Archive Page 2

CSF Celebrates the New 2013-14 School Year

A few weeks ago, as the new school year was beginning, we asked parents to send us their first day of school photos and the response was astounding! Pictures came pouring in of CSF Scholars proudly posing in school uniforms, carrying backpacks full of new notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils.

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Here are a few of the words of gratitude parents shared along with their photos:

  •  “My son is very happy on his first day of school and he was so proud to tell everyone that he got a scholarship.”
  • “This picture wouldn’t be possible without their scholarship. Thank you.”
  •  “My son’s first day of school went better than I expected. When we got there, he actually didn’t want me to leave but his teacher, Miss Silva, picked him up, gave him a hug, and took him inside. That made me feel comfortable to leave knowing he was in good hands. At the end of the day he was so excited and had so much to tell me.”
  • “My daughter, Sophia, had first day butterflies but loves her school very much. Thank you CSF for helping me send her to a great school.”
  • “I was out of work for over two years. Just entering back into the workforce, my salary is not what it once was, so your financial support makes it possible for Eric to attend St. Mark’s, and for that I am eternally grateful.”
  • “My daughter, Jelisse, was super-excited and nervous about her first day of school. However, her teacher, Mrs. Pappas, was so warm and friendly while welcoming the kindergarteners this morning. She made my daughter feel more comfortable and less nervous.”


You can view more back to school photos on CSF’s Facebook page


Cardinal Dolan Celebrates Ted Forstmann’s Legacy

Cardinal Dolan commemorated the contributions of three prominent education philanthropists in his recent blog post and we are honored to see our co-founder, Ted Forstmann, among them. Peter Flanigan, Ted Forstmann, and Paul Woolard all made significant contributions to giving New York families access to quality school options through their involvement with the Partnership for Catholic Schools, Inner-City Scholarship Fund, and Children’s Scholarship Fund.

When speaking of Ted, he says:

Ted admired our schools for their splendid academics and emphasis on character, virtue, and faith, but he also admitted that, as a successful businessman, he considered support for our struggling schools to be a shrewd investment, producing competent, reliable leaders for the community, and because private schools served as healthy competitors to the unhealthy monopoly of public education.  This is what lead him to co-found the Children’s Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to students in Catholic and other private schools throughout the country.

Thank you, Cardinal Dolan, for celebrating Ted’s legacy and the work of the Children’s Scholarship Fund. We are honored to be working towards the greater goal of maximizing educational opportunity for all children and realizing Ted’s vision.

New CSF Annual Report Available Now

CSF’s 2012-13 annual report is hot off the presses today and available for downloading at:

Take a moment to read about some of the thousands of families nationwide who are using scholarships provided by CSF or CSF partner programs and find out how parental choice in education is making a difference in the lives of more and more families.


WSJ Publishes Letter to the Editor from CSF’s Chair and President on Peter Flanigan’s Legacy

The Wall Street Journal just published a letter to the editor from CSF Chair Mike McCurry and CSF President Darla Romfo in response to the paper’s recent editorial about the late Peter Flanigan’s education reform legacy.

In their letter, McCurry and Romfo urge a new generation of leaders to “take up the mantle and make [Flanigan's] dream of a decent education for every American child a reality.”

You can read the full letter here:

CSF Remembers Peter M. Flanigan

By Darla M. Romfo, CSF President

All of us at Children’s Scholarship Fund were deeply saddened to learn of Peter M. Flanigan’s death earlier this week.

The list of charitable and reform-minded educational endeavors that were either started by Peter or lucky enough to have his association is a long one. And who knows how many children’s lives were changed by his tireless efforts? Perhaps he knows that number now.

Peter was one of a kind and will never be replaced. I am grateful to have known him and had a chance to learn from both his example and the clarity of thought he brought to any discussion.

Our sincere condolences go to Peter’s wife, his children and their families. His memory will live on in the lives of thousands of children who received a better education through his efforts.

CSF Alum Joins Sports Heroes at Champions for Choice Event

On the eve of the ESPY awards, Children’s Scholarship Fund of Omaha alum Josh Jones was privileged to be one of several athletes discussing the value of parental choice in education at the Champions for Choice event in Los Angeles.

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie and former NBA star and current ESPN/NBA analyst Jalen Rose were the evening’s co-hosts, and both spoke about how they got involved with education reform and came to believe that all parents should have the power to choose the school that best fits their children’s needs. Kevin P. Chavous of the American Federation for Children also addressed the star-studded crowd, which included Vince Young, Vivica A. Fox, and Lou Gossett Jr. among others. Josh met and posed for photos with many of the athletes and actors!

CSF Omaha alum Josh Jones with actress Regina King at last night's Champions for Choice event. (Photo: Josh Jones)

CSF Omaha alum Josh Jones with actress Regina King at last night’s Champions for Choice event. (Photo: Josh Jones)

As an athlete who benefited from school choice  himself, Josh was perfectly suited to participate in Champions for Choice. He first used a CSF Omaha scholarship to attend Jesuit Middle School as a fourth-grader, and it was there where he decided he wanted a future in basketball. Josh jokes that he learned to be a diligent and well-behaved student because the school rewarded good behavior with extra time on the basketball court!

After middle school, Josh played basketball at Omaha Central High School (winning three state championships and setting a record for scoring points) and then earned a scholarship to Creighton University, where he was a standout guard for the Bluejays.

Along the way, Josh has faced and overcome some serious setbacks. He was only a sophomore in high school when his father passed away. And last December, Josh was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition and had to undergo surgery and cut short the final year of his Creighton career. (You can read more on ESPN’s website here.)

Just last month, Josh wowed the audience at CSF Omaha’s annual luncheon with his story and his positivity. “Everyone has choices in life, but not everyone has a chance,” he said. “Where I grew up, I was surrounded by drugs and violence every day. I could choose to go left or choose to go right. The Children’s Scholarship Fund of Omaha gave me the chance to make the right choice and change my family’s legacy.”

Tonight, Josh is a guest at the ESPY Awards, getting the chance to meet and mingle with many of his sports heroes. Thank you, Josh, for representing CSF so well, and thank you to the American Federation for Children for giving Josh this opportunity!  

On the red carpet were: Kevin P. Chavous; Lou Gossett Jr.; Lisa Leslie, and Jalen Rose. Event  co-sponsors included the American Federation for Children, the Alliance for School Choice, the Broad Foundation, and the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. (Photo: AFC)

On the red carpet were: Kevin P. Chavous; Lou Gossett Jr.; Lisa Leslie, and Jalen Rose. Event co-sponsors included the American Federation for Children, the Alliance for School Choice, the Broad Foundation, and the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. (Photo: AFC)

From CSF Scholar to Columbia Grad

At 22, Jason Tejada is a highly accomplished young man, already ahead of his peers in many respects. He just graduated from Columbia University, where he majored in economics and ancient history on a full scholarship, and this summer he’s beginning work at JPMorgan Chase in Manhattan.

CSF Alum Jason Tejada graduating from Columbia with proud parents, Francisco and Luz.

CSF Alum Jason Tejada graduating from Columbia with proud parents, Francisco and Luz.

But Jason’s life could easily have taken a different path. Growing up in Washington Heights as the son of recent immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Jason knows education is the key to his success, and that many young people growing up in his zip code have not had the same opportunities his schooling offered him.

Jason’s mother, Luz, first heard about CSF through a teacher at his public school who thought Jason would excel in a private school setting. Luz liked the more disciplined environment at nearby Incarnation School, and used a CSF scholarship to enroll him there starting in fifth grade. Later, his younger sisters, Joandalys and Jorvelyn, also attended Incarnation as CSF Scholars.

Jason thrived in the safe, family atmosphere of Incarnation School, and went on to All Hallows High School with another scholarship. But it was not a seamless transition. During his eighth grade year, Jason was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and underwent surgery and chemotherapy throughout eighth and ninth grades.

Fortunately Jason regained his health and graduated from All Hallows as valedictorian.

At Columbia University, Jason has proven to be a real leader among his peers, becoming President of his fraternity and winning the Dean’s Award for Leadership Excellence and the Stanley I. Fishel/Zeta Beta Tau Prize. This May, he was chosen by his classmates to be the main student speaker at a Latino graduation ceremony at Columbia. In his speech, he thanked his parents for all the sacrifices they have made throughout his schooling, and said he and his classmates now have an obligation to help younger generations get the education they need.

Jason’s speech echoed what Jason’s mother, Luz, told CSF several years ago. “Thanks to your help, my children have reaped great benefits,” she said. “They have been lucky in finding institutions like yours who helped them, and I want them to do the same for others.”

Jason’s extended family came out to cheer for the new graduate!

Jason’s extended family came out to cheer for the new graduate!


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