speak to these issues may push you out of the progress you're trying to make, and that's not right," she said. 

Looking ahead, Angel said she wants to saturate the state of Ohio through Peerro's work. 

"We have to make sure the pathways are robust," Angel said. "Whether it's creating the technology or partnerships, we want to make sure that all of the systems that require success for young people on Peerro's platform are interconnected. And that's a big job that we want to do across the state of Ohio."

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