Passionate young professionals critical to Futures success

Vince Anch is the new executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation. LEAVEN PHOTO BY LORI WOOD HABIGER

by Vince Anch

At the Catholic Education Foundation, we’re very fortunate to receive support from more than 1,000 donors and volunteers, including a dedicated team of young professionals who serve on our Futures Committee. 

These young adults — many of whom are alumni of local Catholic schools — help us spread the mission of CEF while also raising funds for Guardian Angel scholarships. 

Our Guardian Angel Scholarship Fund began in 2011 when a Futures Committee member grew concerned about students leaving Catholic schools midyear. He learned that some students left school abruptly because of a parent’s job loss or other crisis that made it difficult for the family to pay tuition. 

When these situations arose midyear, typically all existing scholarship funds were spent and there was nowhere for families to turn. Thanks to the hard work of this volunteer in researching the issue and securing initial funding, the Catholic Education Foundation Guardian Angel Scholarship Fund began. 

To date, Guardian Angel scholarships have allowed 244 students to remain in their schools. Many of these students have faced heartbreaking situations, including the death of a parent, the loss of a home to fire or a cancer diagnosis in the family. 

One family benefiting from the fund this semester transferred to a school in the archdiocese last year. The students weren’t Catholic, but the family was looking for a better educational opportunity and a family environment. 

After starting in the Catholic school, both students wanted to receive the sacraments, and began working with their teachers on sacrament preparation. 

They received first Communion at an all-school Mass last year, surrounded by their classmates. The principal has shared that they are thriving at the school and are valued members of the school community. 

This fall, the students’ mother unexpectedly lost her job and struggled to make ends meet. The parish rallied around the family, providing gift cards for groceries and Christmas gifts. 

Unfortunately, the school was out of scholarship funds when the mother lost her job and did not have the means to help cover tuition payments. The principal applied to CEF’s Guardian Angel Scholarship Fund on the family’s behalf. 

Thanks to the hard work of the Futures Committee, the Catholic Education Foundation had scholarship funds available to help the students stay in their school.

Our Futures Committee is growing, and we encourage you to nominate young professionals with a passion for Catholic education for membership on the committee. 

Visit the website at: cefks.org/cef-futures for details.    

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