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“The more kids we have reaching their academic potential, feeling a stake in society, the better off we'll be as a country overall, ” says Howard Wolk, co-president of The Cross Country Group. 

Howard, a dedicated uAspire supporter for over 15 years, shares, "I was on the board of directors for many years, including when the organization changed its name from ACCESS to uAspire. I've always been very impressed with the work, mission, and the way the organization operates.”

His belief that “more kids need to find it easier to apply to college and for financial aid, and ultimately graduate" fuels his recent commitment to a Malden pilot program offering students financial incentives to complete steps in the financial aid process. Thanks to his philanthropic support, uAspire has increased the number of students who submit a FAFSA and review financial aid offers with their advisors. "Our main business is located in Medford, so supporting the community in our neighborhood was a natural choice," says Howard.

Noting uAspire's focus on first-generation students, Howard says, “For every family that has at least one member go to college, it makes a big difference, not just in that particular person's life, but in the life of the whole family environment. They have some tools to help other family members access benefits, health care, retirement savings, and other things that might seem daunting.”
“The more kids we have reaching their academic potential, feeling a stake in society, the better off we'll be as a country overall."
Howard’s gratitude for his educational journey has inspired his passion for uAspire’s mission. “I had a wonderful experience in public school and then had the good fortune to attend the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia Law School. I was very lucky that I did not have a financial issue and was very grateful for that.”

Looking ahead, Howard envisions uAspire's impact growing. "I'm hopeful we can get matriculation rates higher and see more kids continue through college and graduate. I also hope that the financial aid process becomes more seamless.” Ultimately, he envisions a future where “the kinds of things we're doing now to try to encourage kids to apply and to make it easier for them is something that they don't have to even worry about because the process will be that much simpler.”