The Opportunity

The resources in this post help to provide a deeper understanding of why the Greenhouse Scholars Whole Person Program is so important to our ability to cultivate extraordinary leaders to change low-income families and communities.

Too many exceptional young people fail to reach their full potential because they face countless obstacles and disadvantages that are often unnoticed by those from different backgrounds. While great progress has been made to address these problems and make educational success more attainable for all, immense inequalities still remain that hinder the upward mobility of those from low-income families and communities.

  • For young people from under-privileged backgrounds, admission is not the only hurdle to the success at elite colleges and universities. In this piece from The New York Times Magazine’s Education Issue, Anthony Abraham Jack, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, details his experience as a low-income, first-generation, student of color at Amherst College. His powerful story highlights that while financial aid is critical, it falls short of meeting many disadvantaged students’ needs.
  • Episodes 4, 5, and 6 of season 1 of Revisionist History, a podcast by Malcolm Gladwell, focus on low-income students’ road to higher education, how universities provide (or fail to provide) opportunities to those students, and inequitable collegiate philanthropy.
  • This interactive New York Times article presents results of a study that suggests low-income students are still significantly underrepresented at US universities, particularly schools qualified as elite. An accompanying article points out the same underrepresentation of minorities.
  • As Elite Campuses Diversify, a ‘Bias Towards Privilege’ Persists. In this NPR article, Anthony Abraham Jack, author of The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, is interviewed about his research that shines a light on the hidden curriculum and other barriers to success that students from “doubly disadvantaged” backgrounds must overcome to succeed in higher education.
  • Three Miles, episode 550 of WBEZ’s This American Life podcast, follows the story of two groups of students from opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum and highlights their differences in educational opportunities and experiences in college.
  • On Greenhouse Scholars’ Youtube Channel, our Scholars share their inspirational stories and how the Whole Person Program has helped them to overcome adversity and give back to others.
  • This factsheet from the Postsecondary National Policy Institute highlights statistics about first-generation college students, their degree attainment, and the challenges they face. This is a valuable resource for anyone trying to better understand the need behind Greenhouse Scholars’ mission. The article sites many reputable sources for its statistics.