New Profit Invests $1 Million in Post-Secondary Equity Catalyst Beyond 12
Through a digital coaching platform that combines college coaches who work with students virtually, a campus-customized mobile app called MyCoach, and an AI-powered analytics engine, Beyond 12 works to significantly increase the number of historically under-represented students who graduate from college and who translate their degrees into meaningful employment and choice-filled lives.
New Profit, a national venture philanthropy organization, announced that it will support Beyond 12 with $1 million in unrestricted funding and additional strategic support to help founder and CEO Alexandra Bernadotte and her team expand the organization’s impact. Bernadottes’s own experience as a first-generation college student led her to find Beyond 12 in 2009 (check out her recent interview on the “Say More” show with Tulaine Montgomery of New Profit to learn more).
Beyond 12 addresses the college completion challenge at its root by acting as a data and service bridge between K-12 and higher education. In America’s current job market, the prerequisite for a college degree exists in nearly every industry; in order to ensure that future generations are prepared to thrive in a competitive global career force, Beyond 12 ensures that students do not just get “into” college, but get “through” college. The organization currently partners with over 50 K-12 programs and higher education providers across the country to serve 97,000 college students. By 2025, the organization’s goal is to support 1,000,000 students nationwide.
Dr. Angela Jackson, a New Profit partner who leads the organization’s Future of Work-related initiative and will serve as an advisor to Bernadotte and her team as a member of Beyond 12’s board, said this of the new partnership: “New Profit is proud to invest in visionary entrepreneurs like Alex Bernadotte who are advancing equity and opportunity for Americans. Alex is a force of nature; her personal story as an immigrant and first-generation college student has shaped and informed her vision to provide support at scale for students navigating the college experience, ultimately preparing them to be successful in the Future of Work. As a technology platform, Beyond 12 has proved a steadying force for students as they grapple with interruptions from COVID-19, and we are excited to help the team reach thousands more students nationwide.”
As a data-driven coaching platform, Beyond 12 uses an app to connect to each student on a personal level. The app helps college students manage deadlines, activities, and behaviors and connects them to campus resources, other students, and individual coaches. Beyond 12’s college coaches provide students with the academic, social, and emotional support they need — both to succeed in higher education and in life. The coaches are “near peers” who understand the experiences of current students first-hand and who know how to inspire and motivate their students to succeed. They provide virtual outreach tailored to each students’ personal preferences. To learn more about a student’s experience with Beyond 12, watch this video.
Beyond 12’s statistics show significant impact and effectiveness: 85% of students coached by Beyond 12 for four years have graduated or remained enrolled six years after entering college, compared to 42%, the national average for similar students. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn 62% more than their peers with just a high school diploma. Despite the fact that more young people than ever are enrolling in college, too few students graduate. Just 9% of low-income students earn a bachelor’s degree by their mid 20s compared with 77% of their wealthy peers. Beyond 12 aims to reduce this gap in graduation rates.
Alex Bernadotte, CEO and Founder of Beyond 12, said, “It is an honor to partner with New Profit. As two pandemics intersect — COVID-19 and systemic racism — we are working diligently to ensure that these crises do not derail the college and career plans of students from underserved communities, while simultaneously pushing our field to reimagine what a more accessible, affordable, equitable, and student-centered higher education system looks like. In addition to the financial investment, I’m thrilled about our new partnership with the New Profit team to harness their strategic expertise as we continue to inspire our students to not only earn their degrees but to lead a movement for educational equity.”
Over the next four years, in addition to the unrestricted grant, New Profit will partner with Beyond 12 on leadership and board development, and strategic planning for growth and impact, among other areas.