Chief among present challenges is the struggle for educational attainment. Nearly 42 percent of Louisville’s working-age adults have college degrees—that is not enough. Just over 60 percent of high school seniors are college or career ready at the time of their graduation—that is not enough. Only half of Louisville’s children enter the education system with sufficient early childhood education and development—that is definitely not enough. It is simultaneously galling and heartening to learn that these figures represent significant improvements on previous years. Nevertheless, that great host of committed Louisville residents is working eagerly to raise these rates, to guarantee that Louisville is doing enough, to ensure that a full education and a prosperous future are not the equivalent of race odds at Churchill Downs but the birthrights of every person throughout the city.
In this endeavor, Mayor Greg Fischer has established and promoted a ‘Cradle to Career’ initiative to support students’ education and transition to stable, sustainable employment. The initiative relies on the work of leaders in early childhood care, primary and secondary education, postsecondary education, and the workforce. Leading efforts on postsecondary education and supporting several efforts that reach beyond that purview is the organization 55,000 Degrees. Through a verifiable, data-driven process, 55,000 Degrees—or ‘55K’—encourages current students to achieve greater educational enrichment and strives to improve the system in which those students receive their education, making it more accessible.
55K is an organization saturated with committed Louisvillians, as is the Office of the Mayor. Each day these people labor, stretching every sinew with aplomb, for the betterment of Louisville. It is an honor to support and to join them in their efforts, and a joy to see the munificence that animates their every action.
55,000 Degrees AmeriCorps VISTA
Education Resource Coordinator
Louisville Metro Government