By Jill Winsor
Oregon is a state that rises to meet its challenges. Oregonians strive to be exceptional and to make sure that where we lead, others will want to follow. Oregonians want to live in a state where all of our residents can thrive. That’s the energy behind our Oregon’s Bright Futures work. We are committed to letting every Oregon child know that we have big expectations for them by opening a savings account in their name so that their families and communities can start saving for post-high school opportunities.
In 2017, we will work with the Oregon Legislature to create the Oregon Bright Futures Plan that will leverage the investments of the state, community institutions and partners, and the savings of children and families to build savings toward post-high school education or training.
- When children are born, the State of Oregon will enroll them in the Oregon Bright Futures plan and make a modest investment for every child.
- Community partners, local foundations, or others like health organizations or local nonprofits can invest in children, and can target investments based on community goals.
- Children and their families will save in an account they choose, at any bank or credit union, or through the Oregon College Savings Plan.
We know it’s aspirational to build a bright future when the present moment seems bleak for so many. That’s the paradox – we must focus resources on both the immediate need and the opportunities that lift us up. Each year we wait to create a children’s savings account platform for Oregon is another year that our children miss the opportunity to dream big and start to believe a brighter future is possible.
Laura Choi’s recent blog post on paradox is helping us stay grounded as we get ready for legislative session. She writes – “This is the beauty of paradox as a driving force for change: In the effort to build financial well-being, we cannot and must not choose between simplicity and complexity. Our solutions are not either/or. They are both/and.”
The state of Oregon must allow paradox to drive our change – we must prioritize the deep needs in our communities and give each other the hope that will propel us forward. Just getting by isn’t good enough. We all deserve more.
Do you love the idea of encouraging families to save for post-high school opportunities? If you are interested in helping to create the Oregon Bright Futures Plan, please reach out to Jill Winsor at 503.226.3001 x118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.