I have seen first-hand the benefits of helping those inspired youth that are less fortunate. We have a duty and responsibility to help shape future leaders who need a helping hand to serve their community.
I was fortunate to be raised by supportive parents who came from lower-income families with an appreciative and aspirational mentality. Hard work, family, education, and community are the key attributes that my parents emphasized. My family was a part of a community that offered a unique view of how diversity can be an empowering tool for success. We were surrounded by families with various ethnic backgrounds, and I learned from them that we had more in common than we had differences. The shared experiences of my youth interwoven with this tapestry of diversity created a powerful vision for working with others to improve our communities.
My mother and sisters had an especially strong influence on my upbringing. We spent a lot of time together, and my sisters and I watched as my mother sacrificed and worked hard for a better life driven by her passion for education.
My father emphasized the same attributes while pointing out the importance of enjoying the journey. Both of my parents became educators and shining examples of what is possible when you have a clear vision for a better tomorrow. I learned through my sisters that shared experiences and accomplishments make our achievements more powerful and meaningful. Together, our family experienced all the normal undulations of family life and childhood, and ultimately, each of us found our own path to success. The idea of the “American Dream” was a cherished beacon for my family that allowed each of us to seek our own dreams limited only by our imagination and willingness to sacrifice for the things that were important to us.
As a result of our own success, we started For A Bright Future as a formal structure for my family to work cooperatively in shaping the direction of our philanthropic interests.