Welcome to my grassroots fundraising page for Citizen Schools!
Between now and May 31, 2012, I am personally seeking to raise $10,000 for Citizen Schools (www.citizenschools.org). My efforts are part of a national grassroots fundraising campaign that is seeking to raise $250,000 in critical funds for Citizen Schools. A contribution is particularly critical as Citizen Schools, at the request of the school districts it serves, looks to expand its programs to reach more students.
I would be grateful for your tax-deductible donation of any size to Citizen Schools, a 501(c)(3) organization.
Background on Citizen Schools
Citizen Schools Massachusetts is now in its 17th year of running high quality educational programming for students across the state during the after-school hours. In that time, Citizen Schools has engaged thousands of volunteer Citizen Teachers in working with urban middle school students in project-based apprenticeships that introduce them to exciting career paths and teach in a hands on manner the knowledge, skills, hard work and perseverance it takes to achieve success in school and in professional life.
In apprenticeships at Citizen Schools campuses across the country, Citizen Schools students have designed solar cars, published magazines, created public health websites, taught fellow students about the effects of drugs on the brain, studied aerodynamics, created advertising campaigns, learned how the stock market works, argued mock trials, programmed video games and more. (Check out the photo at right, which shows our apprentices celebrating the launch of Bridging Magazine, which contains their original essays!)
Mobilizing the energy of volunteers to improve outcomes for our highest-need students is a critical intervention at a time when the national drop-out rate averages 50%. Through apprenticeships, students gain an understanding of the importance of staying in school -- and learn what it takes to become an architect, a lawyer, a nurse, a painter or an entrepreneur.
My Involvement with Citizen Schools
Over the past nine and a half years, I have had the privilege of working with the following Citizen Schools apprentices, each of whom has gone onto a college-track high school, four of whom are already in college and one of whom is a college graduate:
- Vanessa Beliard -- Clark Atlanta University, Class of 2011; attended high school in Atlanta, GA
- Temique Roach -- University of New Hampshire, Class of 2012; Boston Community Leadership Academy, Class of 2008
- Azia Carle -- Kalamazoo College, Class of 2013; Boston Latin School, Class of 2009
- Ergy Lormine -- Suffolk University, Class of 2014; City on a Hill Charter High School, Class of 2010
- Roobvia Bernadin -- College of the Holy Cross, Class of 2015 (received a full scholarship!); Boston Arts Academy, Class of 2011 (check out her keynote speech at the 2010 Citizen Schools WOW Affair gala in the YouTube video above at right)
- Kenya Joseph -- City on a Hill Charter High School, Class of 2012 (will be attending Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts as part of the Class of 2016)
- Frankline Mardi -- John D. O'Bryant School of Math and Science, Class of 2012 (will be attending Mount Holyoke College as part of the Class of 2016)
- Emmanuel Laguerre -- Newman Prepatory School, Class of 2014 (Boston private school)
- Vania Pina -- Malden High School, Class of 2015
- Dennylee Suliveres -- Orchard Gardens K-8 School; Boston Arts Academy, Class of 2016
I could not be more proud of these students for their hard work, smart choices and commitment to success.
The Citizen Schools Difference
Now in my tenth year volunteering with Citizen Schools and as the Chair of the Citizen Schools MA Council of Champions, I have had the opportunity to observe first hand the difference that a program like Citizen Schools can make in the life of an urban middle school student.
Whether it is through one-on-one mentoring, the opportunity to try new things through apprenticeships that span the spectrum, individualized attention to writing skills, visits to local and distant colleges, help in navigating the maze that is the Boston high school choice process or the simple confidence that comes from being told that success is possible, the data is clear: students who participate in Citizen Schools outperform their matched peers by a significant margin. But don't just take my word for it, check out the data yourself at http://www.citizenschools.org/about/results.
I have many reasons why I believe passionately in the work that Citizen Schools is doing. But the best way to get a sense of the difference that Citizen Schools makes is to hear from Citizen Schools alumni directly (click on the YouTube video above). When I first met my former apprentice Roobvia Bernadin, she was an 8th grader on my firm's Citizen Schools team -- full of potential, but unsure of how to achieve it. Today, she has blossomed into a capable, confident, mature and talented young woman. Last June, Roobvia graduated from Boston Arts Academy. While in high school, she majored in signing and spent her spare time volunteering for Citizen Schools, even producing a student talent show fundraiser for Citizen Schools. Due to her hard work and commitment to achieve her goals, Roobvia received a full scholarship to the College of the Holy Cross where, as a freshman, she is studying music. Roobvia is just one of Citizen Schools' many success stories. With your support, we can help more students achieve their dreams.