25 Years of Consortium of Catholic Academies Improving Educational Opportunities for Poor Children - Catholic Criteria

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A common affinity for Catholic education among some of Washington’s most prominent politicians was one of the lesser-known factors in sustaining the consortium of Catholic academies for most of its first 25 years. was. The consortium includes four schools serving low-income students in urban Washington, DC: St. Anthony Catholic School, Sacred Heart School, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy, and St. Thomas More Catholic Academy. Over 800 students each year.

Ohio Republican and former Speaker of the House John Boehner will be introduced and his bipartisan history explained at a Sept. 9 reception for key supporters and administrators of the four Catholic Academy Consortium schools it was done. CCA Director Vince Burke, whose ties to the consortium go back to the beginning, explained that Boehner worked with the late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy to financially support the consortium at the fundraising event. Their Washington political star power has helped them raise millions of dollars, attracting key funders who have kept the school model working.

The CCA anniversary event also featured the introduction of the consortium’s new president, Camille Brown Privett. Mr. Camille Brown Privett, Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Baltimore, Lord He was a former teacher and administrator of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Providence, Island. Privette said she took up her new position in August.

Privet said catholic standards Her exposure to the consortium education model in these other dioceses attracted her to the CCA position in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. has long recognized the complexities of running a parochial school. She believes that if she gets her Catholic identity right, she can fulfill her mission of guiding and educating God’s children. “

Privett said CCA schools opened with 866 students this year, a number that has grown over the years.

The star of the celebration was Honor Williams, a graduate of St. Anthony’s School who holds a law degree from Howard University Law School. Williams, now an associate her counsel at Orchard, a division of Sony Entertainment, interned on the staff of former First Lady Michelle Obama and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ).

Williams called on some of St. Anthony’s teachers who nurtured her love of music, writing, languages ​​and religion that shaped her career and life. She explained that her mother wanted a Catholic education for her because the public schools she started attending were not safe.

“I stand before you all today … I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to learn in a safe environment. It was through my Catholic education that I was given wings to fly,” Williams said. “Through the Consortium of Catholic Academy, other inner-city minority children will continue to be given wings to fly.”

Cardinal Wilton Gregory also found common ground with the students who benefited from the consortium. He reminded the audience that although he was not Catholic, he was sent to a Catholic school in downtown Chicago to get a better education.

“It was at my Catholic school that I came to know the Catholic faith and understand God’s call to my life,” he said. was in sixth grade at the age of 11. We are now training faith leaders in our consortium schools, and many of our students have already started teaching at a very young age. Our doors and hearts are open to them and we will do everything we can to support them on their journey.”

In Boehner’s introduction, Burke explained that after the bipartisan successfully passed Congress, he learned: Left behind child ban laws When Boehner established a national standard for evaluating student performance in 2001, he aimed to help low-income children in public schools.

“He (Boehner) said, ‘Parliamentarians come to town from other places and spend a lot of time here. They should do something to make the city better,'” Burke recalls. . “Fortunately, he decided to adopt the Catholic Academy Consortium as his project. I remember him and Senator Kennedy deciding to hold an annual dinner in support of the consortium. At our first dinner, he introduced himself to the senators and said, “You know, if Ted Kennedy and I co-sponsored a bill, they’d expect any of us to read it.” But bipartisanship works, so for the next 15 years, the Speaker and Senator Kennedy, and Senators (Joe) Lieberman (D-Connecticut) and (Diane) Feinstein (California Democrats) held their annual dinner and raised over $20 million.”

Burke also called Boehner “probably the best use of political money ever.” He said Boehner had $500,000 left in his campaign account when he retired. With that money, he established the John Boehner Scholarship at Archbishop Carroll High School. Burke said the scholarship will benefit graduates of the consortium’s schools.

Boehner thanked the consortium’s supporters, including funders, faculty, and church leaders who have supported the consortium throughout its history. In addition to Cardinal Gregory, former Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wale was present at the reception.

“Without the commitment from the top, none of this would have happened,” Boehner said. “Without cardinal commitment, this wouldn’t succeed.”

Boehner concluded by saying that his post-retirement work will be limited and focused. “If it doesn’t include helping poor children get better chances in life, I’m not going to do it. , continues its efforts to support the Boys and Girls Club of West Chester, Ohio. “

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