Two Generations. One Future.

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is a hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security. Ascend takes a two-generation approach to our work – focusing on children and their parents together – and we bring a gender and racial equity lens to our analysis.

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Engaging Fathers in Child Support: From a Punitive to a Supportive Approach


Shining a light on supportive approaches to noncustodial parenting, specifically by looking at Colorado’s successful CO-PEP program. By Reggie Bicha, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Human Services, and Roxane White, Morgridge Innovator in Residence. April, 2018.

Ascend Fellows: A Diversity of 2Gen Expertise


Ascend Fellows are visionary leaders who come from a variety of backgrounds and bring expertise from different sectors and disciplines to the Fellowship. Here is a selection of their publications and case studies. Publications: Two Open Windows: Infant and Parent Neurobiologic Change: by Ascend Fellow Dr. Sarah Enos Watamura explores new research on parent brain…

A Chance for Dropouts, Young and Old, to Go Back to School

Earlier this month, the New York Times profiled Excel Center students, teachers, and the Goodwill representatives that oversee the schools on the impact the program has had on improving the lives of adults with low-incomes seeking a high school education. Betsy Delgado, Ascend Fellow and vice president for mission and education initiatives at Goodwill of…

Valuing Children, Valuing Work: A Conversation with Governor John Hickenlooper

“You’re never going to have a strong economy if you don’t have a strong community that supports families in poverty” -Governor John Hickenlooper “[There are] two ways out of poverty for a family: one is to win the lottery; the second is a job. But getting a job isn’t enough, it’s about getting a good-paying…