WWPR salutes Dr. Betty Jo Gaines, who passed away suddenly on May 3. An educator, mentor and fierce advocate for homeless families, Dr. Gaines left a vibrant legacy at Bright Beginnings. During her 11-year tenure beginning in 2001, Dr. Gaines made it a priority for BBI to earn accreditation (twice) as one of the nation’s premier child and family development centers by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. NAEYC Accreditation is achieved by only 8 percent of early childhood centers nationally. In March, in one of her last acts as Executive Director, Dr. Gaines presided over the groundbreaking of their new early-childhood development center in Southeast Washington, allowing Bright Beginnings to serve an additional 100 children each year. During her tenure with BBI Dr. Gaines was frequently honored for her excellence in nonprofit management and leadership. She received the 2011 Purpose Prize Fellow and in 2010, SmartCEO selected her as one of 25 Brava! Women Business Achievement Awardees. Dr. Gaines was also named a Washingtonian of the Year in 2007. Please consider making a donation in honor of Dr. Betty Jo Gaines to help support the design and construction of the playground at the new center in Ward 8. Visit www.brightbeginningsinc.org to learn more about the organization and make a donation.