Together, We Can Make 2020 the Year of Hope for Our Children

By Michelle Connell, CFA | 4 min read

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to tour Sunrise Early Learning & Development Center in Fort Worth. As an Educational First Steps center, Sunrise is nationally accredited, providing early education and care for infants, preschoolers and school-aged children 12 and under. 

Sunrise is located in an economically challenged part of Fort Worth where high crime rates, addiction and single-parent homes are common.  The center opens at 5:30AM in order to accommodate early work shifts for many of the students’ parents. Because many children only receive one meal at home, Sunrise provides breakfast and take-home meals to students, in addition to daily lunch.The facility has a dedicated chef on staff, providing healthy meals in a family setting — something many of these children never experience at home. 

Thameena Ransom, owner, is uniquely committed to the success of her students, following their progress into elementary school. She frequently reviews report cards and communicates with their elementary educators, helping parents to stay on top of their child’s progress.

Like other Educational First Steps centers, Sunrise is doing important work in the lives of our young children. Did you know…

  • 90 percent of a child’s brain development happens before kindergarten
  • At birth, the average baby’s brain is only about one-quarter the size of the average adult brain.
  • Incredibly, an infant’s brain doubles in size in the first year.
  • It continues growing to 80 percent of its full size by age three, reaching 90 percent by the time a child is five years old. (Source)

Educational First Steps partners with early education centers in economically disadvantaged communities in North Texas at no cost to directors, teachers or families. EFS shows caregivers how to create high quality early learning environments that start at-risk children on a path to lifelong success. Partner centers receive qualified, experienced mentors who coach and train childcare center staff to achieve national accreditation. EFS also helps businesses become economically viable, with a focus on sustaining and increasing enrollment.

Educational First Steps By the Numbers

  • Many disadvantaged children spend 12 hours a day in unsafe centers without age-appropriate resources or trained educators.
  • The average child in poverty has only been read to by an adult for 25 hours before age six (compared to 1,000 hours experienced by more affluent peers).
  • Without the right foundation, disadvantaged children are 25 percent more likely to drop out of high school.
  • Disadvantaged children are 40 percent more likely to become teen parents.
  • Children from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds are 70 percent more likely to become incarcerated as adults.
  • Educational First Steps serves 8,200 disadvantaged children in 103 partner centers across North Texas.

Portia Capital Management is highly invested in the early education of our children, particularly those living in underserved and underprivileged parts of our community. Ten percent of our profits are given back to our community through Educational First Steps. I also personally serve as a member of Educational First Steps’ Fort Worth Advisory Council and believe wholeheartedly in the work EFS is doing to ensure every child has the opportunity of education during those critical early years.

When you choose Portia Capital Management, you become an important part of this story, helping to shape the lives of young children in Texas. Contact us today to learn more about our investment management services.

About the Author
Michelle Connell, CFA is the President and Owner of Portia Capital Management, LLC and one of the highest-rated finance professors in the United States, currently serving as an adjunct professor at The University of Texas. Ms. Connell works with her students and private clients to understand the value of crafting a portfolio that includes conventional products as well as alternative assets, including private equity, private debt and real estate, and allows investment portfolio creation with greater downside protection and more consistent returns. 

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