Education shapes young people’s lives and influences their future like few other forces can, but for far too many young Americans, access to a quality education, particularly a post-secondary education, is difficult to come by. Overcoming the barriers that stand between disadvantaged teens and higher education is the driving mission of the Fulfillment Fund, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that strongly believes in the power of education to transform the lives of individual students and their communities.
Through a variety of programs, including mentoring, classroom instruction, one-on-one college counseling, and scholarships, the Fulfillment Fund helps make college a reality for young people from underresourced communities in LA, and works to change students’ own beliefs about what they are capable of achieving. To learn more about the work of the Fulfillment Fund, read on for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the organization.
What are the Fulfillment Fund’s outcomes?
When compared with national statistics on students from low-income communities, it’s easy to see that the Fulfillment Fund is having a significant impact on the young people it serves. Nationwide, the college enrollment rate for high school graduates from low-income communities is only about 50%, but a remarkable 96% of Fulfillment Fund students who graduated from high school in 2015 had plans to enroll in college. Similarly, 60% of Fulfillment Fund scholars who enter college earn a bachelor’s degree within six years, compared with the national average of fewer than 11% of low-income students. Finally, showing the extent to which the Fulfillment Fund is helping break generational cycles of poverty, 81% of Fulfillment Fund students become the first member of their family to attend college.
What services does the Fulfillment Fund offer to students?
Programs offered by the Fulfillment Fund include the following:
Classroom instruction—Fulfillment Fund staff deliver classroom-based as well as individual lessons to students in ninth grade and above about important steps to take to prepare for college.
College and financial aid counseling—Simply figuring out how to apply for college is an education in and of itself. Fulfillment Fund college counselors work one-on-one with students to create a personalized education plan, including a list of prospective colleges and universities, and support the students in completing applications, negotiating the financial aid process, and making their final college selection.
Mentoring—In the Fulfillment Fund’s mentorship program, individual students are matched with a caring and committed adult volunteer who provides invaluable personal support and guidance to his or her mentee as the student travels the path to high school graduation and enters college.
Digital learning—The Fulfillment Fund’s Digital Learning Program allows ninth to 12th grade students to log into a comprehensive college access curriculum from any online device. Available resources include videos, animations, alternative study formats, worksheets, and quizzes.
Scholarships—Cost is typically the single biggest barrier to higher education for students from low-income communities. The Fulfillment Fund helps address this challenge by providing financial support to students pursuing a college degree who meet rigorous academic and needs-based criteria. Scholarship recipients also receive ongoing advisement and internship referrals throughout their college years.
How can a student enroll in Fulfillment Fund programs?
At present, students are only eligible for Fulfillment Fund programs and services if they are enrolled at one of the organization’s partner schools: these include middle schools, high schools, charter schools, and other secondary education institutions that work closely with the Fulfillment Fund to deliver the organization’s programming. Given the tremendous need for the kinds of services it offers, the Fulfillment Fund hopes to grow its support in order to expand the scope of its activities and the number of students it can reach.
What association does the Fulfillment Fund have with the Los Angeles Unified School District?
The Fulfillment Fund has worked to establish a strong and close partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District in order to ensure that its programs are having the most effective impact possible. By working with staff at the classroom, school, and district level, the Fulfillment Fund can maximize its efforts and make more powerful contributions to systemic change.
Where do the Fulfillment Fund’s financial resources come from?
As a 100% privately funded organization, the Fulfillment Fund uses a diversified funding strategy to achieve its financial goals. Major gifts, individual and corporate donations and sponsorships, support from foundations, and high-profile fundraising events like the annual STARS Gala all help provide the Fulfillment Fund with the resources it needs to deliver its critical programs and services. Some of the Fund’s most important supporters include Wells Fargo, the UCLA Dream Fund, and the College Futures Foundation.
How can I support the Fulfillment Fund?
The Fulfillment Fund welcomes contributions of all kinds from individuals and companies, and there are many different opportunities to support the organization. Interested individuals can volunteer in a number of capacities, apply to serve as mentors, join an auxiliary support group, or simply make a donation online.