Welcome to my grassroots fundraising page for Citizen Schools!
The American educational system is in trouble, particularly for the highest risk children in our urban centers. Schools are crowded and our teachers and administrators are burdened with a near-insurmountable mission. Cities and towns are strapped for cash and are routinely forced to scale back education programs and initiatives. Every year, more and more capable, bright and innocent kids are left further and further behind their peers in other nations.
We can help.
Between now and June 30, 2012, I am personally seeking to raise $5,000 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.
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
I started working with Citizen Schools in 2008 as a Citizen Teacher in the Mock Trial Program with middle school students from various Boston and Greater Boston area schools. Each semester I, along with other attorneys and staff at WilmerHale, would teach a new group of 12 students about the legal system, oral presentation skills, (constructive) argument skills and advocacy for their client and themselves.
Those of you who know me know how dedicated I am to trial advocacy techniques and practice. Taking the chance to share my knowledge, and even refine my own abilities through teaching, was a no-brainer. Every semester I have been able to take individual students and expose them to concepts and training that many college and law students often miss or skip. They learn to speak loudly, clearly and proudly. They learn how to structure an argument and to identify facts and positions to support their points. They learn that they have the ability to stand in front of a judge, a jury, their parents and their peers and make a strong, passionate and convincing legal argument.
This year, I was asked to join the “Council of Champions,” a group of Citizen Teachers and volunteers who are particularly dedicated to the grassroots side of the Citizen Schools mission. I am honored to be included in the Council, and I hope I can bring even a fraction of the skill and dedication the other members have to improve, energize and support Citizen Schools in 2012.
Help Citizen Schools Grow and Succeed
I encourage you to learn more about Citizen Schools. Consider joining us as a volunteer teacher. Their system works. Students in Boston area schools served by Citizen Schools have made tremendous leaps in standardized testing and other benchmarks. Citizen Schools provides extra learning time outside the normal curriculum, leaving regular teachers and school systems able to work towards their important goals. Through otherwise unavailable extra teachers, facilities and time Citizen Schools adds to the students’ education hours of instruction and exposes them to ideas and possibilities otherwise foreign and inaccessible. This is a mission I think we can all embrace.
Every dollar helps more students join the Citizen Schools program. Please consider adding your voice and aid to mine.
With your support, we can help more students achieve their dreams!