Community Need

New Futures believes that pathways to financial stability strengthen individual lives and our region as a whole. We provide financial support, post-secondary support and success programming, and career guidance to low-income young people in the DC Metro Area. The need for our unique program is clear:

1. The labor market continues to grow more demanding.

Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce predicts that by 2018:

  • 71% of all jobs in the District of Columbia (500,000 jobs)
  • 66% of all jobs in Maryland (2 million jobs), and
  • 64% of all jobs in Virginia (2.8 million jobs)

will require some post-secondary education. Nearly half of these jobs will go to people with an associate degree or post-secondary certificate. These careers pay significantly more than those open to individuals with only a high school degree. Of the people with post-secondary licenses or certificates, 27% of them earn more than the average bachelor’s degree recipient.

2. The college “one-size fits all” approach does not work.

  • Much emphasis is placed on going to a four-year college, yet only 30% of young adults in the U.S. successfully complete a bachelor’s degree.
  • Not all careers require a four-year college degree, nor does everyone need a bachelor’s degree to be successful.
  • Students need multiple and varied educational pathways to meet their needs.
  • The cost of four-year college is prohibitive for many.
  • “Stackable” credentials can increase the persistence and motivation of students by offering smaller, yet concrete “sub-goals.”

Our Program Model

New Futures’ Scholar Program strategically responds to these post-secondary education and workforce realities. We support low-income students ages 17-29 seeking post-secondary certificates and associate degrees. Low-income students face a greater risk than their higher-income peers of not completing their post-secondary education. We designed our program based on research that shows what students need to support post-secondary degree completion. Students need:

  • Consistent and high expectations;
  • Information about how to succeed in school;
  • Support, especially during their first year, the period when the largest number of students discontinue their education;
  • A sense of belonging and community; and
  • Strong peer networks

Types of Support

We provide the following types of support to our New Futures Scholars:

  • Financial support
  • Ongoing case management support; and
  • Peer-to-peer support.

Our model is also unique in that we collaborate with Community Partners in the DC Metro Area, building on existing relationships and working together to support Scholars.