A Letter From Our Founder
- Statistical Dashboard
- Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation partner named new Commissioner of Department of Education
- University of Memphis Lambuth Campus receives $1 million donation from The Ayers Foundation
- Champion of Free Enterprise Award Presented to Jim Ayers
- Janet Ayers Honored For Her Work By YWCA
My parents knew the importance of a good education, so from the age of ten, it was drilled into me that I would go to college. But a dear friend in high school, a pupil much brighter and more committed to the love of learning than I, did not have the financial resources to continue an education beyond high school. This friend was forced to take a job that was neither intellectually stimulating nor well paid, while I was able to use my college degree to become financially successful in health care management and banking.
I thought about my friend often and contemplated the circumstances that led to my success, but not his. Because of the many blessings I have received, I determined I wanted to give back in some way. I decided what I could do to help was to guarantee that no child from my hometown of Parsons, Tennessee would be denied a college education due to lack of funds; The Ayers Foundation was born. In the decade since its inception, through financial assistance and guidance counseling, The Ayers Foundation has awarded over 3,000 scholarships.
Am I proud of the work the foundation has done? Of course, but I still feel I am receiving more than I am giving back. I don’t know why I have been so successful in my life’s work, but I do know that being able to give back – to help young people get an education, to assist adults who want to go back to school, to allow children to receive excellent medical attention, and now, to have the potential to save 60,000 lives each year through early detection of rectal-colon cancer – has given me more satisfaction and pure joy than anything else I can imagine doing with my life.