How We Got Here
Everyone doesn’t enter educational institutions, or the workplace for that matter, on the same playing field.
We expect the children living in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods, who have the least amount of familial resources, that are attending our country’s worst schools to achieve the same amount of success as their more privileged counterparts. Children can’t control the circumstances in which they are placed in, but we, as a community, can help provide resources that support them.
In reality, many of us pursue success on a road riddled with potholes, barriers and detours including, but not limited to poverty, food insecurity, and undiagnosed health conditions.
As these, and many other disadvantages accumulate, children from homes with fewer resources inevitably have lower average achievement, even with the highest quality instruction.
When a school’s proportion of students at risk of failure grows, the consequences of disadvantage are exacerbated. In the long run, these students receive less academic instruction and spend more time in the classroom addressing remediation.
With fewer family resources, their college ambitions are constrained.
With less access to routine and preventive health care, disadvantaged children have greater absenteeism, and cannot benefit from good schools if they are not present.
Among racial groups:
- Only 1 in 10 Black and Hispanic high school graduates are adequately prepared for college.
- Close behind, only 2 in 10 white students are fully prepared after high school completion.
We know from our personal experiences that success is still attainable no matter where your starting point may be.
The South is home to the largest population of uninsured Americans. Due to the failure to expand Medicaid, the South is now home to the nation’s sickest people who are left deeply discouraged from seeking the preventative and reparative care they desperately need. By supplying families with preventative healthcare supplies, including blood pressure monitors, first aid kits, masks, and pulse oximeters, we bring families one step closer to being in control and aware of their health.
The pandemic’s negative economic impacts have disproportionately increased the economic insecurity of Black and Hispanic individuals and families, who tend to have fewer financial reserves to buffer against extended periods of job loss or decreased earnings. Pretty Big Project alleviates the financial burden of household essentials for families in need by providing vital resources such as diapers, formula, and grocery assistance.
Often times, it’s not just what you know but who you know. Actually, according to LinkedIn, you are 9 times more likely to be hired for a position if you were referred. With over 60% of jobs in the US requiring a college degree, now is the time to bridge the high school-college gap and get more students prepared not only to enter college, but to finish and succeed thereafter. Through our Pretty Big Dreams community building program, we foster a network that connects mentors from top career fields to both guidance-seeking high school students preparing to enter higher learning and first-gen college students.