I was encouraged to see another collaboration that is going to make High Point stronger and healthier. As a proud alumni, I have deep affection for and a steadfast belief in our university which has only grown stronger with my daughter’s membership in the first class of HPU’s new Physician’s Assistant Program. I believe High Point University, and Dr. Nido Qubein specifically, truly understand and embrace the concept of being an active and contributing member of our greater community.
In his closing remarks Dr. Qubein noted it was time for our community to cease focusing on what High Point is not, celebrate our strengths and focus more on the solutions that will take us where we want to be. This deeply resonated with me as I considered all the outstanding opportunities that are coming together for High Point at this point in time. Like…
- High Point University, our new leading industry which is bringing in valuable human capital and tens of millions of dollars from around the country that is positively impacting our community.
- Being chosen as one of 3 communities in the entire nation to become a Say Yes to Education recipient to enhance our community’s level of educational and dramatically upgrade our workforce which will attract new industry.
- Our Guilford County School system that offers 43 magnet and choice schools with programs focusing on science, technology, engineering and math, 4 International Baccalaureate programs performing and visual arts, advanced academics, Spanish immersion, health sciences and aviation.
- Our newly created High Point Business, Inc. which will bring a stronger and more proactive voice to our private sector.
- The High Point Regional Health System a hometown resource that provides world class medical care and a nationally recognized Cancer Center.
- A $50 million Foundation for a Healthy High Point that is transforming how we look at and address community health needs.
- One of the finest community college systems in the nation, GTCC that is educating our workforce and retaining 90% of its graduates to work in this community.
- A beautiful High Point Public Library that is not only an incredible learning resource, but will soon be surrounded by a natural park that will become a community gathering place with a multiplicity of uses.
- A resurging arts community with the reinvigorated TAG and an active Arts Council now housed in a beautiful new facility.
- One of the highest performing United Ways and most successful Alexis de Tocqueville Societies in America.
- The High Point Community Foundation with assets exceeding $62 million which has already granted nearly $43 million back into our community!
- The establishment of the Greater High Point Food Alliance by a diverse collection of community leaders who are creatively addressing food security issues.
- Our very own Communities against Violence Program, a recognized national model that has reduced violent crime in an unprecedented manner and is being replicated throughout the country.
- Several promising projects underway that have the capacity to transform our downtown which will draw and retain our millennials.
I could go on, but the point is that all of this is happening now and each of us can play an active and productive role in making High Point a world class community. So, I’m with Dr. Nido Qubein, it’s time for less complaining, more positive solutions and as Winston Churchill used to say, “Action Today!” I recently told my son (who has just returned from college and has chosen to build a financial advisory practice and a life here in High Point) that we are indeed so very blessed to be here in High Point, NC at this precise moment in time when anything and everything is possible. Let’s get started.
PAUL LESSARD, a recipient of the Carnegie Hero Medal and a catalyst for the growth of community outreach programs, is president of the High Point Community Foundation and recognizes the power of parents in shaping lives, and the impact it’s had on him.