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“I have been lucky to have known Jermaine since he was in high school after he won the Posse Scholarship. Many of us were aware of his potential then, but to see that potential manifest in this young man today, in his accomplishments, in his self-refliection and his storytelling about where life has taken him is, to say the least, inspiring.

“I dare anyone not to take notice of what he has to say about his vision for education in this country.”

Rico Blancaflor

Getting more poor kids into colleges, and getting the brightest into the best colleges, ought to be a national mission.”

— Richard V. Reeves

In August 2013, unemployment for Americans possessing only a high school diploma was 7.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—or more than double the unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (3.5%.) There are some economists who estimate that the benefit of a degree is somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2 million over the course of one’s career.

What’s more, the unemployment rate for blacks (13.0%) is twice as high as it is for Whites on the whole (6.4%), according to BLS data. (There’s no data for Latino/Hispanics available at the current time.)

“College matters a lot for social mobility,” says Richard V. Reeves, policy director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution. “For someone from a poor background, getting a four-year degree virtually guarantees upward mobility.”

“Elite colleges act as gateways to the best career paths. Getting more poor kids into colleges, and getting the brightest into the best colleges, ought to be a national mission.”

As much as we don’t like to believe it, America’s stark class stratification begins at the schoolhouse door.”

— Sam Fulwood III

As Sam Fulwood III, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress argues: “As much as we don’t like to believe it, America’s stark class stratification begins at the schoolhouse door. It must not be allowed to matriculate further into the nation’s colleges and universities.”

Sponsoring Young People was created in order to make sure that we are creating a college-going environment for every young person—not just a select few. We promote college awareness among low-income populations as a means of leveling the playing field of opportunity and giving all young people a fair chance at achieving their college and career dreams.

“The results are now in,” David Leonhardt, Washington Bureau Chief for the New York Times wrote in a March 29, 2013, article entitled “A Simple Way to Send Poor Kids to Top Colleges.” “And they suggest that basic information can substantially increase the number of low-income students who apply to, attend and graduate from top colleges.”

Well we’ve heard that clarion call loud and clear, and we aim to fill that void. To quote from David Coleman, president of the College Board: “We can’t stand by as students, particularly low-income students, go off track and don’t pursue the opportunities they have earned.”

“The amount of untapped talent out there is staggering,” Stanford University’s Caroline Hoxby, one of the nation’s leading scholars in the area of college access, notes in an interview with Smithsonian magazine.

Well through a combination of actionable explanatory and investigative journalism and initiatives such as our free college counseling program, we believe we can help to fix the problem. Click on the image above and join our fast-growing online community on Facebook.


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