Opportunity means something different to everyone. People live and thrive in every neighborhood. So how do we at NestQuest determine opportunity for the families who choose to work with us?
Our program is based on a body of research which demonstrated that the neighborhood in which children grow up, can set the foundations for how they do as adults. They found that while opportunity does exist everywhere in the country. Some areas appear to have more of it than others. Children from low-income families who move to better neighborhoods, are found to have increased lifetime earnings as opposed to children who never moved.
Expected Lifetime Outcomes
NestQuest is in it’s third year of operation and the success of our program will be measured over a lifetime. However, using the Opportunity Atlas and data from program applicants, we can look at expected outcomes for children who grow up in neighborhoods that families who applied to our program are looking to move out of and the expected outcomes of families that live where we move NestQuest families to.
When we look at this data, we find, on average, the children, of low income families, who never left their neighborhood, had average household incomes of $30,000 per year. However, when we look at low-income children who grow up in a higher income neighborhoods, we find an average household income of $38,000 per year. Children from low-income households who grow up in the neighborhoods that NestQuest places families in will, on average, earn 27% higher household incomes.
In addition to moving families to neighborhoods with higher incomes. NestQuest only works with properties zoned to schools that are ranked B or higher by Children at Risk. Strong research by Moving to Educational Opportunity has demonstrated that even though low-income children who attend high-performing, low-poverty schools demonstrate better academic results. There are significant barriers to equal access to high-performing schools for low-income families. Participation in the NestQuest program means every child in our program is moved from under-performing schools to the best schools in the Houston region.
Opportunity for All
This is what opportunity means to NestQuest. We work closely with families seeking a brighter future for their children. We support them in accessing safe homes, low-poverty neighborhoods and excellent education. By working with property managers and government agencies, we work within existing programs and processes to give families the key to a better chance for their children.