2022 Annual Letter: Bigger. Stronger. Better.
Here we are, celebrating year two!
Would you believe we’ve conquered another lap around the sun and another year in this boxing ring against racial/gender equity, financial illiteracy…and of course, the student debt crisis?
Last summer and fall were full of changes, as we:
Gained tremendous additions to our advisory board and programming division
Brought together our first group of financial coaches for our 35*2 Free Initiative and
Held our first in-person fundraiser, which generated over $60K in donations
Each are all great strides that wouldn’t have been possible without the diligence of our passionate leadership and advisory teams or the support of our key community partners such as Goldman Sachs, who through their One Million Black Women Initiative have opened up countless doors through both provision of direct capital and inviting us into spaces unimaginable, such as the launch event celebrating the first mobile bus for Eat. Learn. Play., founded by *the* Stephen and Ayesha Curry and the prestigious Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit.
As we transitioned into 2022, the blessings have continued pouring in, with additional support flowing from grants issued by the Workday Foundation, Black Girls Social Club and the Oppenheimer Family Foundation, which have collectively helped fast-track us to reach our most significant milestone yet: finally launching our first 35*2 Free Initiative Prosparette cohort in April!
We are most fortunate to be serving 12 exceptional women: Alexis, Anjel, Ashley, Brandea, Grace-Cecile, Jasmine, Joana, Paloma, Rita, Sabrina, Shantel and Teresa—all on their own unique journey to financial freedom and working to remove the shackles of their combined $1.01M student loan debt, one payment at a time. (Click here to visit their profiles and learn more about their stories.)
And as we move through our first run of the program, set to conclude in December, we are simultaneously keeping vigilant on the central question for what lies ahead: how do we come back even bigger and better for round 2?
Our hope is to more than double the next cohort to 25 Prosparettes and operate the program in a single region so as to switch to a hybrid format that’s more conducive to free-flowing, organic interactions between members and coaches.
But, funding 25 retroactive scholarships will require upwards of $250,000, which is why we are asking for the help of our community as we strive to reach this goal by our target of December 2022.
With your help, we can ensure that fewer Black women are confronted with the dilemma of choosing between keeping up with student loan payments and keeping food on the table or forced to indefinitely delay starting/expanding their families and that they can instead enjoy more prosp(a)rous, abundant livelihoods and do more in/for their communities. (Make a contribution here.)
We hope you’ll continue to join us in our fight to #defeatdisparity and eagerly look forward to what year 3 holds in store!
Yours in pursuit,
~Briana “Bri” Franklin
Co-Founder, President & CEO of The Prosp(a)rity Project