CEO of Jumpstart for Young Children to Step Down After 12 Years
Naila Bolus leaves behind a legacy that will impact the lives of children and educators for years to come
BOSTON – The Chief Executive Officer of Jumpstart for Young Children (Jumpstart), Naila Bolus, announced today that she will be stepping down as CEO at the end of the year. Naila represents over a decade of leadership at the national early education organization that seeks to advance equitable learning outcomes for young children.
“It has been the greatest privilege and joy of my professional career to serve as Jumpstart CEO, and it has been truly an honor to lead such an influential and talented team,” Naila Bolus said. “Jumpstart has increased its reach and impact, and also adapted in exciting ways to meet the changing needs of the early childhood field. This is the right time for new leadership to propel Jumpstart forward in powerful ways. While I am not sure what my next chapter will bring, I am sure that I will always stay close to and be a passionate champion of Jumpstart.”
“It has been an honor to work side-by-side with Naila over the past decade, and the board is extremely grateful for the leadership that Naila has shown,” said Kim Mitchell, National Board of Directors Chair for Jumpstart. “We also know that the healthiest organizations are those that build in thoughtful, strategic leadership succession as a way to prepare for growth and evolution in their field.”
During Naila’s tenure, the organization expanded its programs, centered diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and diversified its fundraising. Jumpstart has launched new programming in Arkansas, Mississippi, and North Carolina and increased the number of higher education partners from 69 to 76, serving over 120,000 children and engaging over 40,000 college student Corps Members. Naila also helped to grow the Read for the Record campaign into the world’s largest shared reading experience that now engages over 2 million readers annually. During her tenure and based on leading ECE research, Jumpstart also revised its curriculum to focus on the core competencies of oral language and social-emotional skills.
Naila’s commitment to fostering and embracing change began the moment she began her tenure as CEO. She vowed to broaden diverse leadership perspectives, which she accomplished by bringing in national board members who identify as people of color and by prioritizing an atmosphere in which all employees feel a sense of belonging and inclusion. She was also able to successfully increase Jumpstart’s operating budget by 70%, allowing the organization to grow and expand a number of its services including a focus on creating a pipeline of future early educators.
“Thanks to her indisputable passion and fervent dedication to ensuring that all children have access to high-quality education, Naila will be leaving Jumpstart in the best position possible to build on our successes and take the organization to a new level” said Jen Marrus, Jumpstart’s longest serving Board Member, Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee, and Search Committee Chair. Jumpstart’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Jennifer Templeman, added, “The organization is in a position of unprecedented strength and stability, with effective leadership in both staff and board, and with $88.8 million, or 74%, of our 5-year Growth Capital Campaign already raised.”
The National Board of Directors will be leading the search for a new CEO in the coming months. Jen Marrus will be chairing the Search Committee, which includes Kim Mitchell, National Board Chair; James Cole, Finance Committee Chair; Tamara Dunn, DEI Committee Chair; as well as Board members Jordan Meranus and Delia Arellano-Weddleton. Meranus was a co-founder of Jumpstart in 1993. The Board has retained Spencer Stuart, one of the world’s leading global executive search and leadership consulting firms, to assist with the search.
ABOUT JUMPSTART FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
For 30 years, Jumpstart has been fueled by the belief that providing high-quality educational opportunities to all young children prepares them for academic and economic success later in life. Jumpstart advances equitable learning outcomes for young children by recruiting and supporting caring adults to deliver high-quality programming and drive systems change through teaching, advocacy, and leadership. Jumpstart has trained more than 60,000 college students and community volunteers, preparing over 140,000 children for kindergarten success. Jumpstart’s program is replicated across the country in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Learn more at jstart.org.