HOORAY FOR THE CHAMBER
Never let it be said that Chris Hembrough, president and CEO of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, is a man who doesn’t put his money where his mouth is. After reading a recent Illinois Times story on efforts to increase participation in advanced placement courses in Springfield School District 186 (“Reaching high,” Feb. 16, 2017), Hembrough says that he will be making monthly contributions of $93 to the Springfield Public Schools Foundation to help pay AP testing fees for low-income students. District officials have said that inability to afford fees helps explain why a lot of kids enrolled in AP courses aren’t taking the tests that can earn them college credit for a song if they achieve sufficiently high scores. The fee is $93 per test, although it can be lowered to $53 for poor kids. “As your article stated, I think it’s crazy if we can’t find a solution for this issue,” Hembrough writes in an email to Illinois Times. “Oftentimes, folks stand up and say we need to do this that or the other, but they never do anything about the problem. I will not be in that camp. Leadership is about action, not talk, and someone needs to get the ball rolling. I trust the foundation can establish a fund for other leaders who would like to join the effort.” Amen, Mr. Hembrough. Here’s hoping a lot more folks feel the same way as you.