It's More Than a Name

The late Rita Pierson is our hero. A long-time educator, Ms. Pierson has inspired our work and belief that “‘every child deserves a champion’: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be.”

In her TED Talk, Every Child Deserves a Champion, Ms. Pierson shares a story about a student who missed 18 out of 20 questions on a math quiz. Her response is the inspiration for our name and perfectly represents what we are about as a youth empowerment organization:

She puts a big +2 and a smiley face on the child’s quiz. When the child asks, “Is this an F?,” Ms. Pierson responds with truth, “Yes.” The child then asks, “Then why did you put a smiley face?”

Ms. Pierson continues, “Because you are ON THE ROAD. And when we review this material, won’t you do better?” The child responds, “Yes!”

She goes on to explain how “-18 sucks all the life out of you while +2 says I’m not all bad”.

At the core, this is what we are about at On the Road Collaborative. We are about meeting every child where they are, letting them know that they are a gift, and harnessing the power of our community to do what it takes to journey with them in accomplishing their biggest goals and fulfill their unlimited promise.