When asked why my husband and I support Champions For Learning, I could give a list of reasons. I could answer that I value the mission of creating a life-changing learning experience for every student. I could answer that I relate to the struggles that more than half of Collier County Public School students face. Having moved to this country as a toddler and had a mother who was learning English as I was learning how to speak, I understand the frustration of coming home from school and not being able to turn to my college-educated mother for help with my homework, simply because her command of the English language wasn’t strong enough. I could answer that I value the role of educators as it was my teachers that helped close the gap that I faced with my education. I could answer that as a parent I relate with the desire to have resources available for the education of children. But the real answer is simple. We give because we believe that education is everything.
I have a tremendous respect for the students and families of Champions For Learning. I find there is a reverence for the space and the opportunity that is offered at Champions For Learning. I have never seen a parent participation rate as high as our parents have at Champions For Learning. Education is everything.
Every day I have the great honor of working alongside our dedicated students, and every day I watch them work tirelessly to achieve a path to college and career. I have heard countless stories shared by our mentors who express admiration of their mentees who give all they can to be the first in their families to attend college. Never have I seen a program where 76% of our high school alumni earn a degree or credential after they have graduated from our programs, well above the national average of 50%. Education is everything.
Our community is fortunate to have thousands of educators charged with the education of our future generation. I have witnessed a dedication to the art of teaching as I reviewed hundreds of applications submitted for funding in our classroom grants program. Many of our educators expressed that they will use their own money to meet their budgetary gaps if their awarded grant cannot fully meet their need, to ensure their students had the most meaningful learning experience. Education is everything.
I am in awe of our Golden Apple and Classroom Grants programs that celebrate the best practices of our treasured educators. These teachers are willing to share their best practice with their peers, they participate in peer learning and networking, and have a best practice that results in demonstrable student success. Education is everything.
I cannot thank you enough for your critical partnership. You have helped shape our impact. You have helped provide a path for student success. You have lifted our educators. Will you remain steadfast in your belief that education is everything? Can we count on your loyal support? Together we will make a difference.
President & CEO