Since 2019, Charrise Hart has held the position of Chief Executive Officer at Ready for School, Ready for Life (Ready Ready)—a transformative initiative dedicated to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty in Guilford County, North Carolina. Ready Ready focuses on fostering the healthy development of vulnerable children, equipping them with the tools they need to succeed in both school and life. With approximately half of the county’s 55,000 children growing up in or near poverty, Ready Ready addresses the pressing need for upward mobility opportunities.
At the heart of Ready Ready is a 12-year strategy designed to enhance early outcomes for low-income children from preconception to age eight. As the initiative enters its fifth year, Charrise’s leadership is instrumental in driving early childhood interventions that are capable of disrupting the cycle of poverty. These interventions encompass vital aspects such as infant health, social and emotional development, and school readiness.
Ready Ready’s continuum of care reached an impressive 16,364 families in 2022, underscoring its pivotal role in the community. This initiative serves as a model that extends its influence beyond Guilford County, acting as an inspiration for similar efforts across North Carolina and nationwide. The emphasis on collective leadership and accountability is a defining feature of this community-led endeavor. By creating an innovative and interconnected early childhood system, Ready Ready offers effective services at critical developmental stages, ultimately working to dismantle the cycle of poverty.
Charrise has earned recognition for her contributions, including the UNC School of Social Work Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2022, she was honored with the C-Suite Award with the Triad Business Journal. Charrise is also active in public education and global service, holding positions on the Teach for America of Charlotte-Piedmont Triad Board of Advisors and the World YWCA Service Council.
Charrise is an alumna of NC State University, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. She furthered her education with a Masters of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as an MBA from Wake Forest University.