In 1862 a widowed army nurse named Rebecca Pomroy was asked to care for young Thomas “Tad” and Mary Todd Lincoln, following the death of President and Mrs. Lincoln’s third son William. Following a terrible storm, President Lincoln accompanied Nurse Pomroy to the hospital where she worked, and their carriage got stuck en route. President Lincoln moved several large stones to help Pomroy avoid the mud and get out of the carriage. He then escorted her to the sidewalk. Boots and pants now covered in mud, Lincoln said to her:
“All through life, be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”
President Lincoln’s words ring as true today as they did almost 160 years ago. With a pandemic sweeping our country, it would be understandable to get caught up in the news of the day and lose focus. Here at the Bradley Impact Fund, we have five guiding principles to leading us from stone to stone to stay on the right path: fidelity to the Constitution, commitment to free markets, commitment to the fundamental institutions of civil society, dedication to the formation of informed and capable citizens, and the protection of donor intent.
It’s that simple. And that difficult. In this issue of the Bradley Impact Brief, we focus on the educational efforts needed to give citizens the character, habits, and knowledge to succeed in a free society. In times of crisis, challenges to a free society multiply and are only overcome by informed citizens.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the first modern school choice program of its kind in the country. Drawing upon the four decades of experience in the fight for education choice by our colleagues at The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, we know that our feet are in the right place. And it’s the commitment of the members of the Bradley Impact Fund donor community that keeps us standing firm.