Mark Gordon’s passion for education isn’t limited to supporting his showbiz peers. The producer has also served as chairman of Teach for America Los Angeles and as a board member of the UCLA Lab School and the Archer School for Girls.
“Sometimes in life the things that engage us — whether it’s philanthropic or not — pick us, and (education) picked me,” says Gordon, whose 15-year tenure with Teach for America began after a young boy he babysat while attending NYU Film School grew up to become a Teach for America educator.
“We went to dinner one night, and he told me what was going on with our country’s public schools. I was stunned at the lack of resources and just how broken the system was,” Gordon says. “Ultimately I was captivated by these problems and the possible solutions, and because of that I decided to get involved.”
Initially, Gordon gave donations, helping to create field-trip opportunities Teach for America-associated schools otherwise couldn’t afford. But over time, he became more involved. While he is no longer on the board, Gordon continues to support the org and remains dedicated to creating opportunities in public education.
“I know it sounds a little corny, but I really think that our greatest resource is our children. They are the future, and if we don’t educate them properly and we don’t help them grow in a healthy way, then everything else is going to go wrong,” he says.