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About Us

VaiLocal provides mentorship and jobs for high school and college students.

We are backed by research

We connect local companies to local talent because the present and future of talent acquisition is local. A July 2022 study from researchers at the US Census Bureau and Harvard University showed that 60% of young adults live within 10 miles of where they grew up, while 80% live within 100 miles of where they grew up (United States Census Bureau 2022). 


On the local level, small businesses create 1.5 million jobs annually, accounting for 64% of all new jobs created nationally (Fundera 2020). In 2022, 33.2 million small businesses account for 46.4% of US jobs (PolicyAdvice 2022). However, according to a CNBC Small Business Survey, 52% of small business owners say it has become more difficult to find qualified people to hire compared to one year ago (CNBC 2022). By talking to business owners in our own community, we have seen how companies crave local talent yet struggle to attract them.


Filling this void, VaiLocal provides added value to businesses and prospective employees. By taking a more nuanced and hyper-localized approach, we have a proven ability to help young people secure positions with local organizations. 


We are VaiLocal – we have been working for young people and local organizations since 2019 – learn more about us below!


Founder & CEO

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Giuseppe Di Cera is a Stamps Scholar and senior at the University of Chicago studying Economics and Molecular Engineering. He is also the son of Italian immigrants. 

Giuseppe founded VaiLocal in April 2019 when he noticed how his peers struggled to find substantive jobs because they lacked networks of connections to secure opportunities. He experienced this problem himself and wanted to make an impact on the local community. 

Over time, Giuseppe has worked at St. Louis Scott Gallagher, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, the United States Senate, Capital Innovators, Royal Caribbean Group, Plutus, Goldman Sachs, and the University of Chicago Department of Economics, where he has published health economics research alongside Tomas Philipson, the former Economic Advisor to the President of the United States.

Outside of school and work, Giuseppe serves on the Board of Directors of the United States Senate Youth Alumni Association. ​In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing soccer, and cooking. 


Celeste Serpa 

Operations Manager

Celeste Serpa is a junior at the University of Florida studying Information Systems and Data Analytics. She was born and raised in Miami, FL, and is from Colombian and Cuban descent. In 2023, she graduated from both Doral Academy and Miami-Dade College as a dual enrollment student.


She has worked as a bakery specialist and customer service associate at Publix since 2021.


At Doral Academy, she served in multiple roles to support the school’s athletic department. She was social media manager for the football team and was a member of the cheerleading team during its first national championship title in April 2021. 


Outside of school, Celeste has been an active member of the community, where she has garnered over 700 hours of service at programs such as Feeding South Florida, Box of Joy, and Happi Farm. 


In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends. 

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Paul Cavalieri serves as the associate director of small business operations at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Paul manages and builds the educational and experiential offerings in Polsky’s small business portfolio, supports students interested in closely held and family business, and serves as a resource to local businesses on a variety of operations topics.

Paul has an MBA from the University of Colorado, a master of science in education from Long Island University, and a bachelor of arts in journalism and government from American University.


   Paul Cavalieri


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