Vincent Jelani

Did you know there are roughly 220 million people here in the states whose annual income is less than $50,000 per year? That is almost 75 percent of the entire U.S. population.

While so many individuals are trapped within low incomes, the average annual cost of tuition for a four year degree is roughly $22,000. The discrepancy between these two numbers illustrates an important problem that needs to be addressed within higher education. As a four year college degree continues to be the minimum education level requirement for most professional jobs, the affordability of higher education is crucial for mid to low-income families.

Leaders from both political parties have stated that the added value of a college degree has nearly doubled since 20 years ago. Unfortunately, today only 30 percent of mid to low income students enroll in college after high school, and far worse, by their mid-twenties, only 9 percent earn a bachelor’s degree. So what happens to the rest of them? And how can the United States lead in the 21st century unless it has the best educated and most competitive workforce in the world?

These statistics highlight the need to increase the number of graduates from Universities within the United States. While one solution that increases the affordability of higher education may not work for all families, it can begin a focused movement that can produce better results for the future.

Vincent’s commitment and support to various nonprofit organizations stems from his childhood experiences. As a son of a former professor, author and a former United Nations Research Director for Tuberculosis, Vincent traveled extensively throughout the world with his family. Visiting many countries exposed Vincent and his six siblings to poor living conditions. Personally coming in contact with families facing numerous struggles left lasting impressions that continue to spark Vincent and his family’s desire to improve the lives of individuals on a grand scale.

Vincent Jelani’s professional career consists of roughly 9 years in Finance and 2 years in Business and Sales Development. Throughout his career, Vincent has learned valuable lessons from his colleagues and mentors but more importantly has developed lifelong friendships.

Vincent Jelani Merrill Lynch – In 2011, Vincent Jelani left Merrill Lynch to further educate himself and gain valuable tools from the academic areas of finance and global markets. He immersed himself into the academic path in effort to combine his professional experience, extensive network of close friends, and personal convictions to make a difference in the world.