01/15/2012 11:09 pm ET Updated Mar 13, 2012

Ignite Your Passion: Leveraging Knowledge To Make A World Of Difference

Every day, we see story after story about job loss, celebrity scandals, unrest in the Middle East, brawls on the professional basketball court, and high profile murder cases. Sometimes it's surprising that people haven't stopped listening all together.

And yet there is so much good in the world--we just need to start talking about it. I'm sure you see it around you every day, and so do I.

At Capella University, we're in the enviable position of having daily encounters with people who are committed to gaining the knowledge they need to make a difference in the communities around them. It's happening in our schools, our health care system, and our businesses.

I applaud The Huffington Post for launching the Good News section of this website, and we're proud to be a sponsor. I look forward to reading international, national, and very personal stories about the positive activities that are happening around us. We're eager to shine a spotlight on people who are transforming the education of young people like Lerah Lee, who's implementing early childhood education programs that will close the achievement gap in Charleston County schools; Rebecca Souza, who's using her knowledge in public health to create an education program for use by African American churches in her community; and Heidi Coldagelli, who makes the most out of her business education to help others make the most of their potential.

Fresh thinking, energy, and vision are being used to tackle some of the most challenging problems we face. Having this place to share ideas and successes offers the opportunity to build momentum toward some remarkable achievements. And that's good news for all of us.

P-12 achievement begins in early childhood

Lerah Lee, PhD, is Executive Director of Early Childhood Education for the Charleston County Schools. Her vision is to close the achievement gap with quality early childhood programs, and she knows that it will take teamwork. "Leadership is not a solo act, but one that takes collaboration to ensure that all students achieve at high levels," she says. Dr. Lee plans to work closely with school based leaders, teachers, parents and community members to ensure CCSD's Early Childhood Program creates high performing students regardless of ethnicity or socio-economic status.

Leveraging community involvement improves public health

Rebecca Souza, MPH, demonstrates how learning translates into better public health. To complete the capstone project of her degree program, Rebecca began volunteering at her local department of health's flu immunization clinics. Through this experience, she developed an education program used by the African American churches in the community--one that more than demonstrates how to establish a relationship with a community agency and implement a project of value for that community.

Business degree provides revelation about life

Heidi Coldagelli, BS in Business and MBA candidate, is a manager of sales and service at a U.S. bank branch. Her responsibilities stretch across operations and customer service. In pursuing her MBA, Coldagelli had a revelation: A graduate education is also about being able to use one's talents to the fullest and have a positive impact on others. "Many of the courses I am taking are about human interaction and how to improve it, and that can be applied anywhere--work, family, friends," she said. "It's positive momentum that carries into the rest of your life."

These three brief accounts show how education can empower the efforts of people who want to make things better in their corner of the world. I believe higher education creates catalysts--people who leverage their knowledge and, from small but innovative actions, make big and positive changes.

Let's get the conversation started right now. We want to know about the people in your life who are doing good every day, who are making an impact in your community. Or maybe this person is you.