Success is about a lot more than getting to college.

So are we.

That’s why we changed our name. On January 2, 2018, we became CFES Brilliant Pathways.

It’s a name that reflects our heritage – after all, we’ve been known as CFES for years – as well as the promise we make to the educators, funders, Scholars and so many others who place their trust in us. Brilliant Pathways are what we’re confident each of the students we offer guidance will find: A bright light ahead, a path forward, a future they can charge into with purpose rather than waiting for purpose to find them.

When we became College for Every Student, we chose that name to show how fervently we believe in the power of higher education to halt the cycle of poverty. Statistics showed then, and still do now, that individuals with college degrees earn far more than people who don’t. Today, the best, highest-paying new jobs being created demand college graduates to fill them.

But while the need for college hasn’t changed, our methods have. Because simply going to college, we recognized long ago, isn’t enough. Once there, students need to graduate.

And simply graduating isn’t enough, either. We must help students come to a clear understanding of what they want to accomplish in their lives – and a vision of how they can make those goals come true.

There’s always been a group who would argue that college isn’t, in fact, for every student. Or that the traditional, four-year version of college most people envision when they hear the word isn’t always the best route. Our goal, though, has never been that every student pick the same path. Rather, our goal has been that they have the choice. And even though our name is changing, it doesn’t mean for a second that we think college is any less important.

As our CFES Scholars identify the pathways leading where they want to go, we expect them to include college. Sometimes, that direction will include a traditional, four-year degree; others, it will be through a community college, or other vocational program. If the choice supports their path, then we’ve done our job.

Ultimately, college and career readiness is at the heart of what we do. The mentoring relationships we foster, our focus on the Essential Skills, and our emphasis on empowering students to find a path that suits their talents and skills each make it clear: The CFES way produces caring, capable young men and women with the confidence to chart their own paths forward and the talent to succeed.