Lead Poisoning's Negative Impact on Children's IQ
Marty Johnson, Founder and President at Isles, Inc., shares how IQs of thousands of children in New Jersey can be improved each year by eliminating the threat of lead poisoning from their homes and the environment.
"We are pleased to welcome Mr. Marty Johnson, who is the Founder and President of a great organization called Isles, Inc., founded in 1981, with the purpose of? It's a nonprofit community development organization focused on environmental solutions. It's based in Trenton. We're trying to come up with innovative ways to meet a nine word mission, which is foster self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities. So that is an interesting way of approaching some of these challenges that we face in tougher communities. Back in the day, 1989, Marty and I were in the second class of a great organization called Leadership New Jersey. I met you then and I thought, this passion that you had and have today to help people, where does that come from? So that's a really good question. I go back to my grandparents, who moved up from the South. They were sharecroppers. They wanted to work in the rubber factories of Akron, Ohio, and struggled. They ultimately found a job there. My parents grew up in those families and had a pretty challenging time. My mother was in an accident when I was young. She couldn't walk a good chunk of my childhood. My father ended up leaving after... when I turned 16. A little brother and sister at home, mother in a difficult... and body cast, and you know, the football coaches from Princeton University come to my high school. Hmm. So I'm trying to be a high school kid, and dealing with those challenges that come with being... with having those deep questions about, you know, where does food, where does housing, come from... Right. ...for us as a family? And darned if I didn't get in. So I got thrown in the... You got to Princeton? ...middle of Princeton's campus as a football player. And also you wrote your... was it your senior thesis? I sure did. I wrote a senior... I was able to visit Northeast Brazil, my half... second half of my junior year, to be... and I looked at some challenges about development, you know, a fishing village there, and it got me thinking a lot about, "Aren't there better ways of doing development in places that need it, that would both strengthen those that you intend to serve there in those communities, as well as the environment?" And out of that, I wrote a senior thesis on that project, but started looking at, "Okay, if you were to do this better, what would it look like?" And me and a couple of others decided to take that theory into practice. And that's Isles? We created Isles when I was a senior, and I've never had a real job..."