9 Days Left: Go Bike Riding.
(Be safe, and don’t forget about your helmet!)
Giving parents a choice, giving children a chance.
(Be safe, and don’t forget about your helmet!)
(like one of my favorites, The Incredibles!)
(because it’s raining and it’s the perfect time to just get dirty!)
CSF students will be returning to school on Wednesday, September 9th – 15 days from today. So, today we begin the Back to School Countdown! Each day will feature something you must do before saying goodbye to summer-fun and welcoming the new school year. Here it goes…
Madison is only six years old, but she exudes confidence, patience, and intellect. While her mom, JoseAnn, was in the office filling out her requalification papers for the scholarship, Madison patiently colored. Her picture started off small, with one square at a time, but flourished into a sort of storyboard that she titled, “The Cat and the Dog.” Watching her color, you could easily see that she was thinking carefully about each choice and that it was more than just drawing a picture. Pondering what to draw for her last square, she looked up from where she was coloring at the CSF office, and saw the American flag. She inquired intelligently about the stripes, asking how many stripes the American flag had, and then decided to dedicate her last square to this knowledge she acquired. After about 45 minutes, she happily finished her drawing, signed her name, and gave it to us.
We were very happy to meet Madison because she is so self-composed and bright. When asked about her summer and her school, Our Lady of Snows (which she has been attending since Kindergarten with her CSF scholarship), she warmly stated that she was ready to go back to school. Her mom, JoseAnn, tells us that Madison is the most punctual six-year-old she has ever met. She looks forward to school and refuses to be late so she is up on time and at school by 8:20am. That’s earlier than our office opens! JoseAnn also says that Madison is excelling academically and socially and can tell by the vocabulary she uses and the way she interacts with her classmates. Madison and her school seem to be a great fit, and we are happy that the scholarship has made this possible for them.
Please enjoy Madison’s masterpiece!
We are always excited and thankful to receive gifts from new donors, but today we received an extra special donation. The envelope was simple and white, like any other, but fat and heavy. When opened, a wad of cash and some coins were exposed. Normally we don’t receive many donations in cash, especially in this quantity. The enclosed letter explained it all.
A group of teenage students from the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC), headquartered in Chicago, got together and decided to raise money for a charity “to help out the community,” they say. They tell us how they were inspired by CSF “to get the word out there that we need to help these kids who deserve so much, but can’t have it all.” The NSLC group identifies with CSF students who are pursuing the best educational opportunities available to achieve their goals, even if it’s at a cost.
NSLC invites a group of select high school students to spend their summer participating in fast-paced, high-level, interactive summer sessions. Sponsored by the National Student Leadership Foundation, a 501(c)3, the NSLC provides students with the opportunity to experience life on a college campus, while developing leadership skills and exploring future careers. The average cost of tuition to attend NSLC is about $2,300, which is close to what a CSF scholarship family pays to send three children to private school for one year.
In participating in NSLC, this special group of teens said they now came to “understand that there are kids unlike us who sometimes don’t have everything when it comes to education.” Wow. We are absolutely inspired by this – a group of teens motivated to take extra educational opportunities available to them decided they would extend similar opportunities to their peers through their own fundraising efforts. It is truly a special donation, and we are so happy to have been chosen. Thank you, thank you to this special group of NSLC students. Know that you have inspired us as well. Best of luck in your future endeavors!
Just yesterday we received a thank you card from one of our families, and we’d like to share their story. As our recent annual report states, these family stories explain our work best, and inspires us to continue.
Ms. Karina Rivera is a single parent of two bright CSF students, and she and her family take education very seriously. As a student herself (Ms. Rivera is currently a full-time law student), she understands the value of a good education and so when it was time for her own children to attend school, she obviously wanted the very best. Her first child, Jayson, began at a public school, but Ms. Rivera soon realized that this school was not going to work out. Jayson has speech and learning impediments and was behind since the beginning. After two years in public school, he still wasn’t making enough progress and something needed to change.
When Ms. Rivera had her second child, Nicole, she decided it was time to try a new school for both of her children so she looked into her alma mater, Our Lady of Mercy in the Bronx. She and her extended family attended this school for their own elementary school years. Ms. Rivera was convinced that private school would give her children more options, and with the help of the CSF scholarship, she was able to enroll Jayson in Nicole at the school, and still continue her own studies.
Jayson and Nicole have been at Our Lady of Mercy for two years now, and they are making significant improvements, even though they both have learning disabilities. Jayson is currently in 4th grade, but already reading at a 6th grade level and doing 6th grade math! Ms. Rivera is very proud. “I would recommend anyone to private school even though you have to pay more. It is a sacrifice, but you can do it. They are learning so much that the sacrifice is worth it.” Thankfully, this whole family of students has found something that works and something that inspires them to learn and continue their education. We are so proud.