We had an extremely busy October with lots of great things to celebrate!  First, we gained our first sustaining donors this month.  What exactly does that mean?  These are people who have pledged to donate to the foundation on a recurring basis throughout the entire year.  It’s important that we can rely on these types of donations so that we can commit to more great opportunities in the future.  It gives us long term viability and the ability to help more people throughout our community.

We also launched our first ever grants process, which is open to every single employee within the school district!  There’s still 2 more days to apply, but I have been blown away with the caliber of grants we’ve received.  Every single grant application provides a tangible benefit to the district community.  There are so many ways that we can help, and I am honored to be part of this process.

I’d like to share a story of why I am passionate about education and about the Foundation’s work.  Growing up, I was fortunate that my own parents were able to afford all of the educational opportunities I wanted.  My parents happily paid for field trips, extracurricular activities, science fair projects and overnight science camp in 6th grade (yes, that was part of school for us).  A trip to Washington DC to learn about government?   I was able to do that too.   If it contributed to my education, my parents never put limitations on that.  But, I assumed all parent did that.  Sadly, they don’t.  They can’t.

CTS_NYSE_Bell

My dad got to help ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange a few years ago!

When I was in high school and moaning about studying for the ACT’s, my own dad told me his story.  He was the youngest of five kids in Roswell, New Mexico.  His parents could afford a house, but not much more than that.  He liked school, but didn’t really have any aspirations of going to college.  He really didn’t have aspirations of doing anything after high school.  His older siblings either went to work or joined the military.  But he had one stubborn school counselor who thought he should go to college. He believed it so much, he paid for my dad’s ACT fees, and drove him to the test on a Saturday morning.  That small gesture started a trajectory f or my dad.  He did go onto school, he majored in Industrial Engineering, and he graduated.  In fact, he became the first in his family to graduate college.  He went onto work for companies like IBM and Motorola, and retired just a few years ago as an executive at a large company.  Those educational opportunities that I thought were necessary?  They aren’t available to every student because of the education system.

The kids in our community have infinite possibilities to be executives, teachers, entrepreneurs, mechanics.  My own daughter wants to be a McDonald’s chef right now.  The teachers in our community want to be able to give them the skills and opportunities to reach those goals.  The parents in our community want to be able to afford to give their kids that opportunity.  The Foundation is here to fill that gap.  To provide money to the district to ensure that all students can have the same opportunities.  This is why it’s important that I play a small part in the solution to a very complex problem.

If you’d like to help, I’d love to talk to you.  You can email me directly: alingane@yef115.org