Some supporters rise above. They care about the community, its youth and access to higher education to their core and support the mission each year. Members of our Board of Directors are those people. This is the second feature in a monthly series. The first introduced College Possible Omaha Board Chair Lisa Lackovic.
Jianqiang Hao, PhD
Job Title and Company: SVP, Enterprise Data Management. First National Bank of Omaha
College: University of Kentucky, PhD in applied economics and MS in statistics
Hobbies: Reading, watching sports, hiking
Community involvement: Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and United Way Midlands; also an adjunct professor for the College of Business, Bellevue University since 2009, teaching courses such as “Economics of Human Capital Valuation Issues” for PhD students, “Economics” or “Risk Management” for MBA students
Why do you serve with College Possible?
“I grew up in China and came to the United States in 2000 for my graduate study. Education has profoundly changed my life. I believe that college is the most important investment in human capital. Studies have shown that college graduates are able to earn an average of 70% higher earnings than high school graduates.
I believe that every young kid should have the opportunity to attend college. However, students from families with low socio-economic status (e.g., low income, low education) are much less likely to attend college than those with high socio-economic status. I proudly serve with College Possible since College Possible strives to make college admission and success possible for many students from a low-income background.”
What do you see as a strength of the organization?
“What I admire about College Possible the most is that this organization can deliver outstanding results. “98% of College Possible are admitted to college with an average increase of 17% on their ACT/SAT scores. A College Possible student is three times more likely to earn a degree than their peers.” This is a great testimony.”
Who impacted your life and your path to a college degree?
“My parents. My parents did not attend college. Actually they are not even graduated from high school. But they know how important college is to a person’s life, and thus they always encouraged my siblings and me to attend college. They provided an opportunity for me to not only attend college, but also obtain my PhD degree in the United States.
College Possible is making the same connection today: connecting students with coaches and making college possible for these young kids.”
What have you learned since being on the board?
“Since joining the board, I am impressed by the dedicated work and commitment from College Possible’s leadership team, coaches, and all students.
I have learned that College Possible is not only an education program but also a workforce development program. Because of College Possible, thousands of young kids from low-income families can attend college. As a result, Omaha (and other communities) will also get thousands of talented workers in the future.”
How do your values align with the organization?
“The mission of College Possible is truly aligned with my value of education (college is the most important investment in human capital), equality (every kids should have the same opportunity to attend college), and future workforce (we need talented young workers for our community).
I am proud to serve as a board member of College Possible and wish the best for this wonderful organization and all coaches and students.”