How We Got Our Start
A Story of Resilience and Resistance
Though The Prosp(a)rity Project was formed in 2020, our organization got its roots starting back in 2013 and 2014, when our founding four team members first embarked upon their college journeys and—unbeknownst to them at the time—their struggles with student debt.
Beginning with our first co-founder Briana Franklin, the basis for TPP sprouted as a result of her graduating with $116K+ in student loans and subsequently being subject to the pitfalls of such inundation.
Over the course of her first three years post-graduation, she experienced adversity at every turn (including inability to establish financial security/ independence, difficulty securing well-paying, long-term career opportunities, and having to abandon prior entrepreneurial ventures to take on part-time jobs as a means of staying current on student debt payments).
Then—three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, when the world found itself at a second standstill following the horrific murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd—Bri hatched the idea for The Prosp(a)rity Project, bringing Cori Lopez, Matthew Morales, and Ashley Wells on board to round out the founding team and help lead the way.
The Prosp(a)rity Project was constructed on the belief that Black girls and women deserve the opportunity to lead accomplished, abundant lives. This is a freedom that should be experienced by all but has been disproportionately difficult for this group to achieve due to the hurdles of systemic inequity, further fueled by misogynoir (the intersection of sexism and racism).
We’ve embarked on a mission to close the generational wealth gap that Black women posess that is partially created by the $2T predatory lending crisis.
In particular, we see that Black women pursue higher education at higher rates than other demographics, but still make on average 63-68 cents on the dollar compared to a white man. Due to lack of family wealth to help pay for college, Black women hold a disproportionate amount of student debt ($35B cumulatively), compounded by 35% average financial literacy rates.
Our innovative flagship program—the 35*2 Free Initiative—provides retroactive scholarships to qualified college-educated Black women (paid directly to their lenders) in combination with a year-long program of financial guidance and career coaching to serve as a catalyst to help these women move measurably toward financial freedom and success.
The Prosp(a)rity Project is guided by a vision of furthering our presence as the leading nonprofit dedicated to nurturing, uplifting, and advancing Black women, and ultimately positioning them to pay it forward to their communities and next generations.