INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to social entrepreneurs and leaders of mission-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities, industries, and across the world.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I have the dream job of being CEO of the nonprofit, Bright by Three. Our organization equips parents and caregivers with tools and resources to promote the healthy development and early education of young children through our traditional visitation program in Colorado and Bright by Text nationally.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
At Bright by Three, we strive to make sure that every child is valued, healthy and ready to learn. During the earliest years of 0-5, a child’s brain is developing in a way that is faster and more complex than any other stage of life. Since parents and caregivers are children’s first and most important teachers, we want them to be prepared and confident as they embark on the incredible journey of raising a child.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
We are serving hard-to-reach and at-risk families across the nation with research-based informational texts that contain bite-sized developmental-targeted tips about 2-4 times per week to a caregiver’s cell phone through Bright by Text. We now reach more than 35,000 families across the nation with a goal of 250,000 by 2020! Close to 37% of families who receive our program are low-income and 12% identify as informal caregivers. In 2017 surveys, 95% of Bright by Text respondents report they know the positive behaviors that support a child’s language and socio-emotional development after participating in Bright by Text. We partner with organizations across the country to connect parents with local events and resources according to a family’s zip code such as flu shot clinics, kindergarten registration, free museum days, library story times, and more to strengthen communities and social networks for the benefit of both caregivers and local organizations.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
Former Procter & Gamble Chairman Brad Butler and Colorado Governor Roy Romer founded Bright Beginnings with the mission of making Colorado the best state to raise a child. Today under the name, Bright by Three, we continue that commitment to improve early childhood development and strengthen family interactions for all children. A parent from Brooklyn, NY, said this about our program: “I am so glad to have discovered this fountain of wisdom! As a new parent, I often lacked confidence in my parenting skills or was ambivalent in which trends to follow. With the advice that Bright By Text brings, I know that I am providing my child with stimulating and fun activities. The tips and info given come from experts which makes it foolproof. I like the simple yet effective tasks that can be done on the go and with minimal materials.”
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
While our mission is universal, we focus on serving the most vulnerable families whose young ones are at-risk for an early childhood developmental delay. It’s hard to be a caregiver, first time or otherwise, so we join with families to give them the tools they need. There will never be a complete instruction manual for raising a child, but with hundreds of messages on a variety of topics Bright by Text, comes pretty close. We want to reach more families across the U.S. with our program. Our vision is that every child will be healthy, valued and ready to learn.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
Our efforts are bolstered by an incredible network of partners in the health, education and social services and public media, as well as private donations. These connections enable us to reach families in communities across Colorado and in other states. We’re currently looking for partners who want to bring Bright by Text to their community. If you’re interested, email or call us!
We also rely on funding from foundations and donations from individuals who believe in our mission to help all families give kids a bright beginning so they can grow into healthy, happy and successful adults. We are developing an earned revenue model to transform Bright by Text into a social enterprise, and will be working with the Billions Institute throughout 2018 to further our plan to scale the program with greater impact.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
For 23 years, Bright by Three has delivered a visitation program to equip caregivers with essential tools to promote both their wellness and their child’s development. Since launching Bright by Text in 2014, we have developed a technology platform that can serve families more cost-effectively at scale and better deliver targeted localized text messages. The challenges that we face now are establishing Bright by Text in new regions with strong partners who are committed to the expansion of Bright by Text’s content.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
We believe that by creating a reliable network of partners, new organizations and leaders can maximize their impact and reach as well as gain valuable insight and expertise from community connections. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope for what is possible or what is expected in the current paradigm for education or social wellness. Dream big and dig deep!
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Donations fuel the evolution of our program and the distribution of information to families. Just $10 can provide Bright by Text to five families for a year. That can go a long way in making a difference! We also welcome new partners to support our work nationwide. Visit our website to find out how you can help.
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