By: Alejandra Sacio, Director of Communications
Education continues to be a transformative means to achieving economic mobility for people growing up in low-income communities. Individuals with a college degree will earn on average $1.2 million more over their lifespan than those without a degree, mainly due to the opportunities that a degree unlocks in one’s career. However, access to education alone isn’t enough — especially for low-income, first-generation students. They need to have adequate support and guidance throughout their educational journey.
When we refer to education at Fulfillment Fund, we focus on education equity which can be a complex term to break down. For us, education equity provides an opportunity for all students (regardless of their background, race, or economic profile) to achieve their educational goals and pursue a career path that will help them live a full life and contribute to society. We focus on equity because we understand that low-income students have a different starting point than students from families of greater means, and we do all we can to help level the playing field for students who start at a disadvantage.
For instance, students in private schools or high-income communities are likely to have more access to supports both within their school environment and at home due to the likelihood of their parents (one or both) being college educated. When this happens, their chances of setting and achieving educational goals are much higher. Nationally, it is estimated that only 15% of low-income youth attain a bachelor’s degree by age 24, compared with 59% of their high-income peers. The difference in their ‘starting points” makes a huge difference in whether or not they get across that finish line.
Fulfillment Fund strategically partners with schools and organizations serving lower-income communities and first-generation students. We believe that by providing them with the proper support (and encouragement) and guidance, we can help to level the playing field for them. By helping them to navigate higher education from start to finish and providing them with a launching pad for their career, our students can achieve economic mobility that impacts them, their families, and their communities. It begins a wave of generational change and therefore can be a major positive disruptor in that student’s family’s future prospects.
According to the Brookings Institution, “a low-income individual without a college degree will very likely remain in the lower part of the earnings distribution, whereas a low-income individual with a college degree could just as easily land in any income quintile—including the highest.” Thus concluding that “higher education is one of the best investments an individual can make.” (Thirteen Economic Facts about Social Mobility and the Role of Education)
An investment in Fulfillment Fund makes a strong statement about your belief that all young people deserve a fair shot at the life advancement that education provides.
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