With the help of generous donors, mission-driven teachers, and innovative administrators, CEF scholarship students have fought their way to academic success during a harrowing year. Graduation is here, and CEF scholarship students have hit their traditional milestones and are poised for success in the year ahead.
With in-person learning in place at all 25 CEF-supported Catholic schools, students have received the same high-quality, faith-based education, formation, and support Catholic schools are known for - even in the midst of a pandemic. And like the curriculum, CEF students haven’t skipped a beat, with seniors supported by CEF scholarships for low-income students achieving a perfect 100% graduation rate in 2021.
But the graduation rate is not the only positive outcome. Graduation is merely a stepping stone on the path a CEF scholarship can pave. Students are continuing on to change their families, their neighborhoods, and in some cases, to return as leaders to the schools that served them.
One CEF scholar and Bishop Ward Catholic High School senior shared that she plans to become a surgeon, and hopes to someday pay her scholarship forward. “When I become something big in life,” she said, “if God is willing, I plan to become a CEF donor.” (Hear her thoughts in the video below!) On average, each CEF scholar who graduates from high school will make a positive net fiscal contribution of at least $292,000 to his or her community. In comparison, a high school dropout will cost the State of Kansas approximately $250,000 in their lifetime.*
Catholic schools have long histories of serving and transforming struggling communities and opening doors for students whose only other option is an underperforming neighborhood school. With the support of CEF scholarships, nearly 1,500 students are on the path to graduation, to success, and to the missions God has called them to this year alone.
"We're called to excel in virtue, and Catholic schools are a training ground for that,” said Fr. Carter Zielinski, chaplain at Hayden Catholic High School in Topeka. “We’re working to prepare disciples that are about to go out and change the world in many ways. in more ways than just making it a better place, but in calling more disciples to the Lord himself.”
Hear more perspective on the impact and value of Catholic education in the video below.
*Center for Labor Market Study, 2019, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics