Quality Education for All

By: Lauren
Lauren is participating in Allowance for Good's winter 2014 Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy program.

I am passionate about making quality educational opportunities available to all children and parents, regardless of their income and their environment.

I came from a poor household where my birth parents were uneducated and uninformed about what opportunities might be available to improve our family’s life. I had no exposure to reading or writing and attended an inner city school thru the first half of second grade. There were 38 children in my first grade class with only one teacher and no assistant. I could not get the help I needed because I didn’t know how to ask for it and my Mom and Dad didn’t know how to advocate for me. My life changed dramatically when my Mom allowed me to live with my godmother. She is a college graduate with a double degree. Suddenly I was immersed in learning, attending a quality district school in the suburbs and gradually coming out of my shell.

My godmother then enrolled me in Baker Demonstration School for middle school. My Mom and Dad would never have been able to do that because of the cost, even with financial aid. By 7th grade I realized how much I had been missing by not attending a quality school. I got all the help I needed and began to achieve academic success in all my subjects.

As a result of my experiences at Baker, I became committed to making the 2014 8th grade graduating class gift something of significance to provide an opportunity for a child like me to attend a high quality school. I am proud of myself because I led this charge. We decided on a scholarship for tuition costs and have been raising money throughout this school year to fund the scholarship through multiple means—bake sales, hot dog lunches, babysitting services, and various partnerships with local businesses.

I am hoping that the Class of 2015 will follow in our footsteps and make a second scholarship available. My classmates and I have worked hard to impress the 7th graders about the importance of this issue.

I will be attending Regina Dominican High School where there is a great emphasis on women’s leadership. I have already attended one of their conferences and learned a great deal about consensus-forming and incorporating diverse opinions into one goal and project. I am determined to continue to work on providing all children with the opportunity to escape a life of poverty through education. My dream is that those of us who get this opportunity will grow in number and commit to continuing the efforts to reach more and more children and their families.

Lauren tells us why she is a Catalyst for Good during our ELP: Explorers class. It reads, "I  am a Catalyst for Good because I am determined to give the choice of education to any child around the world!"