May 6, 2015

St. Louis, MO — David Barford, a 20-year resident of Chesterfield, MO, has been nominated by his peers for the Outstanding Philanthropist Award for his efforts to co-found Global Learning Exchange Initiative (GLXi), a nonprofit organization which is bringing quality education to children in Guatemala. Outstanding Philanthropist is one of the categories of awards presented every year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) at their National Philanthropy Day Honors Program in November.

Dave is best known as a successful business person in the field of technology and telecommunications.  His philanthropic work has gone largely unrecognized, which is highlighted as one of the reasons for his nomination. The nomination states that he is deserving for the “meaningful actions he has taken to support the youth of Guatemala and the thoughtful, even quiet, manner in which he is doing it.”

Dave and Ray Kollar, a Wildwood resident, co-founded GLXi in 2012 in an effort to empower people in developing countries through education that includes technology, quality teaching materials and teacher training.  They are piloting the program in Guatemala because of Dave’s experience there. “My passion [for Guatemala] goes way back to 2006 when my children and I started doing mission trips to the Mayan Highlands to dig water wells,” Dave said.

GLXi’s early focus is on literacy because it is the key indicator for success for individuals, communities and countries.  Board members of the nonprofit developed an innovative literacy curriculum built on research-based teaching practices, sophisticated technology and engaging children’s literature.  After one year, test results indicate that first-graders in the GLXi program were reading at a level almost equal to third-graders who were not in the program.

Results of the Outstanding Philanthropist nominations will be announced in November.