Mission and Giving Philosophy

VTC medical training

What do 1,500 electricians, nearly 4,000 nurses, and over 700 web developers have in common?

These are the kinds and numbers of promising jobs expected to open in Vermont in the next ten years. These and other promising Vermont jobs largely require education and/or training after high school—yet as few as 37% of Vermont’s low-income high school students pursue such education after graduation, which is the lowest in New England according to the New England Secondary Schools Consortium. The enrollment rate of their non-economically disadvantaged peers is more than 20 points higher.

With that gap in mind, we use grants to help make the education and training pathways to Vermont’s most promising jobs more visible, more accessible, and more affordable – for learners of all ages. We envision a Vermont where no promising job goes unfilled for lack of a qualified applicant and where college and career training leads to greater equity and resilience. In all we do, we’re committed to a relational approach that centers equity and the potential of Vermont’s greatest resource – its people.

We believe…

… in the talent and potential of young people and learners of all ages in Vermont. We know that as a state, we can’t afford to leave their talent on the table.

… young people will make Vermont better if we listen to and respect their voices and if they are loved and appreciated for who they are.

… that education and training after high school is one of the closest things we have to a silver bullet when it comes to closing opportunity gaps.

… that public colleges and training providers with a track record of serving Vermonters at scale, particularly those from low-income backgrounds and who are first-in-family to pursue a credential after high school, are vital to the success and vitality of Vermont.

… the image most of us have of a college student—the quintessential 18-22-year-old who has just graduated high school and is now studying full-time on a residential campus and living the idyllic college life—needs updating.

… that a decade of exclusively funding this issue in Vermont has led to some insights about how to thoughtfully fund equitable career pathways.

How did we come to focus on equitable access to postsecondary and career training? To tell that story, it’s best to start at the beginning: read about our founders here.