The Time is Now: Delivering on the SDG Agenda

  There’s no way around feelings of euphoria today.   World Leaders at the United Nations are ringing in a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that promise to end extreme poverty and the scourge of hunger and preventable deaths of infants and children around the world.   At the same time, the Pope […]

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The First Day of School…in Cuba!

The first day of school is an exciting moment of possibility and potential—and the same could be said for my very first trip to Cuba.   Everywhere I went, there was an expectant and hopeful feeling in the air. I spoke with young Cubans who expressed their enthusiasm about greater interaction with the world, including […]

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Changing the Way the Future Unfolds for Children in Poverty

I remember playing the fortune teller game as a kid. We would take a piece of paper, write cute messages and fortunes on it and then fold it origami-style to predict our future. Of course, our paper game couldn’t foretell my future or that of my childhood friends, but with the opportunities that came with […]

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In Helping Baby’s First Teacher, ‘A Path Appears’

The following blog first appeared on The Huffington Post   When I first met my daughter, she was 2 and a half months old. She looked perfect in her little crib in a crowded Vietnamese orphanage, but adoption is a process, and seven more months passed before I could take her home.   In the meantime, […]

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Where Health and Education Meet, Children Win

The following blog first appeared on The World Bank.   Every mom wants a healthy baby. And in the early days of a child’s life, parents and doctors understandably focus on how the baby’s physical development—is she gaining weight? Is he developing reflexes? Are they hitting all of the milestones of a healthy and thriving child? […]

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How A Silent Girl Named Serenity Finally Found Her Words

This blog originally appeared in The Huffington Post.     An early start on learning means everything when it comes to a child’s future. Yet too many children living in poverty in America and around the world don’t have access to a quality early education. In fact, children from low-income homes hear an average of […]

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From the Philippines, With Love

The following blog first appeared on The Huffington Post. _______________________   Love. If there is a single word that best describes what I witnessed during my visit to the Philippines last week, then that’s it. Love of family. Love of community. Love of people. Love of life.   So what better day than Valentine’s Day […]

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Spreading the Love of Reading Beyond School Walls

Some of my favorite childhood memories involve curling up with a good book and embarking on a world of adventures unfolding on each page. But for 250 million children around the world who cannot read or write, getting lost in a story is a pleasure they may never get to experience.   For me, it’s […]

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Can Pakistan Help its Children Really Succeed?

There were shy looks and even a few tears from the children when the group of strangers entered the small room and plopped ourselves on the floor. It wasn’t surprising. I got the feeling that the children probably didn’t see too many foreign visitors in their town, a remote village in the cornfields of

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How Can We Build Hope for America’s Kids?

Traveling in rural Arkansas, you can sometimes forget where you are. The long stretch of bumpy highway, surrounded by cotton fields and rice paddies, could be in one of a dozen countries I’ve traveled to recently. And, unfortunately, the poor families I met could have been from any of those countries too—rather than living in […]

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