Bottom Line’s staff, students and our shared community, have felt and will continue to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the weight of the underlying racial injustice and inequity we grapple with as a nation. The low-income, first-generation-to-college students we serve face a much more challenging road to educational and career achievement than their more privileged peers, including structural racism and inequality; it is likely that the disruption caused by the pandemic will only exacerbate this inequality, with the digital divide and economic constraints impacting their college access and completion, as well as the uncertain job market and lack of access to the necessary social networks and capital impacting their economic mobility.
Bottom Line is committed to addressing this educational and economic inequality, ensuring greater college opportunity and economic mobility for first-generation and marginalized students. The nearly 3,000 students we serve are 96% low-income and 97% people of color, including 37% who are Black, 26% who are Hispanic, and 26% who are Asian. We believe that an equitable world is a richer world for us all. However, we know that inequity based on race and class is inherent in our country’s educational systems and structures. The vast majority of higher education institutions and professional networks were designed to serve a select set of students from privileged backgrounds. Our work exists because of this inequity; we strive for educational equity, opening doors for the many whose potential and drive exceed their opportunity.
We connect students to jobs and careers that will facilitate economic mobility and advance their future opportunities and increase social capital. Having a vibrant, diverse, and local workforce is critical in increasing community investment as well as individual success. Bottom Line continues to ensure students can achieve economic mobility through access to a college degree and employment – the economic and social impacts of which often reverberate across present and future generations, as well as our communities.
Find out more at www.bottomline.org.