Dear Important Friend and Supporter of The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program:
On March 14, The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program (“The Bernie”) held a successful and moving “Friend Raiser.” I write to tell you a bit about it (for those not able to join us then), and also to ask you to save the date for our next big event—the Bernie Scholarship Awards Celebration on Thursday, May 17, 2018, 5:30-8:30 pm in Rockville.
At our Friend Raiser, friends and supporters of The Bernie joined for dinner and an update from key members of our Board and, most importantly, from three of our wonderfully inspirational Bernie Award Scholars.
Gracing the Friend Raiser with their presence were Bernie Scholars Maryamawit Abate (a sophomore in nursing at Montgomery College); Yvette Hammonds (a single mom employed in Community Health and a new homeowner; supported in part by Bernie Scholarship Awards, she successfully completed her Bachelor’s degree and is now working on her Master’s) and Kimberly Hanson, the daughter of a single mom, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in biology with help from The Bernie Scholarships and is now working on her Master’s; she is also the newest member of our Bernie Board. Each, in her own right, is extraordinary in her demonstrated persistence, achievements, grace and presence. Each is committed also to “giving back,” and each is a fine representative of the more than 300 Bernie Scholars who have received over 450 Awards over the 22 years of our program’s history (and counting) totaling over one-half million dollars (and counting).
Friends and Supporters in attendance at the Friend Raiser also were brought up to date about key findings of the third-party Program Effectiveness Studies completed by our expert outside consultant through the use of Award Recipient Surveys and other data. Those findings noted that over two-thirds of our Scholars (all in low-income Montgomery County families residing in subsidized housing) are women, almost 70% are African-American (with an additional 14% Latino), and that 87% of our Scholars confirm that The Bernie Scholarship Award is and has been important in their ability to enroll and remain enrolled in their higher learning pursuits. Indeed, as our Scholars also re-confirmed at the Friend Raiser, this kind and amount of “closing the financial gap” funding is critically important and undoubtedly accounts for another key finding of our Study: That 98% of our Scholars (as opposed to far lower percentages of those without our Scholarship support) persist and complete their educational goals and dreams.
Our Friend Raiser program was brought to a close by Bernie Tetreault (who shares more than just a first name with the program), who described both the reasons he founded the program and continues to seek funding opportunities available to help support and keep it growing. (More information about all of which may be found on our website at www.berniescholarships.org.)
To that end, we are very pleased to announce that if you are also moved and want to add your financial support to those who pledged theirs at the Friend Raiser, you may do so using the links below:
And, as a “special incentive” for you to do so quickly, please know that every donor who completes and returns the attached Donor Card within five days of this Update will be listed as a Sponsor of the “2018 Friend Raiser Scholarship” that will be awarded during our upcoming Awards Celebration of the new 2018 Scholars.
So, please do consider, complete and promptly return our Donor Card, and plan on joining us on May 17 at our Awards Celebration.
We do so very much appreciate your continuing support of The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program, as do our 300 Scholars to date and scores more to follow (with your continuing and generous support) in their footsteps.
NOTE: Please think of people you know who may like to learn about The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program, so we can invite more people to our upcoming free Awards Celebration on May 17th. This would be very helpful in raising the program’s visibility.