The campaign is made public at the ninth annual Night of Light dinner on October 8
With Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Bishop Andrew Cozzens and other supporters of Catholic education at its ninth annual fundraising dinner on October 8, the Aim Higher Foundation announced a public campaign to strengthen its capacity to provide low-income families with scholarships of $ 1,000 for their children to attend Catholic schools. primary schools.
A silent launch of the Aim Ever Higher campaign began in 2019 and has already paid off, raising $ 11.5 million in pledges, said Jean Houghton, president of the St. Paul-based nonprofit. , at the gathering of 400 people at the Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront. Hotel. This includes over $ 800,000 raised that night, Night of the Light, she said.
“We are extremely grateful to those who have helped us lay such a strong foundation for this campaign,” said Houghton. “Over the next few months, if we haven’t spoken to you already, we will invite all of you to join in this effort.”
Founded in 2011, Aim Higher has requested annual donations. In the campaign, which will run in a concentrated manner until spring 2022, the foundation is looking for multi-year commitments, from three to five years. This will help the organization continue to renew the scholarships each year through eighth grade, as needed, even if students are transferred to another Catholic school, Aim Higher officials said.
Aim Higher is also creating a similar scholarship fund of $ 1,000, specifically for students attending one of the 10 schools that are part of the Drexel Mission School initiative of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. helping downtown schools. Donations can be directed to this fund, said Ricky Austin, vice president of advancement and operations at Aim High. Potential donors can also help supplement the foundation’s endowment fund, from which interest earned is used for scholarships of $ 1,000.
School leaders claimed that the $ 1,000 scholarships often give parents the confidence to enroll in a Catholic school or seek additional help when needed, Austin said.
He told those gathered at the Night of Light that their support is essential, as too many families “do not have access to the quality of education they deserve. Too many families seek out the benefits offered by Catholic schools and cannot make the finances work.
That’s where Aim Higher comes in, Houghton said. “The Aim Higher Foundation is doing one thing: we are working to provide scholarships to help with tuition fees so that children can access Catholic schools,” she said.
The desire of families to educate their children in Catholic schools for quality academics and spiritual and moral development is strong and growing, especially in light of the online and in-school education offered throughout. pandemic, Houghton said.
For the 2021-2022 school year, Aim Higher received nearly 6,500 requests from families requesting more than $ 20 million in tuition assistance. The foundation has been able to support nearly 2,100 families with a total of $ 2.1 million in scholarships, foundation officials said.
In his remarks, Archbishop Hebda stated that Aim Higher is more than a program or an organization.
“The work of the Aim Higher Foundation is nothing less than a movement, a movement to inspire and mobilize us all around the very soul of our future Church and nation: our children,” said Archbishop .
Aim Higher emphasizes its mission by declaring “we are doing one thing”, said the Archbishop. “While we should all appreciate this laser focus, it is imperative to note that the impact of the Aim Higher Foundation, the impact of your donations tonight, is one thing that has sparked a cascade of positive changes” to help parents and their children, and “give confidence to school leaders to continue the sacred work they are doing”.
The Aim Higher Foundation accepts applications for the 2022-2023 school year from November 2021 to February 22, 2022; and from May 31, 2022 to August 6, 2023. Go to aimhigherfoundation.org or visit a Catholic elementary school and learn more about Aim Higher.
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