Welcome to my grassroots fundraising page for Citizen Schools!
Between now and May 18, 2010, I am personally seeking to raise $5,000 for Citizen Schools. 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 in these challenging times when public and private funds are all the harder to come by, and I would be grateful for your tax-deductible donation of any size to Citizen Schools.
Background on Citizen Schools
Citizen Schools Massachusetts is now in its 15th 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 to introduce them to exciting career paths and make them aware of the knowledge, skills, hard work and perseverance it takes to achieve success in school and in professional life.
In apprenticeships 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, argued mock trials, programmed video games, and a lot 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
Over the past seven 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 and three of whom are already in college:
- Vanessa Beliard -- Clark Atlanta University, Class of 2011
- 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 -- City on a Hill Charter High School, Class of 2010
- Roobvia Bernadin -- Boston Arts Academy, Class of 2011
- Kenya Joseph -- City on a Hill Charter High School, Class of 2012
- Frankline Mardi -- John D. O'Bryant School of Math and Science, Class of 2012 (currently attending Coastal Studies for Girls, a semester long leadership and science education program in Maine for high school sophomores)
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 eighth year volunteering with Citizen Schools and as a member 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://citizenschools.org/whatwedo/results/index.cfm.
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 at left). When I first met her, Arielys Morales was a quiet 8th grader on my firm's Citizen Schools team. Today, she has blossomed into a capable, confident, mature and talented young woman -- a sophomore at Northeastern University where she is studying business on a four-year full scholarship. Arielys is just one of Citizen Schools' many success stories. With your support, we can help more students achieve their dreams.