Dear Friends and Family,
I came to Citizen Schools a year and a half ago with a deep desire to affect urban public education which works with disproportionately large numbers of minority students. In America today, 50% of students of color will drop out of high school before graduation. Of those who make it to college, only 28% of African American students graduate with a degree, and only 16% of Latino students will. This is at a time when high school drop-outs are 4x more likely to be unemployed and close to 50% more likely to be incarcerated.
Citizen Schools is doing something about this! We are a non-profit education reform organization, and we partner with middle schools in low-income communities across the country. At Citizen Schools, not only do students develop the skills, knowledge, and beliefs to succeed in middle school, advance towards college, and become leaders in their careers and communities, but we are also affecting political change which will spread to other areas of the country!
I am the Manager of Civic Engagement in New Jersey. We recruit "Citizen Teachers" to teach amazing things through our apprenticeship program. For example, learning comes to life as scientists teach our students about the food science that goes into making ice-cream, as engineers teach our students how to build solar cars and robots, and as lawyers teach our students to litigate a mock trials.
This past fall I was given the opportunity to teach a Documentary Filmmaking apprenticeship. Throughout the semester, my students decided to create a documentary to address violence in their community, and they were able to show it to over 200 community members last December. The students shared personal experiences with violence, such as getting caught in cross-fires or watching a family member get shot, and they were able to interview community leaders. Knowing that through educating our youth, we can build a better world where children feel safe and have opportunities to succeed keeps me going everyday. The film they created is above, if you are interested in watching it!
As part of a nation-wide fundraising initiative, would you please help me raise $2000 by March 13th to support this work?
We are embarking on an effort to drastically increase the number of students we serve in New Jersey over the next year. This grassroots campaign is part of that overall effort. My ask of you is part of a larger regional goal of raising $30,000 by March 13th. Please consider playing a small part in this larger grassroots appeal. You can give as little as $10 or as much as.... well I'll let you fill in that blank!
ALL DONATIONS WILL BE MATCHED BY AN ANONYMOUS DONOR! You can now make double the difference!
Thanks for your support and your belief.
Jessica (Hodson) Fick