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CEO Who Cares: iSIGHT’s John Watters

Any CEO could tell you, it’s nice to be important. But in iSIGHT CEO John Watters’ opinion, it’s more important to be nice.

Just take a look at his philanthropic side, or as he puts it – the things that “pull your heartstrings.” For Watters, the education of Dallas’ inner-city elementary students are these things. Their potential futures inspire him to take action. By devoting personal time and money, Watters has been helping sixth- to eight-graders get scholarship opportunities to some of Dallas’ most prestigious private schools and essentially giving them a future they possibly could not otherwise have.

For him, it is equally as important to put his time into his mission as his money.

“Too often of times there are very well intended, very well-resourced people that donate money to charities that the results are not what they could be if they had donated their time,” Watters said. “If the people that are donating their time and money are also having the experience that entrepreneurs tend to have, you can really create a leveraged effect.”

His STAIRS program graduated with a cumulative $300k in scholarship money to Dallas’ private schools one year. His passion to give these children more opportunities does not just stop in high school, however.

“On average, we get about $300,000 a year of scholarship money that other people provide,” he said. “Those same kids that are getting scholarships in high school are getting $1.2 million cumulatively in college.”

Through his actions, Watters changes the lives of these children by giving them the valuable gift of education. As he said, he’s simply “helping create a pathway for a child from an inner-city education into a productive place in society.”

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