With another school year coming to a close, we cannot help but reflect on the indelible image of our seniors on graduation day marching across the stage to proudly accept their diplomas. That certificate, clutched tightly in their hands, encompasses so much more than the words incribed on it. It is a symbol of their indomitable spirit; it represents their refusal to allow their surroudings to interefere with their dreams. Take Yamaira for example, who grew up in a single parent household under difficult financial circumstances that forced her to frequenly move from home to home. In fact, she had to switch schools three times in the span of one year without warning, leaving her little choice than to pick up her things and quickly adjust to difficult, unfamiliar environments. In spite of all this, Yamaira graduated as valedictorian of her class, and in the Fall, she will begin her journey to become a physical therapist at Arcadia University.
The diplomas handed out on graduation -- while certainly beautiful keepsakes to cherish -- are more than just loosely wound pieces of parchment. Hidden within them are incredible, inspiring stories like Yamaira's, of students overcoming great adversity. Adversity certainly threw everything it had at them this past year. Students across Philadelphia returned from the summer to schools facing unprecedented budget cuts, leading to fewer teachers, less resources, and uncertain futures. Yet despite these obstacles, 12+ worked closely with the teachers and staff of our partner schools, who demonstrated an enduring commitment to educating and empowering our students. We are proud to announce that we have not just "gotten by" this year; we have lifted the level of student engagement and achievement to new heights.
We see this elevation all throughout our schools. We look to our graduating seniors at Penn Treaty -- PT's first ever senior class -- who will be attending universities ranging from Penn State to Temple. We look to our recent Achievement Day at Kensington Health Sciences Academy, when we honored our PLUS Leaders who demonstrated 12+'s core values of Believe, Act, and Inspire. There are exciting things happening here in Philadelphia and these are examples of just what is possible when we endeavor to make a difference, together.
To date, over 400 people all over the world have generously given to Project: FLIGHT to raise a staggering total of $34,093! With these donations, 12+ has served nearly 1000 students across schools in underserved communities in Philadelphia. We have funded scholarships and college visits, along with massive school-wide culture events and engaging after-school activities. We have supplied teams of dedicated 12+ Fellows to serve and address the daily individualized post-secondary, academic, and social needs of our students. We have helped improve the overall college enrollment rates at our partner schools from 11% to 75%. And finally, we have continued to build a positive culture within our partner schools that empowers each one of our students to fly.
We cannot thank you enough for all your support. Without you, none of this would be possible; and because of you, the diplomas our graduates will take to college will serve another purpose: to remind them that they are not alone in their journey.
Warm regards, The 12+ Team
Dear 12+ Supporters,
After an exciting last day of fundraising, we are thrilled to announce that we have reached our goal of $5,000 from 40 individual donors! As a result, we will be given an additional $2,500 from GlobalGiving! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
When we designed this DIY Campaign, we thought back to the beginning of this academic year, when our schools in Philadelphia were facing insurmountable odds. Just weeks before the first day, it was announced that thousands of teachers, staff, and administrators across the city would be let go. This posed incredible difficulties for everyone in the district: students, administrators, partner nonprofits, and especially, teachers.
Despite these obstacles, 12+ worked with our partner schools to provide the best services we could for our students. This meant collaborating closely with our teachers, who demonstrated an enduring commitment to educating and empowering our students. As we approach the final days of this school year, we are proud to announce that we have not just "gotten by" this year; we have worked with our teachers to lift the level of student engagement to new heights.
We see this elevation all throughout our schools. We look to our graduating seniors at Penn Treaty - PT's first ever senior class! - who will be attending universities ranging from Penn State to Temple. We look to our recent Achievement Day at Kensington Health Sciences Academy, when we honored our PLUS Leaders who demonstrated 12+'s core values of Believe, Act, and Inspire. There are exciting things happening here in Philadelphia and these are examples of just what is possible when we endeavor to make a difference, together.
Moving forward, 12+ will be using the money raised from this campaign to support its programming as well as to establish a Teacher Fund. Teachers at our partner schools will be allowed to draw from this fund and invest in meaningful activities that they believe will enrich the experiences of our students, whether that takes the form of a pizza party, college visit, or school trip. Our hope is to grow the partnership we have with our schools and the amazing people that comprise them. We want to send a powerful message that we are united in our effort in empowering students and watching them take flight.
Thank you again for your support - it is our humble privilege to be on this journey with you.
The 12+ Team
We at 12+ are in the business of doing a lot with a little. Give us a room and a handful of dedicated people and we will show you just what is possible! Over these past three months, 12+ has been able to empower students through a motley assortment of special events geared to inspire our kids (check out our monthly update videos using the links below)! During this time, we have hosted:
All of this would not have been possible without the help from supporters like you! We are able to do our work because you believe in us and our students - for this, we are so thankful. Through our combined efforts, we have been able to reach new heights:
While numbers and names are important, working with students is the best part of our job. We have been blessed to engage with some of the most ambitious and big-hearted individuals around. We exist to serve students like Bianca M., and her words push us to work harder each day:
"I moved here just before my senior year and when I found out about 12+, I was relieved...I felt like I wasn't on my own any more, that people cared, and that I was going to be on the right track to go to college. I'm really excited...to live the whole college experience."
So, what can be done in a room? We are just beginning to scratch the surface, but we'll keep you posted =)