Liftoff, a strategic alliance of 29 funders supporting early childhood initiatives across Western New York and Monroe County has named Rachel Bonsignore as its first director. Liftoff, a collaborative effort launched in 2018, has a mission to promote and enhance high quality early childhood development for children up to age five by integrating practice, policy, research, and resources to ensure they reach their fullest potential.
In this newly created executive leadership role, Bonsignore will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of Liftoff’s strategic and impact agenda. She will work closely with government officials, business leaders, community stakeholders, and the public to promote and impact strategy to advocate for and support policy and systems change in three focus areas: Developmental Screenings; Awareness, Accessibility and Affordability of Quality Childcare; and related Transportation needs that ultimately benefit Western New York and Monroe County.
Bonsignore previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Community Health Initiatives at The Children’s Agenda in Rochester, N.Y., where she worked on advancing effective policies and programs for the health, education, and success of children, especially the most vulnerable. For the past 20 years, Bonsignore has prioritized community engagement and policy change advocacy to improve the lives of children and families in our region and has actively contributed to national, state, and regional alliances.
Bonsignore is a graduate of Dickinson College, where she received her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and political science. She also completed a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Center for Community Engagement at St. John Fisher College.
Liftoff is a collaboration of funders who have joined forces to ensure that, by the time children reach kindergarten, they are prepared physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively to reach their fullest potential. The alliance was launched in 2018 with the release of a report that explored the question of children’s readiness to begin school by gaining insights from more than 300 stakeholders including early childhood experts, providers, government officials, nonprofit leaders and staff, and parents. To learn more and download the report, go to www.liftoffwny.org.
Susan Kirkpatrick, The John R. Oishei Foundation