Jesse – Holy Family

My teachers had a growth mindset. They said I could get better and I could do better as long as I tried…and they were right. I know because it happened! —  Jesse, 11th Grader.

As a young student at Holy Family, Jesse struggled to read.  His teachers gave him individual attention, coping strategies and encouragement. They paid attention to the kinds of books he enjoyed and suggested similar topics. Jesse developed a love of reading. By fourth grade he was reading at grade level. As a freshman he tested at college reading level. Jesse is currently a junior at DePaul Cristo Rey High School. He said he still doesn’t read fast, but he does read a lot, and he loves it. Jesse is exploring options for his future which most definitely include college. Thanks to CISE and donors like you, Jesse received the help he needed to overcome his reading struggles and is on a path to a successful future!

Research tells us that reading for pleasure is a strong indicator of the future success of a child. The research findings conclude that a good foundation in reading facilitates success in specialized education during higher education or during job-related training.

Some of Jesse’s favorite books are Outsiders, Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird

MiKayla – St. Boniface School

“I really like my school because the students, teachers and staff are welcoming, and everyone is nice to each other.”   

MiKayla is in 8th grade and has been attending St. Boniface School in Northside since fourth grade. Two of MiKayla’s seven siblings also attend St. Boniface. She is excited about attending Mercy-McAuley next year as a freshman.  She is a little nervous to start high school but mostly she is looking forward to making many new friends. 

One of MiKayla’s proudest moments at St. Boniface was when she was awarded the Blaze Award, which is given to only one student in middle school for being kind and respectful to others. MiKayla likes to help people and someday aspires to be a doctor. She specifically wants to work with children.

Science and language arts are two of MiKayla’s favorite subjects. She likes language arts “because it is exciting to learn new words I didn’t even know existed!” She has not always been an avid reader, but she recently began reading books by Stephen King, and it makes her want to read more and more. As soon as she finishes a book, she goes to the library to find another! 

MiKayla has made so many good friends at St. Boniface. She said, “I really like my school because the students, teachers and staff are welcoming, and everyone is nice to each other.”   

One of her goals is to become more outgoing and sociable as she enters high school. She said she thinks she is a little bit shy when meeting new people. As a Blaze Award recipient, MiKayla has already demonstrated her kindness and respect for others. These characteristics will serve her well in high school and beyond.

Zalman – St. Boniface School

“Every day at St. Boniface School,  I learn new things and the teachers are preparing me to succeed in high school.”

Zalman is in 6th grade at St. Boniface School in Northside. His very first memory of St. Boniface was when he was in kindergarten. He was very shy, and he didn’t want to take off his hat because he had dreads. His teacher told him he could leave it on or take it off whenever he felt like it. She made him feel comfortable and welcome and he came out of his shell, (and took off his hat). Because of her unconditional acceptance, she remains one of his favorite teachers.

When Zalman was in 5th grade he was nervous about stepping up to middle school classes. He said his teacher, Mrs. Chandler, helped him prepare and made the transition easier. 

Zalman’s favorite subjects are math and science. He said, “they go well together.” He also likes to read. His favorite books when he was little were Dr. Seuss books, but he has progressed to reading about marine life.  Zalman explained, “The school library has books about marine life. I can read them and discuss what I learned with my teachers.” He said he loves reading about the ocean and learning about ocean life.  He likes it so much, in fact, that he plans to become a marine biologist, specializing in marine mammal life. “The fish and ocean are peaceful,” he said, “and you get to swim around in the water”.   

Zalman has won many athletic awards, including the one he is most proud of; a three-point shooting contest. He tried playing football but decided to focus on basketball. He plays on St. Boniface’s basketball team and summer league at the Friars Club .  

 Zalman is grateful for his education at St. Boniface school because, “every day I learn new things and the teachers are preparing me to succeed in high school.”

He has not decided where he will attend high school yet, but he is looking forward to the challenge and feels confident he will succeed.  

Marley – St. Boniface School

Marley is a 4th grader at St. Boniface School in Northside. This is her first year at St. Boniface School and feels very welcome.  She has made many new friends. In fact, in her own words, “I’m practically friends with all of my class!” When asked what two things she likes most about St. Boniface, Marley responded, “I like that my teachers believe in God and I learn new things every day.” She also likes the fact that all the students are together in one building, which is different than her other school. Right now, her teacher is using money to teach division which she thinks is fun.   

Marley’s favorite teacher is Mrs. Lawrence because, “she is funny and makes the class laugh.” Her favorite subjects are reading and spelling. This is no surprise because Marley’s r reading level is above that of most other scholars in her class. Right now, her favorite books to read are the Harry Potter series. She has already read the first two!

Marley is an active young lady also. She walks to McKee Community Center’s after-school program every day where she stays until her parents get off work. When asked how long it takes, she laughed, “It’s only a five-minute walk for me, but those kids in the back of the line make it a ten-minute walk!” Marley likes to swim and is on the PCY Tigers Shark team. At her last competition she swam in six events! She loves swimming so much that she wants to be a professional swimmer when she grows up. She is also in the school band and hopes to one day learn to play advance notes on the trombone.  

Quy’lier, St. Francis Seraph, Grade 8

March 10, 2016 at the 2015 CISE Campaign Wrap-up Hi! My name is Quy’lier. I have attended St. Francis Seraph School for five years. Before I started attending St. Francis Seraph, I attended [another school where I was not challenged]. I was so advanced in first grade that, every day after lunch, I had to go to second grade to learn. I even taught first grade when I was only in second grade! So my mom decided to send me to St. Francis Seraph in the third grade. St. Francis Seraph has helped me by giving me a challenge and teaching me about God. In sixth grade, I earned a scholarship to St. Xavier High School and I still have it. I would not have had this scholarship if it were not for my mother sending me to St. Francis Seraph School. Now I know what high school I am going to attend AND graduate from. Without CISE, tuition would be difficult for my family to pay. My mom would have to pay tuition for my three brothers and four sisters. This would be an extreme hardship for her. Because of the aid of CISE, I feel loved, wanted and safe here at St. Francis Seraph. Thank you CISE for giving me an opportunity to achieve my dream; to learn, to be responsible, to be a leader, to continue on to such a good high school and to be faithfilled!

Jasmine, St. Francis Seraph, Grade 8

March 10, 2016 at the 2015 CISE Campaign Wrap-up Hello! My name is Jasmine and I am an eighth grader at St. Francis Seraph School where I have attended since Kindergarten. CISE is important to me because St. Francis Seraph has helped me get through my turbulent middle school years. St. Francis Seraph stuck with me, pushed me and believed I could be better. Through my middle school years I have learned how to control my anger and how to use my leadership skills the right way. For example, during my school years, teachers have been helping me and teaching me how to complete a task the right way and also making sure that I fully understand and develop things properly. CISE has allowed me to be in a school with great teachers who provide me with a solid education. When I’m at St. Francis Seraph I feel loved and I feel safe around my peers and my teachers. CISE has helped out my mom and I big time. She doesn’t have to pay any money for me to go to high school because of the strong education I have received here at St. Francis Seraph School. I received scholarships from three different parochial high schools. Now, she can save up her money and keep supporting the family. I am happy because without CISE I wouldn’t be able to attend the parochial high school of my choice, which is Seton. Thank you CISE for supporting my educational growth!

Laurence, St. Joseph School, Grade 8

March 10, 2016 at the 2015 CISE Campaign Wrap-up

Good evening. My name is Laurence and I am an 8th grade scholar at St. Joseph Catholic School. I’m so glad my mom chose St. Joseph, as my CISE School. I have truly learned the meaning of our (4) core values, which are: FAITH, COMMUNITY, RESPECT, and PERSEVERANCE. I must be honest. I haven’t enjoyed attending EVERY mass, but there were many times when I really needed to pray and ask God for help. I will truly miss the spirit filled music and choir here at St. Joseph. I do believe I have a closer relationship with God. St. Joseph has really taught me the true meaning of being a community. I don’t like to call it a community but it’s more like a family. Many of my classmates have been together for a long time, and we are like brothers and sisters. My teachers are like my parents outside of home. I believe that everyone here wants the best for me, even when I can’t see it or understand it for myself. We are reminded daily how important it is to be a respectful scholar. I didn’t really understand how important it was, until I became an 8th Grade Ambassador. Other scholars are paying attention to you and watching your every move, so I had to rise to the occasion! My mother has always taught me to be respectful, but St. Joseph made sure I practiced it! Perseverance is what keeps me motivated. I was very excited when the school added the blended learning model last year, until I found out how hard I had to work to get above grade level. My teachers pushed and I pushed back. But through perseverance, I understand that hard work does pay off! Now, my scores are above grade level in many subject areas. Now I can say, I’m a man on a mission! Although I love St. Joseph, I know I can’t stay here forever. My next assignment is to become a Purcell Marian Cavalier. I can proudly say that St. Joseph has prepared me for my high school years. I will never give up on my dreams. Please don’t walk away from this event believing that your financial support is your only contribution. You provide so much more than that. You’ve provided me with a safe place to learn, I’m a little closer to God, I was surrounded by people who love and care about me, but most of all I plan to be just like YOU! I will “pay it forward” when I become a millionaire. I would like to thank the entire staff at St. Joseph and CISE for helping my mother and shaping me into the young man I am today. This experience has allowed me to see that the word impossible really means I’M POSSIBLE. Your actions have spoken much louder than any words, and I will never forget it.