2020 Grants for Change Winner
$25,000 towards Ascender Program
Grant Secured by Lillian Gray
Bank of America
Why did you become involved with this organization?
“I’m a Yale graduate, but I’m also the granddaughter of a man who didn’t finish high school but believed that his seven bright children could make a difference in the world. It was a privilege that I could sit in my house and think about what college to go to. Too often, race, income level and immigration status are predictive of education level. I feel all students should benefit from having greater access to future economic opportunity to higher education.”
What is the grant for and how will it benefit the community?
Catch the Next, Inc.’s mission is to increase the educational attainment of Latinos and other underserved students to close the equity gap among groups in higher education so they remain competitive in the global economy. This grant will support our Ascender—which means to rise—program, designed to provide opportunities for students classified as not college ready in the two “gatekeeper courses,” English and math. In Texas, 61% of community college students are deemed not college ready and placed in developmental courses that grant no credit and use up the students’ financial aid. The economic future of the state and nation depends on providing true opportunity to students who have been historically overlooked and disadvantaged.
These are challenging times for higher education. Economic gaps and opportunities have been exacerbated by COVID, making it more likely that vulnerable students will be unable to complete their education. That’s why our focus is on ‘changing tomorrow for students today and transforming generations.’