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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Our Collective Challenge and Opportunity Has Never Been Greater 


This letter was shared with our Ascend Fellows, Network Partners, and community.  Hello Ascenders:    Today is exactly one week since nearly 160 million Americans cast their vote. This will go down as one of the most historic and hotly contested presidential elections our nation has ever seen. With much work ahead, the heart of democracy is stronger than ever. Far from being…

Hear How Single Moms are Thriving in College


Postsecondary education and employment pathways are core components of the two-generation (2Gen) approach. This commitment to educational success and economic security is of the utmost importance to single mothers pursuing a postsecondary degree or workforce credential to create a better future for themselves and their children. These topics are explored in Roadtrip Nation’s (RTN) documentary…

Announcing: The 2Gen Level Up Prizes + Happy Hour

We are so excited that you are joining us throughout the week for 2Gen Level Up, a time of connecting and inspiring our boldest thinking yet on how to serve families in this time of acute crisis and opportunity. As you know, Ascend is publishing a new 2Gen resource every day (check out today’s resources, case…

RFP Submission Guidelines for the Aspen Policy Acceleration Partnership Grants 

Investing in the postsecondary success of students who are parents is one of the most effective strategies for accelerating their economic and social mobility, addressing longstanding inequalities, and building state and local economies. Public sector agencies and their partners can build supportive pathways for student parents toward meaningful degrees and credentials that lead to careers with better pay and benefits.  …