Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio Named 2013 Champion of Children Nonprofit Organization

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From a United Way of Central Ohio press release:

       Jed Morison Named 2013 Champion of Children

Morison and Big Brothers Big Sisters  will be honored at the 20th Annual Champion of Children Signature Event featuring education pioneer Geoffrey Canada  to be held on February 13, 2013 at The Southern Theatre

Columbus, Ohio (November 15, 2012) –Jed Morison, Superintendent/CEO of Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities has been named the 2013 Champion of Children. Morison joins a group of dynamic local leaders who have been recognized as Champions of Children and have worked to create a better tomorrow for all of the children in central Ohio.

“Over his long and distinguished career Jed has been a steadfast leader of efforts to ensure all children, especially those with disabilities, get the high quality education they deserve,” said Elfi Di Bella, president and CEO of YWCA Columbus, and chair of the Champion of Children Selection Committee. “Jed understands that providing educational opportunities not only improves individual lives, but strengthens our entire community, and through his leadership he has had a deep and far-reaching impact that will continue to inspire us for years to come.”

Morison has served as the Superintendent/CEO of the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities since 2000.   The Board provides early intervention, educational, therapeutic, employment and residential support services for over 17,000 children and adults who   have   developmental   disabilities,   helping   them   to   live,   learn   and   work   in   our communities.  Prior to his current service as Superintendent,  Morison served as Assistant Superintendent from 1977 ‐ 2000.

The Champion of Children Nonprofit Organization award went to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio for its decades of effective work and the inspiration it has provided to others through its proven record of success.  The United Way Member agency has served more than 100,000 central Ohio children since it was founded in 1933 and is the third-largest Big Brothers Big Sisters agency in the country. Last year, it served 4,000 central Ohio children through one-to-one matches with volunteers and 5,000 children through its mentoring programs at Camp Oty’Okwa. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, businesses, civic and faith-based organizations, and others in the community, the agency operates community-based mentoring programs, school-based mentoring programs — including Project Mentor — and mentoring programs at Camp Oty’Okwa in the Hocking Hills, plus its Mentoring Center of Central Ohio.

“Mentoring is such an important part of helping children succeed in school,” said Linda Kass, Champion of Children founder and chair of the Advisory Committee.  “Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio has created the thousands of lasting mentoring connections that have helped generations of students graduate high school and pursue productive careers.  The organization’s positive impact on education in our community simply cannot be overstated.”

The Champion of Children Nonprofit Organization recognition includes a $5,000 award generously donated by Nationwide that will help Big Brothers Big Sisters further its mission.

Morison and Big Brothers  Big Sisters will be honored at the 20th Annual Champion of Children Signature Event to be held at 5:30 p.m. on February 13, 2013 at The Southern Theatre.  The event, which will be taped for later broadcast on WOSU, will include an award ceremony and a one-on-one conversation between former WOSU “Open Line” host Fred Andrle and renowned education expert Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City. 

The Signature Event will focus on the transformative neighborhood revitalization efforts currently taking place in central Ohio and how these efforts affect academic achievement.  Canada is a national expert in this area, having developed a holistic approach to rebuilding communities in ways that help students succeed in school, graduate from high school, and progress to higher education and careers.  He has created a replicable model for improving education for low-income children and will share his insights on this subject that is so important to the central Ohio community.             

To learn more about Champion of Children and register for the Signature event, please go to

Support for the Signature Event and Champion of Children’s work in raising awareness of education issues, mobilizing our community to support education and investing in effective education initiatives is provided by Champion Partners: Nationwide, PNC, The Columbus Foundation, Chase, Battelle; Presenting Partner: AEP; Supporting Partners: CSX, Huntington Bank, Limited Brands Foundation; and Media Partners: Big Red Rooster, Business First, Mills James Productions and WOSU Public Media.

About Champion of Children

Since 1994, Champion of Children has been a leading voice in raising awareness on education issues, mobilizing our community to support education and investing in effective efforts that help children succeed in school.  In 2010, Champion of Children joined forces with United Way of Central Ohio and has taken on a key leadership role in United Way’s work in the education impact area.

Champion of Children is focused on achieving our community’s Bold Goals in education which set concrete ten-year goals for increasing kindergarten readiness and high school graduation.  To help accomplish these goals, Champion of Children is mobilizing our community and preparing it with the tools needed to take effective action.

About United Way of Central Ohio

Founded in 1923, United Way of Central Ohio is working to improve lives and strengthen our community by focusing on the building blocks of a better life: a quality education that leads to a productive career, enough income to support a family through retirement, good health, and a safe place to live.   As one of the largest United Ways in the country, we bring together more than 80,000 donors, advocates and volunteers to achieve our community’s transformational Bold Goals in Education, Income, Health and Home.  Working together, our community will accomplish these goals by 2020.  For more information, visit