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Boosting Opportunities for Social and Economic Mobility for Families (BOOST)

Connecting people with low incomes to critical human services supports and educational and career pathways to advance social and economic mobility.

What We Support/Key Strategies

Strong Community College and Human Service Partnerships

Programs, Policies and System Reforms

Alignment of Critical Supports

Educational Pathways

Lifetime and Springboard Jobs

In America’s cities, many people with low incomes dream of and strive for a more secure and prosperous future for their families. The good news is that a high-quality college education can connect them with the careers that can move them and their families up the social and economic ladder.

But at colleges all around the country, students are often juggling work, family and school. Nearly 1 in 5 college students are parents, and that rate is even higher at community colleges. We believe that if more students receive the critical supports that human services nonprofits provide, more students will stay in college and graduate.

Meanwhile, some people supported by human services nonprofits never connect to the high-quality educational pathways on community college campuses that lead to family-sustaining careers.

Others do find their way to campus, but the colleges and human services nonprofits often don’t know they are serving the same families. We believe there is an opportunity to provide coordinated supports that are holistic, equitable and address the needs of both children and parents. Ultimately, these two-generation approaches will support families striving to live out the American dream.

Our Boosting Opportunities for Social and Economic Mobility (BOOST) initiative aims to strengthen partnerships between community colleges and human services nonprofits that connect people with low incomes in cities to critical human service supports and educational pathways that will help them climb the social and economic ladder. BOOST cities participate in a cohort-based learning community and seek to have impact at the program, organization and system level. Jobs for the Future acts as the learning and management partner, supported by Equal Measure as the evaluation partner.

BOOST Grantees

In 2019, we awarded grant funding to six city partnerships between community colleges and human services nonprofits nationwide.

Boosting Opportunities for Social and Economic Mobility for Families (BOOST) Resources

Addressing Basic Needs Security in Higher Education

This research brief outlines three studies led by Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab at Temple University designed to help identify effective approaches to secure and address postsecondary students’ basic needs, so more students…

Education, Human Services

BOOST Partners

Jobs for the Future

JFF is a national nonprofit that drives change in U.S. workforce and education systems to achieve economic advancement for all.

Equal Measure

Equal Measure partners with foundations, nonprofits and government to apply new ways of thinking and learning to advance social change.