Frederick Douglass, the great orator and leader of the 19th century abolitionist movement, is recognized for his steadfast and determined work for emancipation. He advanced this cause through self-taught reading and writing, and he also used these skills to call for the full participation of African-Americans in the education system.

Although Douglass’ goal of equal access to education is ostensibly a reality, we must not forget that too many of our children inherit a world where access to quality education is out of their control. Without this pathway to opportunity, many children fall into a cycle of financial hardship that can be difficult to escape. Fortunately, today’s technologies offer us a vehicle to break this cycle and move more children and families of all backgrounds toward brighter futures.

Many children grow up in households where their parents are excluded from the mainstream economic system. According to a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation report, nearly 30 percent of families in the New York City area lack or have only limited access to traditional financial resources. For African-American families in the United States’ largest city, this figure grows to 53 percent.

Read more: Opportunity for all through financial inclusion  | New York Amsterdam News: The new Black view