Building Equitable Pathways

At a Glance

JFF is partnering with organizations across the country to equip all young people with the tools they need to move seamlessly from education to careers, especially Black and Latinx youth and young people who are experiencing poverty.





Areas of Work
  • Ensuring Equity in Advancement
Experts Involved
In progress
  • CO
  • IL
  • LA
  • NY
  • TN
  • WA


This work, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to provide youth with the information and support they need to make informed choices for their futures—especially young people who have too often been denied access to these key resources. The goal is to dramatically increase the number of young people, ages 14 to 24, who are Black, Latinx, or experiencing poverty, who have the agency, social capital, skills, and credentials needed to thrive in the workforce and in life. A deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion stands at the heart of this initiative.

We must equip all young people with the tools to move seamlessly from education to careers. JFF is thrilled . . . to lead this work to strengthen national systems of high-quality college and career pathways for youth who are Black, Latinx, and experiencing poverty.

Amy Loyd, Vice President, JFF

JFF is working with seven intermediary organizations to share, co-create, improve upon, and codify best practices and exciting innovations in the role of intermediary organizations focused on building equitable pathways.

Our co-leads, Equal Measure, Mission Minded, and Square Button, are providing the intermediaries with high-quality expert support in evaluation, communication, and sustainability planning, respectively. Equal Measure strengthens how organizations design, implement, evaluate, and communicate the program, policy, and systems change they seek. Mission Minded is a branding firm that works exclusively with nonprofit organizations to uncover the big, bold idea that will attract more people to their work. Square Button draws on its operational and project management expertise to help organizations build and grow to their full potential.


JFF is leading and learning with seven intermediary organizations across the country that serve diverse youth.

The seven intermediary organizations involved in this initiative are working to strengthen national systems of high-quality college and career pathways to better serve young people who are Black, Latinx, and experiencing poverty.

Intermediaries are critical to the cross-sector collaboration required for building systems and scaling work-based learning. They play a key role in bringing together leaders in K-12 and postsecondary education, industry, and government to forge partnerships, craft strategies, and source funding to develop college and career pathways.

Key Hypotheses

The six hypotheses listed below were created to guide the development of pathways that equitably support all young people, especially youth of color and youth who are experiencing poverty, in building rewarding and fruitful futures.

The Building Equitable Pathways intermediary partners committed to testing the six hypotheses in their work. Though none of the intermediaries fully built out all six hypotheses during the first year of this work, each provides a useful example of how the hypotheses work in the real world.


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