Project: FLIGHT

by 12 PLUS
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Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Project: FLIGHT
Symbols of incredible journeys
Symbols of incredible journeys

Dear Friends, 

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 

Yamaira - 2014 Valedictorian @ KHSA
Yamaira - 2014 Valedictorian @ KHSA
2nd Annual 12+ Mini-Olympics
2nd Annual 12+ Mini-Olympics
12+ Achievement Day @KHSA
12+ Achievement Day @KHSA
Graduating Seniors @Penn Treaty
Graduating Seniors @Penn Treaty

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Dear Friends, 

It's hard to believe a year has passed since we first launched Project: FLIGHT--an entire year full of memories and victories and incredible success stories that you made possible with your donations. It's often difficult to truly capture the impact of your contributions, but allow us to try by offering you this news: 100% of all Project: FLIGHT scholarship recipients remain ON TRACK to receive a college degree! 

One such recipient is Stephen, a recent high school graduate and 12+ alumni, who just completed his first semester as a freshman at Penn State. His enrollment alone would not have been possible without the scholarship that you helped provide, not to mention the powerful motivation he found through your steadfast belief in him. 

Like many students coming from the Philadelphia public school system, his initial transition to college was bumpy. Right from the beginnning, he found it challenging to keep up with the daily rigors of a college education, especially having to start so far behind. Despite this, Stephen refused to give up. He believed he deserved to be there. With the help of the team at 12+, who kept in contact with Stephen after graduation, he was encouraged to look forward, offered useful tips like taking advantage of office hours, and directed to resources available to him on campus such as the student tutoring center. By the end of the semester, Stephen's grades dramatically improved, and now, he feels more confident than ever about accomplishing his goal of becoming a pharmacist. 

As our new class of seniors anxiously await for their acceptance letters, we are reminded of the class preceding them, the one responsible for the launch of Project: FLIGHT. Whether it's Elise, who just finished her first semester with a 3.72 GPA, or Yalissa, who finally believes she's found her home at Millersville University, and of course, Stephen, our future pharmacist, the message of Project: FLIGHT has endured long after our students traded their high school graduation caps for college ones: All our students can really fly. 

Thank you for your support of our work at 12+. We hope you will continue to partner with us and help us create another year full of amazing stories of flight. 

Warmly,
The 12+ Team 

Stephen: High School Graduation 2013
Stephen: High School Graduation 2013
Elise: Finished 1st semester with a 3.72 GPA
Elise: Finished 1st semester with a 3.72 GPA
Yalissa: Happy at Millersville
Yalissa: Happy at Millersville
NEW Seniors!...and PLUS Leaders!
NEW Seniors!...and PLUS Leaders!

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Elise: College Student
Elise: College Student

Dear Friends, 

The summer has passed and a new school year has begun. But before we go into full swing, we celebrate our amazing graduates from the class of 2013, sending them off to their respective colleges to bravely continue their post-secondary education. In turn, we also celebrate the collective effort of their teachers, administrators, family, 12+ team, and all of you who helped make their dreams possible. 

Not only did your contributions lessen the burden of our students' tuitions, they helped remove the hidden barriers that prevent many of our students from continuing their education. Whether it was paying for an enrollment deposit, or subsidizing transportation to freshman orientation, or even purchasing books for fall semester, your scholarships sent a powerful message to our students that they are not alone in this journey and that nothing will stop them from obtaining a quality education. 

Take Elise for example. Once a student who often skipped school and felt disengaged in class, Elise finished her senior year without missing a single day. Today, she is enrolled at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania studying to become a nurse, looking forward to her future. However, if not for the scholarship she received from Project: FLIGHT she may not have been able to fill the gap in her tuition and financial aid, much less pay for the books and supplies that are needed as a freshman student. Thanks to you, these barriers have not stopped Elise from pursuing her goals. 

This year, we have the privilege of launching our 2ND PLUS CENTER at Penn Treaty High School and extending our reach to 400 new students! On TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 between the hours of NOON to MIDNIGHT, we partner with GlobalGiving once more, along with Microsoft's Give For Youth, to RAISE FUNDS FOR OUR NEW CENTER. During that date and time, all donations will be MATCHED DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR, thus DOUBLING your impact! We hope you will join us once again on the 24th at http://www.giveforyouth.org/projects/morethanaroom and help make more stories like Elise's a reality. 

As always, thank you for your generous contributions to Project: FLIGHT and your ongoing support. We couldn't do it without you. 

Warmly, 
The 12+ Team 

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Yalissa R
Yalissa R

Dear Friends,

In just a few weeks, our seniors will proudly don their caps and gowns and cross the podium on graduation day with a high school diploma clutched in their hands. That diploma represents much more than the words printed on it. It's a symbol for our students' refusal to succumb to a world full of tremendous adversity; it's their powerful message that they firmly believe in the value of an education; and for many, it represents only the beginning of something truly great. 

For the past six months you've joined them in their journey through your generous contributions to PROJECT: FLIGHT. Here's a glimpse of what we've accomplished together at our flagship school in Philadelphia: 

  • Acceptances into top-ranked schools such as Penn State University, Millersville University, and Elizabethtown College
  • >70% of graduating class on track to attend college (up from 18% just two years ago)
  • >90% of seniors successfully completed both federal and state financial aid application (FAFSA + PHEAA) 
  • 100% of students accepted into 4-year colleges awarded merit-based scholarships
  • Nearly 40 seniors overall receiving scholarships directly as a result of PROJECT: FLIGHT

As our seniors enjoy their final days in high school, many have already begun to look forward. One such student, Yalissa, captures it best in the personal statement she submitted for college: 

"I am confident now more than ever that I am ready to conquer anything that comes my way. I have dreams and ambitions and I look forward to making them become a reality. I believe in the need for a good foundation in order to construct a strong house that will stand no matter how big the storm...Going to college means taking the next step in building that house. I see college as an opportunity and with education comes success"

Defying all odds, Yalissa, along with her peers, will begin the next chapter of her life this Fall. Thank you for being a part of our students' remarkable success stories. 

Warmly, 
The 12+ Team 

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Dear Friends, 

Three months have passed since we launched Project: FLIGHT, and thanks to you, the result has far surpassed our expectations. Not only did we successfully secure a place in the GlobalGiving network during the Open Challenge, we finished FIRST out of nearly 300 organizations worldwide. In total, we raised over $21,000 dollars, all of which will provide scholarships for our graduating seniors! We invite you to watch the following short video where we share with them the exciting news.

Project: FLIGHT stands as a bright achievement in a year marked by a multitude of them. We designed, constructed, and launched our first PLUS Center at Kensington Health Sciences Academy to act as a central hub for all our college, career, and academic services. We expanded our reach from working with 25 seniors last year, to serving an entire student body of nearly 400. And most recently, we selected our first group of sophomore PLUS Leaders to act as catalysts among their peers for the college-going culture we strive to build within the walls of our partner schools.

As for our remarkable seniors? They have worked tirelessly all year to make their college dreams a reality--many already receiving acceptances from their first-choice schools. For some, the road to college was not always so clear. Take Natalie and Darrel for example. Feeling overwhelmed by the process and unsure of their chances of getting in, they both had resigned themselves to the conclusion that perhaps a college education was beyond their reach. But this year--with the addition of the PLUS Center to their school--they were able to access valuable resources and receive dedicated, individualized support every step of the way. Given the right tools and a little encouragement, they finally had the confidence to achieve their educational goals. Today, they stand college-bound, excited for what the future holds for them.

There are dozens of stories similar to Natalie and Darrel, stories of students with vast reservoirs of untapped potential eager to finally take flight. Sometimes, all it takes is a steady breeze to lift off the ground; Project: FLIGHT is our gust of wind. It is our collective message to our students that we firmly believe they can rise above a world occupied by limitations and boundaries. It is our letter to them, powerfully communicating that they are not alone in this journey.

Thank you for graciously extending your hand to our students and empowering them to fly. Their stories are just beginning, and we can't wait to see what exciting things lie ahead. 

Warmly, 
The 12+ Team 

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Organization Information

12 PLUS

Location: Elkins Park, Pennsylvania - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @12plusphilly
12 PLUS
Raymond John
Project Leader:
Raymond John
Elkins Park, PA United States

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