Jesus Benitez works as the Mentor Coordinator for CUNY Fatherhood Academy focusing on helping young fathers pursue an HSE diploma and enroll in college with the understanding that earning a college degree is the most effective path toward providing long-term economic sustainability for themselves and their families. Jesus also works as an Educational Case Manager for the Center for Immigrant Education and Training (CIET) which supports immigrants with low incomes and their families in becoming lifelong learners and independent, contributing citizens of New York City.
Jesus Benitez was raised in the Bronx by his mother, a single parent, who worked two jobs to support their family. As the oldest of four, Jesus helped take care of the needs of his brothers and sisters when his mother was at work, and provided guidance as best as he could.
However, he was really just a kid himself. In order to make his mom’s life a little easier, he got a job working as a cashier when he was 13. By the age of 17, Jesus became a father and dropped out of school to support his own family full-time. Jesus became a single parent when his son was almost two years old. Eventually, it became clear to Jesus that he needed to go back to school.
Jesus joined the CUNY Fatherhood Academy to obtain his High School Equivalency diploma (HSE), which changed his life for the better. With some help, he was able to enroll at LaGuardia Community College, where he was a LaGuardia Ambassador and spoke on the need for scholarships for students of color.
The CUNY Fatherhood Academy (CFA) is a free program designed to promote responsible parenting and economic stability for unemployed and underemployed fathers ages 18-30, through education, employment, and personal development.
Today, Ascend at the Aspen Institute (Ascend) announced that 11 new Parent Advisors have joined its Postsecondary Success for Parents initiative (PSP) to help shape Ascend’s expanded agenda to improve higher education policy and practice for student parents.
More than half of the nearly 4 million student parents in the U.S. are students of color, with Black, Native, and Latino students among the most likely to be raising children while in college. In fact, one-third of all Black college students in the U.S. are parents. When higher education is not designed with parents …
Today, the Aspen Institute announced its 2022 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellows, 22 leaders from across the United States who are primed to transform systems so that our youngest children and families can thrive.
RFP for HBCUs and TCUs to apply for funding and technical assistance to support student parent success on their campuses One in five college students – close to 4 million – is pursuing higher education while parenting. More than half are students of color, with Black and Native students more likely to be balancing school …
In episode 101 of the Office Hours with EAB podcast, David Croom shares compelling success stories and recommendations on creative ways for institutions to partner with local businesses and community leaders to offer more support and wraparound services to help student-parents succeed.
David Croom and our Postsecondary Success for Parents partners were featured in NPR discussing the opportunities for colleges and universities to make higher ed more accessible for parenting students. “Parents experience this concept called time poverty,” says David Croom, the assistant director for postsecondary achievement and innovation at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. “They have about …
Poverty is the result of poor policy choices. These choices reflect our national values and decide who deserves access to opportunity to achieve their dreams and who does not. This flawed mindset has led to persistent inequities and a hollowing of our shared humanity. Change is possible. The choice is ours.
Student parents are a key population - one that represents over 20 percent of the postsecondary student population and the state of California. How can the state’s systems prepare for this key population?
It took me many years as a professional in the world of higher education before I had a personal epiphany: for me and my family, our academic success as student parents was not only a two-generation (2Gen) strategy that uplifted me and my children, it was a four-generation strategy that set up our family’s success for generations to come.
Ascend at the Aspen Institute and The Jed Foundation Release a New Mental Health Framework with Recommendations for Supporting the Mental Health of Students Who Are Parents Washington, DC – A new study released today by Ascend at the Aspen Institute (Ascend) and The Jed Foundation (JED) finds that more than two in five (43 percent) …