Founder’s Message

Our world is facing unprecedented changes and challenges in the 21st century. We need students and teachers who can tackle the complex cultural, economic, creative, and ecological of our time. I know they are up to it. And I want to help. That’s the work I invite everyone to discover and build with me.

Dear Visitor,

For fans of my books, you know that certain social issues have been important to me over the last fifteen years. I’ve tried to bring many of them into focus in my novels: global education, veteran support, animal causes, Alzheimer’s awareness, and childhood disease research and care. But as a parent of three boys and two girls, education opportunity remains a top priority for me.

In rural America, more than one in four children lives in poverty. That’s simply unacceptable. My vision is to transform lives and communities through first-rate educational opportunities.

I speak about education as a committed citizen with strong convictions, and I’ve had a good hard look at the educational and life challenges that poor communities face in rural contexts. In North Carolina, 30% of children under age 6 are considered poor. For many counties around us in eastern North Carolina, more than 30% of children under 18 live below the poverty line.

There are so many kids whose parents do not have the resources to do what I’ve done for my children. I am a long-time resident of eastern North Carolina and I decided to raise my children in the rural South. I have coached track for students in the local public high school here. I know how much need there is among families in rural communities. My Foundation’s new scholarship program provides services and supports, so that students from low-income families emerge with a first-in-kind education that will enable them to thrive in college, and in the global workforce.

I personally cover all of the Foundation’s administrative costs, so that 100% of your donation goes toward our programs.

Thank you for your support, and, remember, together we can make the world a better place. It only takes a little spark!