In this Times Picayune op-ed, Darren Walker highlights the role of innovative partnerships in New Orleans’s recovery.

Published in the Times Picayune

Growth for all: Public-private partnerships help New Orleanians thrive

By Darren Walker and Greg Feirn

Danielle Johnson dreamed of becoming a nurse. Unfortunately, not long after she began nursing courses at Delgado Community College, she was forced to leave school to care for her family. Years later, when her mom passed away from cancer, Danielle struggled to return to work. Her confidence was shaken. She had a difficult time getting through interviews without crying or covering her face.

But thanks to four weeks of classes with STRIVE New Orleans — part of the Network for Economic Opportunity — Danielle improved her interview and public speaking skills, and regained her confidence. After graduating from STRIVE, she was handpicked to apply for a job as a patient access representative for University Medical Center — and was hired, kick-starting her promising new career.

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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