This January, I made the final contribution to the Inspiring a Vision of Learning endowment I set up with the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in 2017. Its purpose is to ensure that every child enrolled in a Wilder program has the necessary tools and supplies to begin the school year.
With the pandemic ravaging the country, the process became far more difficult. For the first of seven years, I adopted a specific Wilder program, Tools for School Success Backpack Drive, supplying backpacks filled with all the necessary materials students need to thrive in school. Now that vaccines are becoming available, I’m cautiously optimistic there will be a backpack drive this year – backpacks and supplies strewn across my house, and like-minded friends happy to pack them.
The existence of the endowment is poised to make sure children have access to those supplies well past my lifetime. It’s somewhat bittersweet to complete this endeavor but also exciting in contemplating the realm of possibilities for the future. Education and literacy are the foundations that allow people to lead productive, successful lives, and as a former educator, I am committed to facing those challenges.
The endowment isn’t really finished, simply this particular phase. I plan to continue supporting better education and literacy, as every child deserves the opportunity succeed in education the stepping stones for a productive life.