Step Up Suncoast is proud to partner with Dr. John Hodge, President and Co-Founder of Urban Learning and Leadership Center in our mission to fight poverty on the Suncoast, while primarily focusing on children and early education. Dr. Hodge will provide a keynote on the topic of education of America’s youth and the additional burdens faced by impoverished children and their families. Research indicates that poverty does not need to be a barrier to academic excellence. As co-author of the book, Standing in the Gap, Dr. Hodge states, “across the nation, schools are demonstrating that it can be done. That students can reach high standards, all children can succeed, the gap between white and minority students, poor and affluent, can be closed.” More often than not, one caring adult can make all the difference in the world. Please join us!