Q&A with Wendy DuBoe: How You Can Invest In Education

Q: What do you hope to see in Chicagoland’s education system in the next decade? A: I hope in the next decade we have evolved our public education system so kids everywhere will have the opportunity to receive a great education, graduate high school ready for college and/or work, and parents/family are involved in supporting this to happen from the very beginning. This, more than anything, will break the cycle of poverty in our urban areas. Q: In your opinion, what are the 3 ways people can help make a difference in education in Chicagoland? A: 1) Focus on the fact that no individual, community or society can flourish without a good education system. We quote John Dewey in our Education Investment Plan, “Education is not preparation for life; it is life itself.” 2) Get involved to be part of the solution in some way: Join the PTA, tutor, mentor, donate books or resources….Pay attention, care about the issue and take at least one step to make a difference. 3) Support United Way’s Education Initiative commitment to mobilize high-quality pre-school resources and out-of-school middle school resources in United Way Partner Communities. Q: Who is someone that you think is a hero in education that most people don’t know of? A: Susan Duncan , the mother of our Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. She was a public school teacher and he credits her with instilling the passion for public education in him. She also founded The Sue Duncan Children’s Center, a non-profit organization on the South Side of Chicago founded in 1961. The center runs afterschool and summer programs to provide children of all ages free tutoring and academic support. Q: In 3 words describe United Way’s Education Initiative. A: KIDS SUCCEED EARLY!

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