On December 31st, 2019, we were excited to step into a brand new decade. We spent time with our loved ones, made new year’s resolutions, and moved forward into 2020 with high expectations. What awaited us was unlike anything we could have ever imagined. The last few months have challenged us in ways that we hadn’t anticipated, and we’ve had to put all our plans on hold, make sacrifices, and wait patiently for the world to get back to equilibrium.
While face masks and staying indoors became our new normal, large gatherings and traveling became obsolete. This is especially difficult in our realm of work: education. Even in the face of a global pandemic, we never faltered in our mission to provide an exceptional education to our scholars. While we would prefer to be teaching in-person, our successful transition into remote learning was possible because we had the resources and technology to offer to our staff, teachers, and scholars across our five regions. We are proud to be an organization that provides continuous support to our communities in every way.
However, there are still areas where our families need help. During this COVID-related economic crisis, our schools are finding creative and unbelievable ways to provide our families with everyday necessities and the technology they need to participate in high-quality, remote instruction. Our schools provide vital services such as meal and laundry assistance to scholars, food to the families of scholars and families in the community, and help families buy shoes and clothes when and where necessary. While our schools are doing all that they can to support our communities, these efforts have stretched our school teams thin. We need your help to sustain their efforts and ensure our scholars have everything they need to access their virtual or hybrid lessons and learn as much as possible this school year.
What are our greatest needs?
Our goal with this campaign is to remove any barriers our scholars encounter during remote instruction and minimize the burden they feel in these stressful times. Donations will go towards shoes, clothes, food, and technology; any and all resources that our scholars may need as we move forward and navigate this frightening new normal.
Alumni Microgrant Program
Another way our organization strives to make an immediate impact is to support our scholars who are now alumni. The Alumni Microgrant program is our way of doing just that. For many of our scholars, going to college is the first time they get a taste of true independence. Our mission with the microgrant program is to remove any barrier that limits our scholars’ success in the college of their choice; that means not only helping scholars navigate the complexities of post-secondary education, but providing the resources they need to keep on track for graduation. This reimbursement programs relieves the financial burden that many of our scholars face in college, whether that be transportation costs to travel back home, applying for additional credits, or funding a research project. We will always invest in our scholars’ education and success because we exist to serve them.
Democracy Prep’s Vision for the Future
Since its inception in 2005, Democracy Prep Public Schools has grown tremendously. Now operating in five regions with 22 high-performing schools and serving over 6,500 citizen-scholars, there is still much work to be done. Our Vision for the Future focuses on four key growth areas:
• Strategic Planning
Our strategic plan ensures that all the work we do contributes to our mission to educate responsible citizen-scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship. As we evolve as an organization, we will eventually expand to serve more historically disadvantaged students in search of great schools.
• College and Career Success
We don’t just get our scholars to college, we get them through college. We want to do better by our scholars to ensure that they not only finish high school, but attend and graduate from the college of their choice. This requires us to support our scholars in the early stages of high school by offering rigorous curriculums, financial aid workshops, and helping them navigate the complexities of the college application process. In doing so, we are preparing our scholars for the future.
• Education Reform
Our job is to educate our scholars so that they become the next generation of education reformers and changemakers. We are looking to fund a series of seminars that teach our scholars the history of educational inequity and the evolution of ed reform movements in the United States. This will empower our scholars to change the landscape of education as it exists today.
• Civics Education
Our civic program is fundamental to the work that we do. From a young age, we teach our scholars to have a deep understanding of how our democracy works, their place in it, and how they can engage in this system. We want to expand and enhance our Civic Program and make it accessible to all, so that we can reduce the Civics achievement gap in this country.
In all, our vision for the future is to ensure that our scholars receive an exceptional education and become the changemakers of the future.
How can you help?
Officially taking place on Tuesday, December 1st, Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement that encourages everyone to donate to charities and worthy causes. This year will be the second launch of our Giving Tuesday campaign and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We have a great opportunity to come together, support our community, and spread the word about our fundraising efforts.
There are two ways that you can donate:
1.) You can donate to one, multiple, or all of our regions (Baton Rouge, Camden, Las Vegas, New York, and San Antonio). Each region will keep the donations they have raised and the funds will go to their greatest need, which are COVID relief, our Alumni Microgrant program and internet connectivity and technology for our families.
2.) You can donate to the Charter Management Organization at Democracy Prep Public Schools. The donations accumulated here will go towards Democracy Prep’s Vision for the Future, which focuses on enhancing our strategic plan, making a greater impact in college and career success, nurturing the next wave of education reformers, and expanding our civics education curriculum.
Ultimately, all donations will directly impact our scholars’ success at Democracy Prep and beyond.
We cannot prepare scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship if basic needs are not met. A donation of any size can make a big impact. It’s not about how much you give, it’s about participating. Every dollar makes a difference to our families and alumni.
To everyone who has already donated to our Giving Tuesday campaign, THANK YOU! We appreciate your support in our mission to educate our citizen-scholars.
Are you ready to donate? Click here and make an impact today!