I’m very grateful to have found my calling in life: to be in an industry and leading a business focused on creating economic opportunity for others. I’m excited every day to take on new challenges to advance this goal, by creating opportunities for home ownership. It’s a truly inspiring mission.
While I work on contributing to economic opportunity at the local level, I have a deep concern about the economic future of our nation. Our educational system at times struggles, challenging the promise of a strong economic future for our country.
In my opinion, one of the most important ways people are enabled to succeed is through education, beginning at the earliest stages. Education forms the basis of opportunity for our children and is the most critical instrument that contributes to our economic growth. We need to invest in the earliest stages of our kids’ development. Therein lie the seeds of our economic future and social well-being.
Several studies over the past years have pointed to the positive contribution that quality education makes toward a nation’s GDP. One paper from the National Institute of Educational Research published in 2015 noted that a 10% increase in spending per student over a 12-year education led to “7.25% higher wages”, and 3.67% “reduction in the annual incidence of adult poverty”. Other articles cite studies by The World Bank, which indicate that on average globally, for every $1 spent on education there is a $20 increase in GDP.
I don't think it's mystifying to understand that well-educated kids grow up to be contributing adults in society, opening businesses, making scientific break-throughs, innovating new products and advancing our quality of life. Although we have schools that do provide the quality of education that lays the foundation for this kind of success, not all kids have equal access to these schools and low-income families in particular can be challenged.
Every child deserves a good education and there are a number of ways we can improve. I believe I found an exceptional program in ACE Scholarships. This non-profit addresses the need to bring financially disadvantaged children a quality education. Through the creation of a partnership with parents, private schools and private donors, ACE provides scholarships that allow deserving kids to get a quality education. Their success rate has been phenomenal, and today 90% of their students graduate high school and 73% go on to college.
Today ACE supports scholarships for 2,000 students in Colorado, with the goal of increasing that over the next two years, to achieve 3,000 scholarships in 2020. While this is not the only means to address the problems in education in our nation, it is one that I believe is making a difference today.
Knowing I’m contributing to my community through this dynamic organization further inspires me and I’m hopeful that as a nation, as well as locally, we will begin to address our educational shortfall in more productive ways. We must be equipped to offer all students - all of our kids and grandkids - better economic opportunity and their best chance to improve their quality of life, and that of their children. In so doing, we build a stronger community and a stronger nation.