A Partnership to Improve the Lives of Adults Without a High School Diploma

JFFLabs Impact Acceleration and Graduation Alliance are teaming up to increase high school completion and expand career opportunities among the 31 million American adults without a diploma.

Brandi left high school to become a parent during her junior year. While she was raising a family, 18 years passed. “I lived in regret for a long time,” she said. “I always wanted to set an example for my kids and to get into college, but I didn’t know how.”

Through a friend, she learned about Graduation Alliance’s Ohio Adult High School Diploma Program, which serves students 22 and older in partnership with Brandi’s local community college. She signed up. For 18 months, Brandi participated in online classes in math, science, English, art, and other subjects while she earned job-readiness certificates in financial literacy, digital literacy, and caregiving.

Those certificates and the skills she mastered helped her secure a job in health care as a caregiver before she even graduated. That job, in turn, is giving her experience that will help her as she pursues her next career goal.

I’m going to become a social worker—now I’m going to college, and I can start a career I really love.

-Brandi, graduate of Graduation Alliance’s Ohio Adult High School

Unfortunately, success stories like Brandi’s are not nearly common enough. More than 31 million adults in the United States don’t have a high school diploma. And for them, good jobs that offer living wages and support sustaining career pathways are becoming harder and harder to find.

In a story on Medium, Stephen Yadzinski, managing director at JFF, shares how JFF and Graduation Alliance are prioritizing strategic regions and career pathways to drive real outcomes in terms of graduation rates, employment and retention, wage gains, postsecondary enrollment, and certificate attainment.