Innisfree Hotels, Achieve Escambia

In 2017, Innisfree Hotels made a gift of $10,000 to Achieve Escambia to support educational opportunity in Northwest Florida.

Under the umbrella of the United Way, Achieve Escambia is a collective impact of leaders across industries in Escambia County – from public safety to health care, faith, government and even hospitality – with a mission of addressing social challenges by aligning efforts.

Simply put, together we can do more.

‘The collective impact is what really drew us to get involved,” says George Coolbaugh, a regional director for Innisfree Hotels with years of experience working for local nonprofit organizations.

“Achieve Escambia is everything we stand for,” she says. “It fits our ‘Framework for Success’.”

In Escambia County, statistics for students are not where they need to be.

  • Only 67 percent of students are ready for Kindergarten.

  • 72.7 percent graduate high school on time.

  • 63 percent of the working population hold a high school diploma or less.

The community is coming together to help students achieve more, and Innisfree Hotels wants to be part of it.

“There are so many different obstacles,” Coolbaugh continues. “Not only are they not prepared for Kindergarten, but we’re finding out they’re not prepared for life.”

There is a correlation between the kids that don’t make their third grade marks and those who don’t make their middle school marks and ultimately do not graduate from high school. Achieve Escambia is striving to change that, one step at a time.

“It really needed to be bigger than just one agency trying to figure out a plan. We needed collective impact,” Coolbaugh says. “When Julian MacQueen hears something that big needs to happen, he gets involved.”

So does his wife, Kim MacQueen, who joined Julian in meeting with representatives of Achieve Escambia.

Of the gift, she says:

“Achieve Escambia is a unique and powerful idea, instigated by strong local leadership. It is a natural fit with Innisfree’s goal to contribute to efforts that unite our community and foster communication across sectors and service groups. We are especially interested in supporting improvements in education.”

Learn more about Achieve Escambia and how you can get involved here.

– Ashley Kahn Salley

Lead Storyteller, Innisfree Hotels