Creating Our Future

Education

BY JENNIFER VIGNE SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY MAR 12, 2016

What does our future hold? And, how are we preparing for it? It’s indisputable the speed in which change is occurring, knowing today will look different than tomorrow and even more drastically in 10, 20 and 30 years. It is mind-blowing to read forecasts on population growth, where the population  in the state of Florida alone is projected to increase by 30 percent with an additional 6 million people living here by 2030 (The total population of Florida was 6 million in 1970). Add to the population growth the fact that people are living longer than ever before, and it’s easy to determine that’s a whole lot of people converging together to impact roadways, wetlands and other natural resources. Businesses, non-profits and governmental agencies are addressing the pressing demands of globalization and technological advances in a 24/7 world. More people than ever are shopping online with companies tracking shopping behaviors to make future purchase predictions. Socio-economic class gaps are growing at a faster pace than ever before with visible evidence of the widening disparities in the economic spectrum. Protecting our nation from domestic and international harm is a harsh reality we face, and this presidential election alone has illustrated the tenor of the American people and their fear and uncertainty of this very future. 

So what are we to do? Dr. Seuss said it best in The Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” 

The opportunity before us is magnificent indeed and that is to create the future that lies before us, and we need your help. 

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County, a non-profit philanthropic partner of the Sarasota County Public Schools, is committed to prepare every student for success in tomorrow’s world. As such, when I began my role as the executive director of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County four months ago, I embarked on a listening tour to better understand how the Education Foundation can better serve its community and prepare for the future by supporting our public schools, teachers and students with our very best efforts. Educational attainment for all children has never been more important than now. 

Education is also a community issue and the Education Foundation is ready to ignite a conversation to that end. We seek to dig deeper, engage a multitude of voices, learn together and raise the volume on the value and importance of education for all children in today’s world. We seek solution-oriented people who are willing to have honest conversations and unite together while embracing the tenets of 21st century skills we are instilling in our children—creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication and character. We hope you will join us on this exciting learning journey. There’s so much more to come and we look forward to learning, innovating and transforming with you. 

Are you ready to dive in? Cannonball!

Jennifer Vigne is the executive director of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County

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