Originally published in Restore Education’s newsletter for Summer 2020.
Dear Friends & Partners:
“When I feel the heat, I see the light.” ~ Everett Dirksen
We hope that you, your family, and friends are in good health! Even though we’re in the middle of a summer with stifling challenges, our school year just ended with some really cool results! Despite the significant impact of the pandemic, Restore Education served more students this school year than ever before. Check out our year-end dashboard below to see some amazing stats.
Many of our students struggled with basic needs such as food, shelter, healthcare, and transportation. Through our many social service partners, we were able to meet the challenge and provide the supports our students needed to continue their studies. We also helped many bridge the digital divide, providing laptops, internet access, and through highly personalized, online tutoring. You will be inspired by Doris’ graduate spotlight below. The different way of working and learning online has challenged our volunteers as well. We are so appreciative of our many volunteers who have adapted and continued to mentor and tutor our students. Check out our conversation with Hilary below.
We all have adapted as best we can. Our next challenge? Graduation! We are now planning a safe and highly inspiring graduation ceremony for later this summer. We’re lining up an exciting commencement speaker, so stay tuned for more details! Plus, we have other BIG NEWS coming soon as well!
Finally, we are so thankful for our donors and partners, and for you! Together, we are making a difference in the lives of our students and their families, one success at a time!
Kelli G. Rhodes, Executive Director
Dual Enrollment Works!
Doris has been working hard this spring, completing her GED, and working toward her Microsoft certification in our Administrative Assistant training! In the coming months, her goal is to enroll in college and study HR. Doris recently won first place in our Student Essay Contest. Read her submission here:
“My life has definitely been a challenge. I have been impacted by homelessness, and I have been battling with mental health issues for a long time. I am a survivor of sexual assault. In addition, I have dealt with bullying. I was very rebellious when I was younger, and I made a lot of mistakes along the way. I let my mental health issues consume me; consequently, it made me immensely reckless. As I have grown and matured, I became self aware and realized that I needed to refine. I am significantly more positive, determined, passionate, grateful, and courteous. Life is a challenge, but when you really want something you will pursue it nonetheless.
I joined Restore Education because I would like to transform my life; my goals are diverse. My first goal is to complete college and earn a business degree focused on human resources. Correspondingly, becoming a human resources manager would make me delighted. Next, I wish to have a successful online boutique of purses. I would really like to learn how to sew, construct my own clothes, and eventually create clothes for other people. Lastly, building multiple streams of income would make me ecstatic; admittedly, financial freedom is my greatest desire. Overall, my objective is to cultivate and live a joyous life.
Restore Education has been an incredible experience for me. The staff has held me accountable and supported me along with NXT Level. I have gained so much knowledge and established excellent habits. It is truly a blessing to have such supportive people around me. They are the only people I have met who genuinely care about the community. For instance, Restore Education and NXT Level donated laptops to participants during the COVID 19 pandemic; that was such a kind deed. They are attentive to each student’s well-being, and they demonstrate it in various ways. Moreover, I will be joining Restore’s administrative assistant training which I am really looking forward to. The class is very important to me because I will obtain the necessary knowledge and credentials for my career.
Education is crucial to me. I find excitement in flourishing and investing in myself. Education will give me a chance to succeed in life. I hope to become a role model for my family members and inspire them. I aspire to become a sophisticated woman and execute all of my desires. There are so many people who have doubted and shamed me. Nevertheless, I know I have the attributes to become victorious.
I am thankful life has granted me a new opportunity. I am glad I took the initiative to change my life. I am excited for what the future holds for me.”
Adult Education Honor Society
Last month, 14 of our students were inducted into the local chapter of the National Adult Education Honor Society along with other students from the Alamo AEL Consortium at Region 20.
These hardworking students were hand-selected by our teachers and are now a part of an exclusive group of the top 3% of all adult education students from across 13 counties!
Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Hilary Scott
Hilary has been volunteering with Restore Education since February 2020 and works with our ESL students.
Q: What inspired you to volunteer with us?
When I lived in Dallas, I volunteered with an adult literacy program. It was so fulfilling, I knew I wanted to do it again. Here in SA, I’ve worked in healthcare with an OBGYN. We saw may young mothers have to sidetrack their education, and how that limited their options. Education is like a golden ticket, everyone deserves another chance for a better future.
Q: What is your favorite part about volunteering?
My favorite part is connecting with people in a meaningful way. Adult students overcome obstacles to pursue learning, and their perseverance is inspiring. They bring a wealth of life experience to the table, and I learn from them.
Q: What message do you have for anyone considering becoming a Restore Education volunteer?
Education can change a life, and the life of a family. Your program is so welcoming, well organized, and supportive. The training is great. If you believe in the value of lifelong learning, this is the gig for you!
Q: Tell us a memory you have of profoundly helping a student.
It was a joy to have a conversation in English with an ESL student about what she will do during the weekend. Even over Zoom, it was great to see her smile as she expressed something important about herself and knew she was understood.
Thank you Hilary!
Thank you to our recent Donors!
Thanks to the Valero Texas Open, who nominated Restore Education for an awesome donation from the 2019-2020 FedEx Air & Ground Program and PGA Tour FedEx Cup series! Their support will go a long way in helping us serve new students this fall. THANK YOU!
San Antonio Area Foundation
John Santikos Charitable Foundation
Harvey E. Najim
The Najim Charitable Foundation
H. E. Butt Foundation
Nancy Smith Hurd Foundation
United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County
Kronkosky Charitable Foundation
Mays Family Foundation
Greeley Family Foundation
City of San Antonio
Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio
Holt Family Foundation
Texas Mutual Insurance Company
JPMorgan Chase & Company
The Humana Foundation
Houston and Caroline Harte Fund
Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation
Bank of San Antonio
Gloria Galt Donor Advised Fund
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America
Gloria Galt Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation
Semmes Foundation Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation
Amini Family Foundation
CVS Health Child Care Collaborative Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation
Arnim Family Foundation
Tom White Charitable Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation
Annie and Tim Swan Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation
Masters Leadership Program Alumni
Benson Family Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation
Ellinor and Marvin Forland Charitable Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation
We received a grant from the COVID-19 Response Fund, a community fund jointly managed by the San Antonio Area Foundation and the United Way of San Antonio. The fund is comprised of nearly 30 caring businesses, donor-advised funds, philanthropic foundations, and government entities listed above. With their support, we can continue to provide critical remote learning to our students in the new school year! THANK YOU!