This year, the yearbook staff is trying to continue a program aimed at providing deserving students with a yearbook.
I have contacted the faculty asking them to identify worthy students who deserve to have a yearbook but simply cannot afford one. This is not a general aid program, but rather one designed to put yearbooks in the hands of good kids caught in a difficult situation.
Here is the first response I ever received to my request:
If you can’t give a yearbook to (name omitted) out of your “needy student” fund, I will probably buy her one myself. Last spring, (name omitted) moved out of her parents’ home. As her grandmother would tell you, she was raising her parents rather than the other way around and it was the best decision for her to make. She moved in with a friend and stayed there until November, when she really felt she needed her own space. Her grandmother and aunt arranged, long-distance, for her to have an apartment and the IB teachers helped her furnish it with things we found in our garages.
During her entire senior year, (name omitted) has lived on her own, in her apartment, with no means of transportation, no medical insurance, and, rarely, groceries (when her teachers pooled together money to get them for her from time to time.) Her grandmother comes to stay with her from New York for a few weeks, then leaves for a few months to take care of her own family, then comes back as she can. (name omitted) has had few of the advantages that most kids have their senior years. She spent the is weekend in the hospital with a severe infection, probably the result of an upper respiratory infection she has had off and on all year, but with no medical insurance nor money nor means of transportation to see a physician, she has had no choice but to just be sick.
Her grandmother just called me and told me that she took her to the doctor on Friday, then to the ER on Saturday night. Hopefully, she will recover enough to do well on her IB exams. She was accepted to Converse College and has just about enough scholarship and loan to cover her expenses, but she is already stressing out about being homeless this summer after her apartment lease runs out in June. For this poor kid, it’s just one thing after another.
Most other kids in her position would have just given up on school, found a job, and managed to survive badly. (name omitted) wanted to stay in school, continue to work toward an IB diploma, and has managed to do so despite some of the saddest circumstances I have ever seen. I think she probably is needy enough.
This is just one of many such stories.
We could, of course, turn our back on such students, but we thought there might be a better option. So, we have decided to reach out for help from local businesses or community members who we think might be in a position to offer a bit of happiness to those in need.
Yearbooks currently cost $85. However, we are willing to sell the books at a reduced price to businesses or individuals interested in donating them to the students our staff has identified. The cost per donation would only be $70. In addition to a reduced price, at your request, we will add a sticker inside the front cover of the book indicating the book was compliments of you or your business.
Finally, we will publish information about your generosity on our website (unless you would prefer to remain anonymous), including linking to your site. If this is a project you would like to help us with or know someone who would be willing to assist, please contact me.