ChanceLight, Therapy & Education, today announcedMark Claypool, president and CEO, was named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2016 in the social responsibility category in the Southeast. The award recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. The social responsibility category recognizes entrepreneurs who exemplify the connection between business and community.
In 1999, Claypool, then a social worker, was frustrated by decreasing resources for foster children and all children with learning differences, and founded ChanceLight, formerly known as Educational Services of America (ESA), at his dining room table. Under his leadership, ChanceLight has grown from one employee and zero revenue in 1999 to nearly 3,000 employees and $134 million in annual revenue and is the nation’s leading provider of behavioral health, therapy and education solutions for children and young adults.
“ChanceLight is grounded in a social mission to offer hope and to provide children the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Claypool said. “The collective impact of business and the community is vital to helping children advance academically, behaviorally and socially.”
Over the years, Claypool has expanded ChanceLight’s programs in response to the growing number of children with autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, emotional disturbances, behavioral challenges or other special needs. Today, 1 in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder, creating a substantial and long-term impact on public education. ChanceLight now partners with public school districts to provide creative and cost-effective solutions for supporting this growing population.
Claypool is a frequent speaker about the value of public-private partnerships in education and behavioral health, and has written a book, We’re in this Together: Public-Private Partnerships in Special and At-Risk Education, which discusses how, when implemented correctly, public-private partnerships offer children and young people the opportunity to create successful, independent futures, expand options for school districts and often offer district leaders more transparency and greater accountability. He is writing another book examining the discord between special education practice and the growing discipline of Applied Behavior Analysis for children who have autism spectrum and related disorders.
Claypool was selected by a panel of independent judges and received the award during an EY special gala event in Nashville June 23. He is eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 national program.
ChanceLight™ is the nation’s leading provider of behavioral health, therapy and education solutions for children and young adults. We change the direction of children’s lives by offering them the opportunity to create successful, independent futures.
ChanceLight serves more than 18,000 clients and students each day at more than 150 locations in 27 states across three divisions.
ChanceLight serves children and young adults with autism spectrum and related disorders. ChanceLight Therapy offers physical, occupational and speech therapy services for infants, toddlers, children and young adults who have complex medical and developmental needs. ChanceLight Education includes Ombudsman Educational Services, which partners with more than 100 school districts to serve at-risk students; and Spectrum Center Schools and Programs, which partners with more than 100 school districts to operate schools and programs for students with special needs.
About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.
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