We can lead more young adults to self-sufficiency by helping them reach their potential.

Thriving Kids

Thriving Kids — Every Child Prepared for College and Career

Today’s global economy demands education beyond high school. National employment projections indicate that jobs requiring only a high school degree will grow by just nine percent, while those requiring an associate’s or bachelor’s degree will grow by 31 and 25 percent, respectively. And while city high school graduation rates are appalling, the racial disparities in Rochester’s graduation rates are even starker. The Schott Foundation for Public Education’s 2012 report on public education and black males The Urgency of Now showed that only 21 percent of black males graduate from Rochester city high schools – one of the worst rates of any large urban public school district.

Whether students pursue a high-skilled certification, a two- or four-year degree, or more, continuing education leads to many benefits:  
  • Increased income. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree can earn almost twice the median income of a high school graduate, and this pattern continues over the course of a lifetime.
  • Improved health and wellbeing. College graduates have lower smoking rates, more positive perceptions of personal health, and lower incarceration rates.
  • Higher levels of civic participation. Higher levels of education are correlated with higher levels of volunteer work, voting, and blood donation.

A more educated society leads to economic development, which translates to an expansion of work opportunities and increased incomes—resulting in a better quality of life for everyone. To get there, students, families, and teachers must have access to college and career information and support, and financial barriers must be eliminated.

Our goal beyond graduation—and our best strategy to achieve it:

Helping students prepare for what’s next

We support the Rochester College Access Network (RCAN) launched in 2013 by the Rochester Education Foundation. The group helps more youth and families get the support they need to complete federal financial aid forms (FAFSA). Studies show that providing this support to low-income families can result in a sizable increase in college attendance and persistence. RCAN also provides public and school-based information through social and conventional media about the importance of financial aid form completion.