LIFT: Building Prosperity for Two Generations

Capital One is teaming up with LIFT through a $500,000 grant to support coaching to empower parents to break the cycle of poverty


Low-income parents attending community college face a myriad of challenges to balance their education with careers and raising their children.

To break the cycle of poverty and build prosperity, LIFT — a national organization that strives to interrupt the generational transmission of poverty — offers free individualized coaching to hundreds of student parents annually to build their well-being, financial strength and social connections.

That support creates improved outcomes for their children — lifting two generations at once.

“LIFT has helped me to believe in myself and pushed me to grow,” says Blanca Servin, a LIFT member in New York City. “Through working alongside such a supportive team, I have gained the patience and teachings needed to follow their lead and support other parents.”

The organization supports parents in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. Anyone who is the legal guardian of a child is eligible to join.

As of September 2021, 99 percent of participants are people of color and 91 percent of participants are women.

Through the program, every student parent is paired with a specific coach that they meet with roughly once every three weeks for up to two years. 

Capital One is supporting LIFT’s efforts to improve upward mobility for those families through a $500,000 grant that has helped the organization expand its virtual coaching sessions and expand LIFT’s coaching program to be offered in institutions like community colleges, pediatric clinics and Head Start centers.

That support to provide virtual coaching enabled parents to continue participating in LIFT’s one-on-one coaching, receive direct cash assistance, participate in group educational workshops and connect with resources. 

At the start of each coaching relationship, each participant works with their coach to explore where they are currently at in their journey and what their goals are. 

In addition to navigating their education, coaches work with parents to improve their financial well-being through learning how to create a budget, apply for financial aid, apply for student loans and access childcare while attending classes. 

“With Capital One’s support, we’ve been able to provide a virtual lifeline to families helping them to move through unprecedented times while still moving toward dreams and goals for themselves and their children,” says Michelle Rhone-Collins, Chief Executive Officer of LIFT. “We are grateful for Capital One’s investment in families who have been historically marginalized to help them move towards sustained economic mobility and break generational cycles of poverty.”

Capital One's support comes as part of the Capital One Impact Initiative — initial $200 million, multi-year commitment that strives to advance socioeconomic mobility. 

Launched in October 2020, the Capital One Impact Initiative seeks to create a world where everyone has an equal opportunity to prosper through advocating for an inclusive society, building thriving communities and creating financial tools that enrich lives.

"Coaching from LIFT has the power to help parents sustainably break out of generational poverty and never look back," says Amy Lenander, Executive Vice President of Consumer Auto at Capital One. "Capital One is grateful for the opportunity to support LIFT in its mission to combat racial inequities and create improved opportunities for all the parents it supports."

LIFT’s program views parents and caregivers as the CEOs and architects of their families and empowers them to set their short and long term goals. With support from LIFT’s coaches, those participants then create a roadmap to accomplish their goals.

Among LIFT participants, 97 percent reported feeling extremely or very connected to their coach and 35 percent reported reduced levels of stress after as little as three months in the program.

In turn, parents in LIFT's program who expeerienced an increase in income saw an average annual increase of $15,000.

“Over the past four years as a member at LIFT, I have felt supported, listened to and very happy every time I participate in a workshop,” says Martha Mateo, a LIFT participant in New York City. “At LIFT, I have learned that education is the key to a better life. LIFT inspires me to keep going.”

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