We know all too well that by 2018, 63% of jobs available will require a college degree. We also know that a college education is worth $830,000, and that is after all loans have been repaid; it is a lifetime of higher earning potential realized. Former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, is a fierce advocate for underserved students pursuing post-secondary education. During her time in the White House she established The Reach Higher Initiative to ‘inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.’ Ultimately, Michelle and Barack Obama have set a “North Star” goal that by 2020, America would once again have the world’s highest proportion of college grads.

In May of 2017, Reach Higher announced the creation of Reach Higher’s Advisory Board. This board is composed of individuals and organizational leaders who, like Reach Higher, seek to help underrepresented students navigate the college-going process through raising awareness of the available tools and resources, creating or tailoring technical assistance to meet the needs of students where they are and building the capacity of the school counseling profession. The Board will bring together educational thought leaders to share best practices for improving access to and completion of college. The Board is comprised of: John B. King, President and CEO, The Education Trust, Marten Roorda, CEO, ACT, Jamie Merisotis, CEO, Lumina Foundation, Gilbert and Jacki Cisneros, Co-Founders, the Gilbert and Jacki Cisneros Foundation, Shilpi Niyogi, Senior Vice President for North American Corporate Affairs & Global Media, Pearson, LaVerne Srinivasan, Vice President, National Program and Program Director, Education, The Carnegie Corporation, Britton Banowsky, CEO, College Football Playoff Foundation and Caroline Altman Smith, Deputy Director of Education Programs, Kresge Foundation.

To read more about the Reach Higher Advisory Board, click here: