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News and Opinion May 5, 2016

Turnaround highlighted by Jim Shelton in The Atlantic


Debby Bielak, Partner at the Bridgespan Group and Jim Shelton, Former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education recently collaborated on a piece in The Atlantic, How to Bet Big on the American Dream. Recently, Bridgespan Group looked at what big bets could potentially move the needle on poverty. Given $1 billion of targeted private funding, what investments would have the best chance of making a measurable difference.

The study found the best investments to help low-income individuals are in programs and tools that (1) build skills that will propel them to the middle class, (2) remove obstacles that hold them back, and (3) provide opportunities to transform high-poverty communities. These programs and tools could potentially yield aggregate returns of at least $3, and as much as $15, for every $1 invested.

Turnaround for Children was cited in this piece in reference the third bucket of investment – opportunities to transform high-poverty communities. Here is an excerpt:

“Nonprofit organizations such as StriveTogether and federal programs such as Promise Neighborhoods have coordinated across school systems, nonprofits, and government to create cradle-to-career services for youth living in distressed neighborhoods. And there’s Turnaround for Children, which supports children’s behavioral and emotional development as well as their cognitive skills. Philanthropists are also beginning to work together, by pooling their assets. They are making bigger bets across a range of opportunities to increase the probability of more low-income people hitting multiple middle-class milestones.”

We encourage you to read Bielak and Shelton’s full piece, How to Bet Big on the American Dream.