In honor of Giving Tuesday, our board is matching private donations dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,000. This is the first time in four years we’re actively seeking individual contributions and we hope you’ll give what you can, no matter the amount, at

Since its founding, Achieve Hartford has worked to serve low-income, underserved people, most of whom are people of color. The pandemic has revealed to the wider population what we knew and have been working to address for 12 years: Children growing up in low-income households have less likelihood of starting and completing college, no matter how hard working and intelligent they are.

“We believe, with the right supports and encouragement, every high school student can get on a path to reaching their potential,” says Paul Diego Holzer, executive director. “The students we mentor are grateful to their mentors for helping them beat the odds and start and persist in college. We’re grateful to our funders for helping make our work possible.”

In the words of our mentor, Isis Murillo Bravo, a Manchester Community College student, a big part of her job is reassuring first-generation students that their struggles and self-doubt are universal. When they tell her they can’t find the time to do their homework and are ready to drop out, “I calm them down and help them understand those feelings are valid. We all go through them. I make sure they know they’re not alone,” she says. “I tell them, because they’re learning to feel comfortable asking questions, they’re ahead of their peers.”