Goodwin Academy is a community that is set out to create opportunities for people and create thriving neighborhoods that were once struggling. We want to give folks the tools to get a good education, start their own business, make their money go farther, participate in the political system and get a good job. While there is no substitute for riches, there are some things that can definitely tip the scales for those without. There are people who grew up rich and end up broken and poor. There are people who grew up with nothing that become billionaires (like Larry Ellison, Jack Ma and Oprah Winfrey) or millionaires (like Russell Simmons, Shahid Khan, or Mark Cuban). There are also steps to building a thriving community, economy and city. We want to provide those steps, and the tools to use them, to people who might not have had the opportunity otherwise.
- The United States produces the 3rd most food of any country in the world, yet we have people starving.
- There are so many jobs in this country that immigrants come from all over the world, yet we are close to 11% unemployment and under-employment in this country.
- The political system has reached a point where people have little trust in their governments but don’t feel they have the power to make changes.
- There are more businesses (small and large) that are thriving here than anywhere else in the world, yet less than 20% of the countries businesses are owned by minorities (37% of the population) and 30% of the businesses are owned by women (51% of the population).
- With the best higher education system in the world, we have groups where less than 25% have a college degree and 1/3 never graduated high school.
As a country, we have too much to let people fall so far. Our national systems do a bad job of giving full access to the American Dream to the poor or women or minorities. We are here to change that.
From The Founder
I have met people who grew up picking cotton and tobacco that became business owners and executives at Fortune 500 companies. I have known people who grew up with every advantage you can think of, only to throw it all away and end up with nothing. I’ve also known people at all points in between. When I see the folks who succeed, their stories are similar even if their upbringing wasn’t. When I see the folks who have fallen, their stories are similar too, whether they came from the top or stayed at the bottom. Looking back through history, there is a formula to success. The problem is, not everyone has the pieces of that formula, or even access to the pieces. For the richest country in the world, that is just not acceptable.
That is why I founded Goodwin Academy. This will serve to give you the pieces that are required to find success, if you want it. We provide you the building blocks to reach whatever level of success you can imagine. There are three core building blocks that makeup the formula to success:
- Education (a skill, a trade, a degree, a sense of what is going on in the world)
- Choices (party now or later, save or spend, learn or earn, vegetables or french fries)
- Access (can you get to the resources needed to build wealth and can you use them)
The goal of the Goodwin Academy is to increase the people’s education to make better choices and increase their access to the American Dream. In the process, you will be able to provide for yourself and your family, contribute to your community, donate to those in need and help the generations that come behind you to find their success. I believe in paying it forward so that the blessings you receive are given to others as well.
I am a Christian and a man. I was born into a hard-working family that was able to provide me with a good education and an early exposure to computers. That said, I am part of the African diaspora and was born and raised in America. In the advantages and disadvantages that I was born with, one thing rings true… they were gifted and not earned. They are chance and could just as easily have been a different set of circumstances and a very different outcome. Goodwin Academy has a mission of sharing the advantages and reducing the disadvantages so that all Americans who want to succeed have that opportunity.