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.


Underemployment

Black and white students go to college at about the same rates, but white students are much more likely to earn a degree. And even when black students get a college degree, they’re much more likely to be unemployed.
— Vox

Underrepresentation

African Americans and Latina/os are vastly underrepresented in Innovation Tech. This points to a pipeline problem, which until fixed ensures a tech sector that fails to reflect the demographics of its users.
— Kapor Center for Social Impact

Downward mobility

The long-term trend is shockingly clear: White and Asian college grads do much better than their counterparts without college, while college-grad Hispanics and blacks do much worse proportionately.
— William R. Emmons, Economist @ St. Louis Fed

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.