I have the great honor of serving as Board President of the Milford Education Foundation over the next 2 years. To me, the Milford Education Foundation is the perfect example of never knowing what kind of wonderful opportunity is waiting for you right around the corner — all you need to do is have your antennae out, be receptive, and seize it when it comes your way.
I was born and raised in Milford, went to Milford public schools, married a local Milford girl, and raised 3 children – all who also went to Milford public schools. With the exception of 4 years at Seton Hall University and about 2 years recently in Philadelphia due to a corporate assignment – I’ve always lived here.
But I was never really active here… why? Oh the usual… my job was very demanding, was overly career focused, had to travel a lot, any spare time was spent on our kids activities, and home was a place to decompress when you could. However, time is a funny thing… it is amazing how much of it you can find when you want to or when you are called. And quite literally I was called.
About 3 years ago, Board member Jen Ju cold called me and asked if I would help the Milford Education Foundation with a strategic planning session to help better focus its resources and assets. Since that is what I do for a living, and I needed to start doing some volunteer work, I said OK. In fact, I think I might have said OK just to get off the phone and get back to client work.
It ranks as one of the best “OKs” I’ve ever said, for here is what I discovered.
As I conducted that first strategy session I felt that I was discovering one of Milford’s best hidden secrets. As we mapped out all of the initiatives I was amazed at what had been accomplished by a small handful of people. People who were mostly parents of young children, with lots of demands from their careers as well as the most important job of parenting! And of course they were doing this as volunteers. I thought of all the times when I convinced myself that I didn’t have extra time and I felt humbled. More like embarrassed.
Since then I’ve had the good fortune to be directly involved with some of the initiatives. I’ve had the privilege of developing a presentation workshop for students and have witnessed how the kids come to the table with amazing curiosity and enthusiasm. And its our job to harness it so that curiosity and enthusiasm isn’t extinguished over time through boredom and loss of self esteem. Sometimes it’s as simple as remembering what it’s like to be a kid.
So where are we now? We’re in a good place… a very good place. We have a fabulous mini-grant program that engages teacher and kids with focused areas of learning. We help bring the Minds In Motion and Invention Convention programs to Milford every year. We partner with great organizations like the Milford Arts Council and The Milford Public Library. In fact, we helped introduce Milford’s first “MakerSpace” at the Milford Public Library called The Brain Station. And now we are determining ways to expand our reach and impact, in particular in the areas of music, art, and mindfulness. We also see great opportunities to increase our involvement with Milford’s business and community leaders.
Results? Well we’ve estimated that over the past 3 years we’ve impacted about 3,000 kids through about $30,000 in grants. That’s about $10 a kid or less! So when you make a donation to the Milford Education Foundation you know those dollars are stretched in a very good way.
As we look to our future we can always use more help. And that help doesn’t necessarily mean just money. We need people to help us with our events, and assisting in a variety of other areas as we once again refine our strategy and focus.
So if you have an interest in helping out, please feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or my work email: email@example.com. And feel free to tell us of any special interests or talents you have. Your interests can help spark our imagination.
Looking back, I consider that call I received a few years ago a gift to me – and my goal is to return an even greater gift back to this amazing organization.
Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you at one of our events!
About Ed Faruolo:
Besides his position with the Milford Education Foundation. Ed Faruolo is the founder and CEO of VitaLincs LLC, a marketing strategy, training, and consulting firm he founded in 2009. Ed’s highly rated workshops are used by Fortune 500 companies, as well as small/mid caps, start ups and is a sought out faculty member of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). Ed served as Chief Marketing Officer of Cigna, led marketing and brand development at 3 Fortune 500 companies, and was elected Chair of the Conference Board’s Brand Council for an unprecedented 3 terms. He lives in Milford with his wife Carol where they raised 3 great children together: Alison, Carl, and Dana.