By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager
To prepare students to succeed in post-secondary education, one nonprofit CEO says they need excellent early childhood education.
“You learn so many life lessons when you are four to six years old,” said John Jones, president & CEO of Hope Toledo, a 501(c) 3 organization that helps children obtain high-quality early childhood education through Pre-K and post-secondary training in college or trade schools. “In that pre-K and kindergarten space, you are learning life lessons that you can take with you to college.”
In 2020 Society President & CEO Scott Wiley, CAE, announced a three-part commitment to end racism and help create a business environment that offers equal opportunity to all. The plan consists of CEO leadership, organizational commitment – which includes a $100,000 pledge for initiatives – and advancing public policy.
In continuation of its commitment, OSCPA’s Board of Directors has approved a $20,000 investment in Hope Toledo, an organization dedicated to ensuring high-quality education from preschool to post-secondary and trade school as a means of creating generational economic change for the Toledo community.
“We're grateful for the support and this investment is directly going to help us on our post- secondary side,” Jones said. “Oftentimes, we can support a family or a student with scholarship dollars. But other times, it is the $100 unexpected expense, the unexpected car repair, that slows a kid from navigating through the post-secondary space.”
He joined the State of Business podcast to discuss the work Hope Toledo is doing along with the impact of the support from OSCPA.
Quality childhood education is so critical, Jones said, because falling behind can create a domino effect throughout adolescence that can ultimately impact educational opportunities after high school.
“When post-secondary pursuits lag, this means their income is going to lag, which means they will most likely become tax consumers versus being taxed producers,” Jones said. “And when you think about this from an economic development perspective and a state of business for Ohio and our community’s good, it's crucial that we get all of our children off to a strong educational start.”