Oct 24 2018
$20 for a Lifetime of Success
On June 1, 2018, all 50 of Western School of Science and Technology: A Challenge Foundation Academy’s (“Western: CFA”) first-ever class of seniors graduated from high school on time, and with a post-secondary education plan. To our knowledge, those milestones – 100% graduation, 100% post-secondary – are the first of their kind in our west Phoenix community.
Since 2014, I have served as the Founding School Director of Western: CFA – a school whose sole purpose is to increase the graduation rate and post-secondary attainment rate of west Phoenix students. We do so, of course, through an intensive focus on academics; first and foremost, we are a college-prep school, and offer Advanced Placement and dual enrollment courses that prepare students for the academic rigors of college.
However – we recognize that, over the past decade or two, it’s not enough to just be “book smart” to get to and through college. “Well-rounded” has become a buzzword in college admissions circles for the type of candidate that selective colleges and programs are looking for – a student who not only excels in the classroom, but in the art studio, on the stage, on the athletic field, or in a business board room.
For these reasons, as a college-prep school, extracurricular and co-curricular activities – including arts, athletics, community service, and leadership programs – are an integral part of our students’ experience at Western: CFA. And our students have excelled at them: with two state championships and a half-dozen second place finishes in our sports programs over the past four years, and multiple student nominees for arts and leadership awards and scholarships, we have aimed to ensure that – in an environment of seemingly-continuous scrambling for resources – our extracurricular and co-curricular programs remain well-funded and well-resourced.
That’s where our partners and friends at Support My Club come in. With an innovative philanthropic model that emphasizes both giving and community service, our partnership with Support My Club has led to thousands – literally, thousands – of dollars of support for our athletic and arts programs. Our state championship-winning football team has the supplies needed for rich practices; our state championship-winning soccer team has the soccer balls it needs to run drills; our cheerleading team has the pads it needs to practice stunts.
And these generous gifts – perhaps seemingly small – matter. Of those 50 students I mentioned above, a full 10% are going to college on athletic scholarships. That $20 donation for a new soccer ball is going to great use with students who will be practicing with it daily, winning state titles, and then going on to college – thanks to the unique philanthropic model of Support My Club.
That’s $20 for a lifetime of success.