Jumpstart for Young Children Welcomes Dr. Thomas A. Parham to its National Board of Directors

Boston, MA (April 15, 2021) — Jumpstart is proud to announce the election of Dr. Thomas A. Parham, president of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), to the organization’s national board of directors.

Jumpstart and CSUDH have partnered for more than ten years to provide quality experiential learning opportunities for college students, while helping to alleviate the educational disparities for young children in Compton, CA. CSUDH students have cumulatively completed more than 108,000 hours of service, helping transform the lives of more than 1,000 children.

“With the devastating impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic, Jumpstart’s mission and efforts are more critical than ever,” said Jumpstart CEO Naila Bolus. “We urgently need and enthusiastically welcome President Parham, whose expertise and extensive leadership experience will help us accelerate progress toward equitable education opportunities for every child.”

Cheryl McKnight, Director of the CSUDH Center for Service Learning, Internships & Civic Engagement, and Jumpstart campus champion, added, “Our partnership with Jumpstart fulfills our mission of helping to level the playing field for Compton youth. The impact on preschool children and our students is immense. Our data show that students in the Jumpstart program show significantly higher retention and graduation rates as compared to other students. These students also show significant gains in understanding the importance of contributing to a democratic society and the civic responsibilities to help ensure social justice.”

With his election, Dr. Parham continues a legacy of partnership between Jumpstart and the California State University System, the largest four-year public university system in the United States. Previously, then-president of CSU, Fresno, Joseph I. Castro, served on the Jumpstart board until he assumed the position of Chancellor of the CSU System on January 1, 2021. Currently Jumpstart has programs at seven of the 23 CSU campuses.

“I am honored and humbled by the invitation to join the Jumpstart Board. The challenges children in our communities face demand a robust set of intervention strategies, and along with the California State University, Dominguez Hills, I am delighted to lend my voice and expertise to these efforts that both mentor and empower our children,” said President Parham.

Bolus concluded, “The timing of President Parham’s election coincides with the launch of Jumpstart’s five-year strategic plan and an increased focus on fostering a pipeline of well-prepared early childhood educators. Already our collaboration has opened up employment opportunities in community preschools for a number of CSUDH Jumpstart participants. We aim to see that number increase in future years.”



Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart advances equitable learning outcomes for young children in underserved communities by recruiting and supporting caring adults to deliver high-quality programming to children and drive systems change through teaching, advocacy, and leadership. Jumpstart is also a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. Over its 26 years’ experience leveraging the power of caring adults to close the opportunity gap for young children in this way, Jumpstart has engaged 58,000 college students to transform the lives of 133,000 children. Learn more at jstart.org and follow us on Twitter at @Jumpstartkids.

Media Contact

Sharon Reilly
Chief Development and Marketing Officer

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

Donate Now