Children & Youth

Ed Moscovitch  and Barbara Gardner , Bay State Reading Institute
Bay State Reading Institute
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011

On a trip to Alabama in 2004, former Massachusetts state budget director Ed Moscovitch observed a revolutionary approach to help children from poor homes learn to read by providing their teachers with data, coaching and sustained support.

Soon after, Moscovitch sat down with Barbara Gardner, former associate commissioner of school readiness in the state’s Department of Education. They etched out a plan to do the same in Massachusetts. They launched the Bay State Reading Institute (BSRI) in eight schools in fall 2006.

Donald Lombardi , Institute for Pediatric Innovation
Founder and CEO
Institute for Pediatric Innovation
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011

Imagine a 2-pound baby in a hospital neonatal intensive care unit with a breathing tube secured to her body with adhesive tape. Later, when the nurse removes the tape, the infant's fragile skin tears. Or picture a child with hypertension who gags on the foul-tasting concoction he must take every day for the rest of his life. He refuses to take the drugs, and his treatment stops.

Mimi  Levin Lieber , Literacy Inc.
Literacy Inc.
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011

In 1997 Mimi Lieber, founder of Lieber Attitude Research Inc., a consumer and public opinion research organization serving numerous Fortune 500 companies, tapped into her long-standing interest to promote childhood literacy in disadvantaged New York City neighborhoods.

Jan Lepore-Jentleson , East End Community Services
Executive Director
East End Community Services
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011

One afternoon in 1997, Jan Lepore-Jentleson, then the building inspection superintendent for Dayton, Ohio, found herself utterly discouraged.

“I remember deciding that I was fed up wasting my time being a bureaucrat, pushing paper and accomplishing little of value for the people living in Dayton’s poorest neighborhoods,” she says.

It was at that moment that she decided to quit her job and launch a nonprofit community development organization spur change.

Gail Johnson Vaughan , Mission Focused Solutions
Executive Director
Mission Focused Solutions
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011

During the 20 years she ran an adoption agency in California, which has the highest number of foster children in the nation, Gail Johnson Vaughan was routinely dismayed by the assumption – common among professionals in the foster care system – that finding permanent homes for teens was nearly impossible.

“I found myself thinking that my job was keeping me from doing my work – using my experience, connections and learned wisdom to influence transformative systemic improvements in child welfare,” Vaughn says.

Phillip Jackson , The Black Star Project
Executive Director
The Black Star Project
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011

Raised by his grandmother in Chicago’s public housing, Phillip Jackson spent most of his childhood learning to hustle on 43rd St., moving through 11 Chicago public schools and dropping out of college. That was until a young philosophy professor mentored him, helping him turn his life around.

Kathryn S. Hanson , ALearn
Founder and CEO
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011

When her son was in high school, Kathryn Hanson, a chief marketing officer in Silicon Valley, was taken aback by statistics that showed his low-income classmates were rarely enrolled in advanced placement courses. Low-income and minority students have the lowest high school graduation rates in Santa Clara County, Calif., with only 70 percent of Latino students graduating from high school, and of those, only 26 percent have met the requirements to even apply to a public university.

Michael A. Gould , New Futures
Founder and President
New Futures
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011

In 1999, Michael Gould’s brother, Allen, made a dying wish. He wanted Gould to use $700,000 from his estate to help low-income youth in Washington, D.C. “I am leaving $700,000 to charity and am too tired now to figure out what to do with it,” he told Gould. “I know you are interested in the community and young people, and I trust you to put it to good use.”

Betty Jo Gaines , Bright Beginnings Inc.
Executive Director
Bright Beginnings Inc.
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011

Toward the end of her 30-year tenure at the Washington, D.C., Department of Parks and Recreation, Betty Jo Gaines noted an increasing number of homeless families with children. Known for her warmth and passion for families, she started a childcare program in response. So it’s no surprise that once she retired from the department, she became executive director in 2001 of Bright Beginnings Inc., which provides education, therapeutic, health and family support services for homeless children and their families.

Paul Chuk , Sustainable Schools International
Cambodia Program Director
Sustainable Schools International
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011

A native Cambodian who worked and raised a family in the U.S. for almost 30 years, Paul Chuk knew that educating children in rural areas had long been a problem in Cambodia, a country still recovering from the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. Because of teacher absenteeism or unaffordable fees, 80 percent of Cambodian children drop out of school between third and sixth grades. So when Chuk lost his job as an ATM technician in 2008, he returned to Cambodia to help.

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