February 01, 2019

Charity Finds Success in Work With At-Risk Children, but It’s Costly

Founder Duncan Campbell in the New York Times!

Duncan Campbell made his fortune with a timber investment fund he started in 1981 and sold eight years later. But he never forgot his difficult childhood in Portland, Ore., with alcoholic parents and a father who was in and out of prison twice.

So when he had the time and wherewithal to devote to philanthropy in 1993, he said, he chose to tackle a problem he knew about: improving the lives of children at greatest risk — not the top students at underperforming schools, but the struggling ones who faced multiple impediments to success. That is the story behind Friends of the Children, which began in Portland and is now in 15 cities with plans to be in 10 more by 2025.

“Our core model is to take the most at-risk or most vulnerable child,” Mr. Campbell said. “If there are 100 kindergarten kids, we ask for the eight most troubled, most challenging ones."

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