Brennan’s Story: How the Bold Goals Coalition and United Way of Central Alabama aids progress in education, health and financial independence for many in the community

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Brennan (right) with an intervention math teacher who was hired through Bold Goals Coalition. Photo via United Way

Did you know that by fifth grade, summer learning loss can cause some students to fall up to three years behind in school? In addition, it is estimated that by the year 2020, over 60% of the jobs in Alabama will require some form of post-secondary education. These numbers can seem scary at first glance, but learning about how United Way of Central Alabama’s Bold Goals Coalition program can help.

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The Bold Goals Coalition helps students like Brennan in school and beyond. Photo via United Way

The Bold Goals Coalition is Here to Help

What is the Bold Goals Coalition?

“The Bold Goals Coalition is a community-based initiative to align resources, efforts and best practices in order to address disparities in education, health and financial stability.”

The program works with schools, nonprofits, businesses and government to make as improvements toward better education, health and financial stability for a wide array of people and communities.

One outstanding example of how Bold Goals’ education focus helps schools in the Blount County School System. Rodney Green, Superintendent praises Bold Goals for the way the school system has improved recently.

The county was able to use a grant from Bold Goals to hire intervention teachers in both math and reading to work with selected groups of students with positive results.

An intervention math teacher works with Brennan in the classroom. Photo via United Way

“We were hoping for a percentage point or two gain, and the minimum gain we had was four percent and highest was twelve percent. So, think about the impact that has in the long run on our district to do that kind of improvement in one year. It was very, very good for us.” – Mitchie Neel, Executive Director, Blount County Education Foundation

“In the two years that we’ve been doing the Bold Goals program, we’ve had roughly 20-25 students who have participated in it and we feel like we have made gains. We feel like these kids are more confident in math, and we do feel like it has been a successful program here at Cleveland High School.” – Chris Lakey, Principal, Cleveland High School

Currently, only 36.7% of Alabama’s working-age population has completed post-secondary education, a statistic that may be scary after learning about the forthcoming job statistic. Thankfully, Bold Goals and United Way of Central Alabama are working hard to make sure that more people are prepared and properly educated for their future. The work they are doing, with the help of donors in the community, is setting a course that will lead to thorough education and confidence for each person involved.

The Principle of Collective Impact 

“The Bold Goals Coalition of Central Alabama was founded on the principle of collective impact – the theory that social change can happen more quickly and effectively when a group of important actors from different sectors come together around a common agenda for solving a specific social problem.”

This foundation for the Bold Goals Coalition is the perfect description of the way the program operates. United Way of Central Alabama has created it in such a way that different companies, organizations and sectors of our community are coming together to build something greater than any one organization.

Learn more about United Way of Central Alabama and their Be The Change campaign. 

Brennan is feeling more confident than ever with the help of Bold Goals Coalition through United Way. Photo via United Way

Brennan: The Impact That Bold Goals Can Have

Brennan, a student at Cleveland High School, is a strong example of the way the Bold Goals Coalition works. Brennan was struggling in math and didn’t find it to be useful or important to her, but after working with a math intervention teacher, her outlook changed. She credits Bold Goals and United Way of Central Alabama for helping her understand that what she is learning in the classroom is something she will be able to use in the future.

“That’s what this has done — that’s why I can’t really say anything else but ‘Thank you’ that I’m learning every day — and not just math or English, but I’m learning as a person. I’m learning about the person I’m going to grow up and become and how I want to be the change when I get out into the world.” Brennan

A Bold Generation

Brennan is just one of many students who positively affected by the Bold Goals Coalition. Intervention teachers in math and reading are working day in and day out with community leaders to make sure students are prepared for their future. The educators and leaders see the statistics and refuse to let the students in their community make them true. They work hard to help all members of their community in their quest to have a bright, healthy future.

“It’s beautiful, really. To see a generation that’s going to rise up and that’s going to want to be bold and will be overwhelmed with such joy and such gratitude to these people, and that’s why I’m so grateful for United Way.” Brennan

How Can You Be A Part of the Bold Goals Coalition?

“I think we all want to know that what we’re doing is making a difference. To all of you that contribute to United Way, you’re making a difference in the lives of young people and their future, and we appreciate your contributions.” Rodney Green, Superintendent of Education, Blount County

To make a difference in the lives of community members in the education, health and financial stability sector, donate now to United Way of Central Alabama. You can find more statistics and information regarding the Bold Goals Coalition here. It is the hope of United Way of Central Alabama that the stories above and the statistics you will find will inspire you to make an impact in whatever way you can — as a United Way donor, you are a large part of what makes the Bold Goals Coalition so successful.

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United Way of Central Alabama