Postsecondary education can create opportunities and pathways to positive futures for young people. Yet, as demonstrated by The Boston Globe Magazine’s recent piece called The Valedictorians Project, earning a college degree is incredibly difficult for so many talented low-income youth. These young people, many of whom are the first generation in their family to attend college, can face significant barriers at this stage in their lives – barriers that are often overlapping, that may have nothing to do with academics, and that can go far beyond the most obvious issues of access and affordability.

The statistics are daunting. Nationally, only 56% of first generation students attending four-year schools complete their degrees within six years of entering college, as compared to 74% of their peers whose parents have attended college, according to a US Department of Education 2018 study.

Even for valedictorians – students who you would assume would have an incredible leg up when it comes to success in college – The Boston Globe found that 1 in 4 valedictorians from Boston’s public high schools failed to get a bachelor’s degree within six years.

Read the full article about the power of philanthropy in helping young people succeed by Leslie Pine at The Philanthropic Initiative.