To ensure children thrive from the start

Early in her career, Cynthia Osborne learned that the pathway to opportunity is paved by much more than a quality education. In 1994, a few years after graduating from college, Osborne began teaching middle school while also obtaining her master’s degree in education. “My students were largely from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, and they taught me that while their classroom learning and my instruction mattered, it didn’t matter nearly as much as what was going on in their communities and in their families. That drew me to want to understand how families and communities can be better supported, so that all kids have the experiences that they deserve,” said Osborne, professor of early childhood education and policy and executive director of the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at Vanderbilt Peabody College of education and human development.

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