As part of our “Get to Know Groundwork” series, we've been spotlighting members of our amazing team. This week, we’re getting to know Margo Arnold, who joined Groundwork Ohio in August of 2023 as part of the Center for Family Voice team.
In this role, Margo will coordinate for the Center to elevate the voices of families with young children in early childhood policy and advocacy to achieve programmatic, policy, and practice changes at local, regional, and state levels.
Prior to joining Groundwork Ohio, Margo spent the past decade working in civic and community engagement at various Central Ohio non-profits including Mental Health America of Ohio, New Salem Baptist Church, and Asian American Community Services.
Margo is a proud graduate of Columbus City Schools, as well as The Ohio State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs with a specialization in Community Organization and Civic Engagement.
Margo is an AmeriCorps Alumna and most recently managed the AmeriCorps Seniors, a Senior Companion Program through Catholic Social Services.
Check out our Q&A with Margo to learn more about why she’s a passionate advocate for young children and families in Ohio.
Q: What drew you to early childhood policy research and advocacy? Tell us more about your “why."
A: Throughout my life, making a difference has always been an important value. With ever-increasing disparities in the world, there is a present need to make a difference in the lives of society's most vulnerable. In many cases, education is the barrier to progress. So, the journey of educating and empowering families through the Center for Family Voice is vital in bringing about community transformation.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received or a lesson learned that has helped you in this work?
A: The power of persistence is one lesson that I’ve carried throughout my career. Whether it is a lack of capacity or budgetary constraints, nonprofits and families face many barriers that hinder progress. Yet, often these obstacles shrink in the face of collaboration. Through unity and collaboration, we can gain the courage to persist and ultimately to overcome.
Q: What is a motivating word for you in 2023?
A: My word for 2023 is FREEDOM. Our freedom helps us to free others, so I am intentional about addressing whatever doesn’t allow me to live freely.
Q: When you aren’t advocating on behalf of young children and families, what do you enjoy doing?
A: On an intentionally lazy Saturday, you’ll find me napping, journaling at the park, or trying out new recipes or restaurants.
Q: Describe a scene from your vision of the future for Ohio’s youngest children and their caregivers.
A: My future vision is simply for adequate resources for those who need it. I envision ongoing wraparound support for parents before and after they birth children in hospitals or their homes. I see consistent support for families who homeschool or send their children out to school, as well as clarity for families to know which resources and leaders to connect with for their individual and community needs.