Giving Compass’ Take:
• On Equal Measure, consultant Altinay Cortes describes the impact of programs to promote greater equity, such as providing support for lower-income people in areas such as education and housing.
• Are nonprofits doing enough to support such programs? This article also describes the journey that a child of refugees took to the Ivy Leagues, an inspiring story that reminds us how much work we have left to do.
• In order to achieve greater equity overall, we need a new approach to funding. Here’s where to start.
My childhood in Millville, NJ, was filled with meetings. I can recall the joy I felt each time I went over my weekly calendar with my mother. I was the kid who signed up for everything. I joined so many clubs that I rarely went straight home after school. Early on, I intuitively knew that participating in so many programs could benefit my life. I was told that being well rounded was the only way to become successful, so I juggled sports, art, civics, and academic enrichment programs. I often felt like a waitress delicately carrying a tray full of drinks filled to the brim.
In high school, I began to understand how certain programs could benefit me more than I had ever imagined. Equity programs became my focus. Equity programs vary in scope, but are designed to provide support to people in areas such as education, housing, food, etc. I joined a Gear Up program housed at Rowan University and a summer college readiness program at my local community college called Talent Search, which offered SAT/ACT preparation, tutoring, life skills workshops, and college courses. I learned so much that I finally realized that college was more than a dream; it was a true possibility!
Through these programs, I visited many colleges and spoke with admissions counselors and students. I also received ample help on college and scholarship essays. My college applications reflected all the skills I learned from participating in equity programs. I was accepted by every college I applied to, and attended Howard University with a hefty scholarship in hand. I owe this accomplishment to equity based programming.
Read the full article about the value of equity programs by Altinay Cortes at Equal Measure.
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