In 2019, Ashley McMichael founded the Innovative Academy of Liberal Arts and Sciences (IALAS) to design and implement a repeatable model that aims to close racial wealth and achievement gaps.
Racial wealth and achievement gaps have created cycles of poverty for low-income families across the United States. Despite Washington, D.C. receiving $15 billion in revenue, these rates have remained unchanged since 1990, creating almost inescapable cycles of poverty. The effects of poverty cause community violence, poor academic performance, mental health disorders, and overall poor quality of life. Only 20% of middle school aged students are college and career ready, per reading and math per 2019 PARCC scores, and many lack access to enrichment opportunities that could accelerate and bolster performance. In essence, the lack of resources available to parents today, will be the fate of their children as well; therefore, our work supports the two-generations.
IALAS is a 2 generation organization workforce development organization that aims to close racial wealth and achievement gaps by providing pathways to STEAM(Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship , Arts, and Mental Health) careers for students and parents East of River in the District of Columbia. Our work is accomplished in two ways: 1) Cybersecurity Pathways Fellowship 2) After-school STEAM enrichment for grades 4-8.