Closing the wealth gap, in one generation, by providing financial literacy education and direct funds to working-class high school students and their families.

THE PROBLEM:

The divide between the rich and the poor is growing. Historically, in the United States, education could help deliver poor people from poverty. However the public education model has broken down, and only 30% of kids from working-class backgrounds escape poverty. Education alone is no longer the answer to poverty. To fix poverty, schools must teach about money while also directly addressing the financial insecurity that working-class families experience. Poverty is solved through direct financial investment and the education to maintain it.

Academic education alone, will not fix the crisis of poverty. To fix poverty, we must address the root cause of access to reources.

Our Solution:

  1. Teach financial literacy as part of the regular high school day. Families participate in financial literacy weekend workshops.
  2. Provide bi-annual cash stipends to students, for participating in the program and to families who participate in weekend workshops.
  3. Committe to students and their families for the long-term. Students participate in E/P Programing during all 4 years of high school and receive mentoring support for an additional 4 years beyond high school graudation.

We believe that by heavily investing education, funds, and targetted support, into students and their families, over the course of eight years, we can overcome generational poverty in one generation.

The Education Prosperity Project seeks to fix education disparity by addressing economic disparity. In the United States, educational inequality is a direct consequence of financial inequality. Far too often, schools claim to be preparing students for real life, but often fail to teach them the foundational skills for achieving a good life. Our data-informed approach embeds students inside of supportive multi-year cohorts; partners students with long-term caring adult mentors; gives students academic credit to learn financial literacy; and facilitates real-world learning, during all four years of their high school experience.

We believe that by adding financial literacy to the core school content, giving students long-term mentors, providing real-world experiences, and surrounding them with supportive communities, that we will not only improve their school performance but also fundamentally change their future for the better. The E/P Project is fulfilling the promise of education by launching students into prosperous futures.

The Approach

We use a research-based four-pronged approach. Small Cohorts + Math-Based Curriculum + Real-World Exposure + Long Term Mentoring are the 4 prongs to our innovative approach. We couple these proven strategies with financial education to help working-class children, and their families, achieve prosperity.

We believe that a multi-faceted approach is critical to addressing the far-reaching impact of poverty on the lives of working-class students. Singular, decontextualized, and/or un-targeted approaches to education have resulted in the promise of education remaining broken. Our approach provides new possibilities for education AND prosperity.

The Model

We select a small group of incoming high school freshmen girls to form a cohort. The cohort stays together all 4 years of high school. The cohort is enrolled in the E/P Project class every year. The class is taught by a licensed teacher, the curriculum increases in rigor, and the teacher serves as both an educator and a long-term mentor. The cohort model is a proven strategy that helps to reduce peer pressure by providing a positive friend group and reinforces collective success. Unlike traditional high school classes, the teacher stays with the same cohort, all 4 years, thereby providing a long-lasting mentoring relationship. Students apply their learning to real-world experiences, such as learning from industry experts, launching micro-businesses, and participating in summer internships.

The Youth

Our program is designed specifically to serve high school-aged girls. Although we know that financial and high-quality education are important for everyone, our hope is to have the greatest impact in the shortest amount of time. Girls are critical levers for broader community change. The research shows that by impacting a girl, statistically, we can have a greater impact on her community. International aid data shows that if girls are healthy and educated, their families flourish. Similarly, if women earn equal pay their families also flourish. Therefore, positively impacting a girl means that families, communities, and ultimately nations flourish. By working with girls, we hope to change the world.