January is National Mentoring Month

Check out http://www.mentoring.org, the website of MENTOR, a national non-profit organization devoted to increasing the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships for America’s young people. It makes the case for mentoring as follows: Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people … Continue reading January is National Mentoring Month

So, this is Christmas (and what have you done?)

John Lennon’s carol has become a Christmas standard. As the end of the year approaches, it hauntingly asks us what we have done to make the world a better place. It has universal appeal because it speaks to our highest aspirations. Lennon’s carol is short on strategy, however, and philanthropic literature is replete with examples of unfocused grant making. At the Johnson Scholarship Foundation we … Continue reading So, this is Christmas (and what have you done?)

Affirmation

We recently celebrated national Native American Heritage Month in November, and it offered us another opportunity to reflect upon the Johnson Scholarship Foundation’s mission to Indigenous People and its strategy to execute it. We have focused on business education since the mid-1990s, beginning with the Tribal College Entrepreneurship Scholarship, which is still our flagship program in Indian Country. The idea was that business education would … Continue reading Affirmation

What is an ‘Indian Giver?’

Do you remember during your childhood when someone gave you something but then took it back? The person might have been called an “Indian giver.” The term was always hurtful for me because I knew firsthand the generosity of American Indian people. At our ceremonies, it has always been a custom to have what we call “giveaways,” a tradition of honoring and respecting others by … Continue reading What is an ‘Indian Giver?’

Concentrating Focus for Results

The Johnson Scholarship Foundation stresses the importance of adhering to a strategy to achieve results. We concentrate on education for disadvantaged people so that they may obtain better employment and a better life. Over the past few years the most expensive of our discretionary programs has been the Johnson Scholars Program at the Palm Beach County School District. It has averaged nearly $400 thousand annually … Continue reading Concentrating Focus for Results

The Fading American Dream

Raj Chetty is a professor of economics at Stanford University and has been recognized by the American Economic Association as the best American economist under age 40. His current research focuses on equality of opportunity: how can we give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances of succeeding? Professor Chetty’s research shows that the American dream of upward mobility is fading. An American child from a … Continue reading The Fading American Dream