TSS Blog

Inside Equity with FUTURO, Inc.

What is your organization’s mission, and how does it support Tennessee’s students?

Our mission as an inclusive college-success professional-development organization is to help prepare and cultivate opportunities for growth, professional development, and civic engagement within college Latino students that aspire to be leaders in their communities and respective professions. We foster opportunities for economic mobility while instilling a sense of community and resilience. 

In Middle Tennessee, the highest population growth in the past ten years in persons under the age of 18 has come from Hispanic youth with over a 20% increase. FUTURO was born out of the need to help disparage inequities and increase economic mobility to this at-risk population. We have been around since 2011 and are in colleges and universities across Middle Tennessee. We have over 500 alumni who have graduated from the program.

What desired impact does your organization have for its community? How does that impact influence your organization’s goals?

Our work is made possible by our “familia,” student leaders, professional mentors, volunteers, engaged alumni, corporate and community partners who provide students with guidance and inspiration, as well as opportunities for job shadowing, networking, internships, and employment.

FUTURO works to help students obtain a degree in one hand, and a job offer in the other. Our students are 80 percent Latino and 90 percent are first-generation college students. They have a lot of pressure to be successful and they believe that it can be done with a college education. With hundreds of students graduating from the program, our students are nurses, business leaders, scientists, techies, engineers, accountants, community organizers, advocates, entrepreneurs, lawyers, teachers, and what they all have in common is that they learned to lead, serve, and connect. 

We know that a college education is the greatest agent of change for economic mobility. The work we do every day with racial and ethnic minorities contributes not only to my students’ welfare but to nurturing a thriving and more successful and more globally interconnected community.

How can those interested get involved in the work you’re doing?

FUTURO is a great way to get involved with a diverse group of young ambitious leaders. We are always looking to expand our “familia.” Anyone interested in engaging with our students and alumni whether that’s leaders, professional mentors, volunteers, corporate and/or community partners. We need a community that can provide students with guidance and inspiration, as well as opportunities for job shadowing, networking, internships, and employment.

FUTURO receives support through private sector sponsors, corporate social responsibility grants, diversity and inclusion grants, donations, and employer advisory board member fees.

We are currently expanding our grant writing to other organizations and charitable funding. We will continue to solicit corporate and private sector businesses for opportunities to support our program as well. 

We also accept donations, to contribute please visit our website: https://futuroisnow.com/ 

If you are interested in getting involved with FUTURO, please contact me at jennifer.novo@futuroisnow.com or by phone at 615-601-0783. 

Jennifer Novo is the Executive Director of FUTURO, Inc, a college-success professional development organization in Middle-Tennessee and Client Executive for Culture Shift Team. Jennifer has nearly twenty years of experience working with college students. Her work has focused on student retention, access, success, equity, diversity, and inclusion. While in higher education, she’s held various roles including Director of Student Success/Academic Enrichment, Student Retention Specialist, and Dean of Student Success. She serves on the Education Trust of Tennessee Higher Education Policy Council. She earned a Master of Science Degree in Higher Education Administration from Florida International University. She is proud of her Latina roots, she is a first-generation American and college graduate.

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