Since its founding over a decade ago, the Todd Wagner Foundation has been committed to improving the lives of at-risk children and other residents of underserved communities through education, technology, and enrichment opportunities. Since its inception, the Foundation has committed tens of millions of dollars to help thousands of individuals, with a particular focus on programs for disadvantaged youth.
Founded by businessman and internet pioneer Todd Wagner, the Foundation has sought to practice venture philanthropy, that is, to adapt entrepreneurial principles to philanthropic initiatives that assist disadvantaged youth and others in need to achieve better lives. Towards that end, the Foundation has developed and funded programs which have promoted innovative ways of empowering those at risk, most of all young people, with the means to get aheadacademic proficiency, technology skills, discipline, and an appreciation for the value of hard work.
To help address the needs of young people who have few opportunities, the Foundation has pioneered its own programs, as well as provided critical support to other innovative philanthropic initiatives showing particular promise.
For example, the Foundation conceived, funded, and implemented MIRACLES, a program which leverages technology to help young people from modest backgrounds cultivate the crucial technological, academic, and life skills needed to succeed. Signature Foundation programs like MIRACLES help ensure that students whose aspirations may exceed their means are provided with the opportunity not just to participate in the technology revolution, but to do so at a high level.
In addition to programs it initiated, the Foundation also has nurtured promising organizations founded by others, such as KIPP, the Knowledge is Power Program; KIPP has opened public schools across the country which have achieved extraordinary success by insisting that students from disadvantaged backgrounds set high standardsand then exceed them. The Foundation also has been a major supporter of the After-School All-Stars, which provides academic support, wholesome recreational outlets, and a welcoming environment to thousands of at-risk students, primarily middle-schoolers.
Consistent with its practice of venture philanthropy, the Foundation also has sought to scale proven programs through partnerships with highly regarded not-for-profit organizations, which permits greater numbers of students to benefit from the programs. Such partnerships have been formed with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which now offer the MIRACLEScurriculum developed by the Foundation through their Club Tech program at Clubs nationwide, and the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, which continues the important work of the Dallas chapter of the After-School All-Stars, which the Foundation founded.