What's our challenge?
People need connections to start substantive careers—connections often tied to family, neighborhood, and school. This creates a structural barrier that traps first-generation and minority grads in low-paying, dead-end jobs and restricts access to promising career paths in growing industries.
We believe underemployment and underrepresentation are driving forces of downward mobility among minority college graduates. That's not the promise of higher education: That's a bait-and-switch.
For generations, a degree was seen as a ticket to the middle class, and many young people go to and graduate from college on this premise, often after great sacrifice. But a degree is not enough: We need social capital—awareness of opportunities, the casual favors of informal networks—as much as we need skills.
Society praises first-generation and minority grads for trailblazing, but the workforce is biased toward well-worn paths. We're changing that—one career at a time.