Partners for Education at Berea College was announced as a member of the Aspen Institute Ascend Network, a new network of leading organizations using two-generation approaches to disrupt poverty and create economic mobility for families. Partners for Education at Berea College is one of the initial 58 organizations, selected from 24 states and the District of Columbia, that represent the leading edge of a national movement around two-generation approaches. Two-generation approaches look at the whole family’s needs and provide opportunities for children and their parents together.
“These leaders are fueling change for America’s families,” said Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “As we reflect on the 50th anniversary of the ‘War on Poverty,’ the Aspen Institute is proud to invest in transformational ideas to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.”
The Aspen Institute identified Partners for Education at Berea College through a highly selective national competition. More than 250 organizations applied to join the Network and receive funding from the Aspen Institute Ascend Fund. “Two-generation programming, where we provide educational opportunities to families and kids, works in our rural Appalachian communities,” said Dreama Gentry, executive director of Partners for Education. “I believe it is our best opportunity to disrupt the generational poverty crippling our Appalachian region. We are honored to be a part of the Network and look forward to sharing our strategies and learning from others.”
In the United States today, nearly 45 percent of all children live in low-income families. Almost 25 percent of today’s college students are parents. Yet our education and human services systems have not kept up with the needs of 21st century families. Together, Partners for Education at Berea College and the Ascend Network are redesigning programs and policies to create a legacy of opportunity that passes from one generation to the next.