Benjamin Fresquez is a program manager with the College Excellence Program, where he supports the American Talent Initiative (ATI) and other innovative new programs addressing quality, equity, and efficiency in higher education. ATI is a Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported alliance of 120+ public and private four-year institutions united in a shared goal of enrolling, supporting, and graduating 50,000 additional talented, lower-income students across the country by 2025. ATI is the College Excellence Program’s signature four-year initiative, and in collaboration with Ithaka S+R – a higher education consulting firm – provides research, convening, and coordination support to the operations of ATI.
As a collective impact practitioner, Ben has expertise in setting strategy and executing activities for backbone organizations that align cross-sector partnerships under a common agenda to tackle complex social problems. Ben’s work fosters the commitment of partners to shared goals, facilitates research and knowledge sharing to inform institutional practice, and cultivates relationships and the community needed to affect large-scale change
Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Ben coordinated major projects for a binational youth engagement initiative across southern New Mexico, west Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. In that role, Ben launched the Borderland Out-of-School Time (BOOST) Network, a collaborative of agencies in the Paso del Norte region working to reduce youth “disconnection” through afterschool and summer programming. Ben has also managed volunteer and community engagement programs for nationally-affiliated non-profit organizations and developed a Volunteer Services Program for a newly-opened pediatric hospital in west Texas. Ben holds a B.S. in health promotion from the University of Texas – El Paso.