A Gift of Hope and Vision
The Kullman family donates $1 million to the Center for American Indian Health.
The Kullman family’s bond with the NativeVision summer camp for American Indian children was immediate and strong.
The three Kullman kids all spent time volunteering at the camp—founded in 1996 by the Bloomberg School’s Center for American Indian Health (CAIH)—and those experiences strengthened their family’s connection to Michael Kullman’s Native American heritage.
This year, the Kullmans—Michael, Ellen and their now-grown children David, Stephen and Maggie—took their support of NativeVision to another level with a $1 million gift to expand the summer camp’s outreach and after-school programs.
“We have been talking about how to support the program ever since our kids volunteered there, and over the past year we’ve learned about what the needs are,” says Michael Kullman, whose grandmother was a member of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation in Northeast Oklahoma.
NativeVision, he says, is “close to our hearts.”
The Kullmans live in Wilmington, Delaware, where Ellen is chair and CEO of the DuPont Company.
“On top of their years of volunteerism and past support, the Kullman family gift is an extraordinary commitment to NativeVision and the children we serve,” says NativeVision co-founder Allison Barlow, PhD, MPH ’97, associate director of CAIH and assistant scientist at the Bloomberg School.
The annual NativeVision sports and life skills camp, developed by CAIH, the NFL Players Association and the Nick Lowery Foundation, is the flagship initiative of NativeVision, an enrichment and empowerment program for American-Indian children. Former pro athletes as well as college athletes and coaches volunteer to mentor campers, using sports to teach life lessons. Camp activities—all of which emphasize the importance of education—include workshops on nutrition, public speaking and bullying as well as dramatic arts.
The Kullmans learned of NativeVision as a result of Michael Kullman’s efforts to encourage his children’s involvement in volunteer service projects to gain a greater understanding of Native American communities.
Twins David and Stephen, who volunteered at the NativeVision camp during high school, described their first exposure to the camp as eye-opening.
“It was sobering for them,” Kullman says of his sons’ introduction to the issues that confront so many Native American youth growing up in tribal communities. As a group, they struggle with high rates of substance abuse, domestic violence, obesity, suicide and dropping out of school.
“I think [my sons] came back with a much better understanding about how difficult the challenges are,” Michael Kullman says.
Inspired by their experience, David and Stephen launched a NativeVision fundraising project at home, soliciting pledges for goals scored by their high school lacrosse team.
The Kullman gift will allow CAIH to grow the summer camp, expand NativeVision’s after-school programs to year-round sessions and strengthen the curriculum, and launch additional programs with tribal partners.
“The Kullman family has given thousands more Native children vision and hope for happy, healthy futures,” says Barlow.