Today, our society faces startling disparities in terms of access to quality education. It is incumbent on all of us who have benefited from a quality education to ensure that it is a universal right and not a selective privilege. To this end, I see GPI as promoting educational and learning initiatives for under-served and under-privileged communities. This does not mean lowering educational standards or otherwise compromising on key components of learning. Instead, it means lifting people up and helping to level the playing field so that all who desire a quality education have access to one.
Learning does not end at high school graduation. Instead, it is a life-long commitment. As such, GPI is committed to supporting educational initiatives that support children and adults. It is never to late for people to realize their full potential and maximize the contribution that they can make to society. We should never give up on people who wish to improve their lives and the lives of their families. One of the most effective means to do so is through education and learning.
As the program director for Gordon Philanthropies, I am truly honored and excited to join a foundation whose mission and vision is to see children first and foremost as partners in shaping a literacy program to support their academic efforts.
I have twenty years of non-profit experience and live by the words famously spoken by Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
In my personal life, I am a runner. Running is how I recharge my soul. And yes, I am an avid reader with an eclectic taste for various genres. The first book I read was in the first grade when I picked up a tattered, turquoise-colored hardcover book about Helen Keller’s life. I was lost in this incredible world of a young woman who was blind; I felt like I was in the room with Helen. All literature lovers know this feeling well. Getting lost in an amazing story is the power I want to share with our youth.
By being entrusted with this role, I will work tirelessly to advance Gordon Philanthropies’ core belief that every child deserves equitable access to a high-quality literacy program regardless of racial or socio-economic standing. Books are life changing, and learning to read is a basic human right. Gordon Philanthropies wants to add to the great work already begun by many organizations and foundations that have implemented literacy programs and advocated for reading equity, especially in historically marginalized communities. I am deeply grateful and honored to be in the company of an amazing group of advocates and justice seekers.