As the cofounder and executive director of Waterford UPSTART, Claudia Miner has one goal: to help families overcome barriers and prepare their children for lifelong learning.

Why you should listen

Each year, 2.2 million four-year-old children in the United States do not have access to publicly-funded early education. More than half are from low-income families who have no early education options at all.

Claudia Miner and her team at Waterford UPSTART want to change that. They believe no child should start school behind their peers. Waterford UPSTART has one goal: to ensure that every child arrives at school on day one ready to learn.

As Miner writes: "Twelve years ago, I joined after I heard about the organization's mission of serving children. It spoke to me in a way no other work had. Working with great people, we charted a course to serve children in the home to get them ready for school. This was a radical move -- especially since we were putting our faith in parents -- but it fit my beliefs and has become my passion. Parents have proven they are up to the task. Knowing I have a role in helping children set the stage for success in life gets me up in the morning with a great and powerful purpose."

With support from The Audacious Project, Miner and her colleagues are expanding the program to reach even more families, filling early education gaps across the nation.

Claudia Miner’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Claudia Miner