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Aspirations Journalism

APRIL 2019 – JANUARY 2022

Aspirations Journalism

The Purpose

Through a partnership between journalism and philanthropy, Aspirations Journalism was an initiative to share information and engage communities through stories that encouraged people to be part of the solution and take action. While examining relevant social issues, Aspirations Journalism focused on motivating, innovating, and collaborating through the lenses of The Patterson Foundation’s initiatives.

Strengthening the Impact

Following the learnings and success of the New Media Journalism and SPIRE CoLab initiatives, The Patterson Foundation created Aspirations Journalism to inform, educate, and galvanize the region to build movements around sustainable community networks. With leadership and support from The Patterson Foundation, the Herald-Tribune Media Group and Solmart Media provided capacity and journalism professionals who created Aspirations Journalism’s content that was published locally and beyond.


Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about this initiative...

Why did The Patterson Foundation support this initiative?

Through its work, The Patterson Foundation has learned not to arrive with the answer to a particular issue but rather find ways for people to engage and create their desired future. Positive movement toward that future requires engagement of business, government, individuals, nonprofits, and the media. The media, in particular, with its ability to share targeted, in-depth information and stories that put a face to complex issues, connects people around solutions to challenges facing their community, creating new opportunities for productive, inclusive engagement. The Patterson Foundation’s diverse body of work helps move the needle on several deep societal challenges, which created an opportunity to connect those engaged in and affected by them with TPF initiatives supporting sustainable solutions.

One of TPF’s original legacy initiatives was New Media Journalism, which worked with organizations to explore ways to support digital media innovation while upholding established journalistic principles and delivering value to communities. The accomplishments and learnings from New Media Journalism paved the way for SPIRE CoLab, a partnership with the Herald-Tribune Media Group to inspire communities to take action through journalism focused on grade-level reading efforts. Aspirations Journalism was a further evolution of this work.

What stories did Aspirations Journalism’s content focus on?

Aspirations Journalism examined relevant social issues through the lenses of the following TPF initiatives and endeavors:

Age-Friendly Sarasota is a countywide effort to promote active, engaged, and healthy living for people of all ages. By learning and sharing about Sarasota County's age-friendly features and the aspirations of its residents, this initiative is amplifying and bringing enhancements to the community that align with factors identified by the World Health Organization that influence the ability to live well at any age. Age-Friendly Sarasota is part of the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities and was the first community in Florida to be recognized as an age-friendly community by WHO and AARP, a national affiliate of the global effort.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a national collaborative effort based on an important predictor of school success and high school graduation: reading at grade level by the end of third grade to create a more promising future for children. Part of this nationwide movement, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a communitywide effort to help all children, especially those from asset-limited families, succeed in school by ensuring they read on grade level. The Suncoast region encompasses four counties — Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties in Florida — focused on addressing the most common issues and obstacles that impact a child's ability to read to learn. The Patterson Foundation collaborated with Solmart Media to create Spanish-language content to engage Latinx audiences in community solutions to these challenges, such as summer learning opportunities and early childhood development.

Through Census 2020 Education, The Patterson Foundation connected partners and resources to educate the region and strengthen participation in the 2020 Census throughout Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. The 2020 Census provided the opportunity for each of these communities to chart their path forward.

Digital Access for All explores the efforts of multiple sectors working to enhance access to technology that connects people in ways that foster inclusion and well-being. This initiative aspires to discover how individuals, businesses, nonprofits, government, and the media are moving the needle on access to digital technology. This knowledge will inform opportunities to collaboratively strengthen these efforts.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person's right to age well. NCOA empowers individuals with trusted solutions to improve their own health and economic security — and protects and strengthens federal programs that people depend on as they age. The Patterson Foundation has partnered with NCOA on the following initiatives:
  • The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, a tri-sector collaboration created by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) at the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that explored how self-managed care might be approached to improve health.

  • Aging Mastery Program®, an initiative offering community-based organizations a clear path to engage and strengthen the physical, financial, and emotional wellness of older adults.

The Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition (SNAC) is a regional coalition made up of representatives from major hospitals and higher education institutions offering degree-granting to schools, colleges, and community members in Florida's Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. The grassroots group is working with the Florida Action Coalition to develop resources and help implement recommendations from the 2010 Institute of Medicine report entitled "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health," which recommends increasing the percentage of BSN-prepared nurses to 80 percent and doubling the number of nurses with doctorates in the United States by the year 2020 to positively influence the outcomes of patients in the nation.

Who can I contact about the Aspirations Journalism initiative?

For more information about Aspirations Journalism, contact Roxanne Joffe, The Patterson Foundation’s lead strategic communications consultant at MagnifyGood:

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