DoMore24 Launches June 8th – Advance Giving Now Open!!

Per Scholas is excited to announce its participation in the annual DoMore24 Fundraising Campaign! On June 8th, you can take part in the single largest giving day of the year to support Per Scholas in the National Capital Region.

What is DoMore 24?

Do More 24 is the DMV’s largest annual 24-hour online fundraiser, powered by United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA).

When is Do More 24?

Do More 24 begins at 12:00 AM and ends at 11:59 PM on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

With your generous donation during this ONE DAY of giving, Per Scholas NCR will be better equipped to provide free technology based training and professional development to the thousands of talented individuals from overlooked communities. By matching these future IT professionals with employer partners, we are directly impacting the community and providing sustainable careers in technology to many. In the National Capital Region, Per Scholas graduated 86% of enrollees and placed 81% of those graduates in jobs. We expanded our course offerings to include IT Security training for students interested in pursuing careers in security risk management and asset protection.

That’s not all! If you’d like to get in on the fun, there will be a series of Social Media activities to participate in that we can’t wait to share with you.

If you’re feeling ready to donate now, then don’t fret! Advance Giving is now open and will be officially counted on June 8th during the DoMore24 campaign!

About DoMore24

Do More 24TM is more than just one day of fundraising…it’s the next generation of online giving. It’s a local movement that is leveraging the power of the crowd to support our region’s nonprofits through focused, online giving directed at creating maximum impact. We are building an innovative platform that will allow donation tracking and progress, give users the opportunity to see who else is participating, and experience something you have never seen before: real people feeling the effect of giving in real time.

Per Scholas “A Job Changes Everything” Campaign Shatters Records, Raises over $175K In Most Successful Fundraiser Ever: Monthly Impact Report – Jan. 2017

The #AJobChangesEverything fundraiser raised more than $175,000 for Per Scholas students this holiday season. A record amount–and $80,000 more than 2015. A very special thank you to the Per Scholas Board of Directors and regional advisory council members who generously pledged to match every dollar raised up to $50,000–which was a success!

These donations represent friends, family, volunteers, alumni, board and staff who gave generously and spread the word far and wide about our work. These funds will help support training for 1,000 individuals in 2017 for life-changing careers in technology.

Having a job means something different for everyone. For Per Scholas CEO, Plinio Ayala, a job allowed him the ability to enjoy his favorite childhood activity, stickball. Every September, Plinio’s mother bought him one new pair of sneakers in preparation for school. By early August, the soles would have holes and his socks would tear. Knowing his Mom could not afford a new pair of sneakers or socks, Plinio knew he had to cut his summer fun short.

“I would stop my most favorite thing– playing stickball in the school yard. [When I was 14] I was legally allowed to work. With my first paycheck, I bought two pairs of Pro Keds, one white and one black. I never wanted to have holes in my socks again, but more importantly, I did not want torn sneakers to keep me from doing what I loved most at the time– playing stickball.”

For Plinio, a job, and subsequently a paycheck, meant a pair of sneakers and being able to play stickball. For those we serve, the stakes are much higher and your support allows us to train 1,000 more students in 2017. That’s 1,000 more individuals who will be able to share what a job has changed for them.

To all who donated, thank you from everyone–staff and students-we couldn’t have done it without you.

Check out past Monthly Impact Reports here.

Per Scholas “A Job Changes Everything” Campaign Shatters Records, Raises over $175K In Most Successful Fundraiser Ever

The #AJobChangesEverything fundraiser raised more than $175,000 for Per Scholas students this holiday season. A record amount–and $80,000 more than 2015. A very special thank you to the Per Scholas Board of Directors and regional advisory council members who generously pledged to match every dollar raised up to $50,000–which was a success!

These donations represent friends, family, volunteers, alumni, board and staff who gave generously and spread the word far and wide about our work. These funds will help support training for 1,000 individuals in 2017 for life-changing careers in technology.

Having a job means something different for everyone. For Per Scholas CEO, Plinio Ayala, a job allowed him the ability to enjoy his favorite childhood activity, stickball. Every September, Plinio’s mother bought him one new pair of sneakers in preparation for school. By early August, the soles would have holes and his socks would tear. Knowing his Mom could not afford a new pair of sneakers or socks, Plinio knew he had to cut his summer fun short.

“I would stop my most favorite thing– playing stickball in the school yard. [When I was 14] I was legally allowed to work. With my first paycheck, I bought two pairs of Pro Keds, one white and one black. I never wanted to have holes in my socks again, but more importantly, I did not want torn sneakers to keep me from doing what I loved most at the time– playing stickball.”

For Plinio, a job, and subsequently a paycheck, meant a pair of sneakers and being able to play stickball. For those we serve, the stakes are much higher and your support allows us to train 1,000 more students in 2017. That’s 1,000 more individuals who will be able to share what a job has changed for them.

To all who donated, thank you from everyone–staff and students-we couldn’t have done it without you.

Kelly Richardson – #AJobChanged

“Fortune favored me
But good luck is not enough
Time to change the odds

#Ajobchanged how I see the world and my place in it.

I’ve been reflecting a lot this past year about how lucky I am. 

For example – I’m married to a really handsome guy from the Midwest who makes me laugh and does all the cooking. I live in an apartment with a front garden where roses bloom in the summer and where my 95 year old neighbor sits out front everyday and shouts things like “How are ya?” and “Beautiful!” to everyone who walks by, and, when I walk through the front gate, yells “Welcome home!” My brothers and sisters and friends are kind and accomplished and all working to make the world better in their own way. And I have my dream job.

Three years ago, I joined Per Scholas almost by chance. And now I get to work with an amazing team and what we’re doing makes a proven difference. Lucky. 

I remember when I interviewed for that first position at Per Scholas three years ago, our President & CEO Plinio asked me, “Why are you here?” Well Plinio, I’m here because of luck. I’m here because I found a great mentor and leader and would have followed her to just about the edge of the world. Or the Bronx. I’m here because when I was a senior at the University of Michigan, the US Chief Economist of Deutsche Bank saw my resume in a stack of hundreds, and asked me if I’d like to interview for a job in New York. I’m here because my parents have 5 post secondary degrees between them and somehow convinced me as a girl that math is super fun. My sister and I used to request more math workbooks as a treat!

I’m here because I grew up in the fourth richest county in the richest country in the world, got an amazing public school education, got a free ride to Michigan, landed a job on Wall Street, saved up enough money to quit and do what I really wanted to do, and had a ton of people who loved me and supported me along the way. I mean, how do you get more lucky than that.

The crazy thing is that I didn’t realize how lucky I was until I got to Per Scholas. They might retroactively decide not to hire me for saying this, but I had no idea what poverty was until I started working here. I’d studied it academically. I knew why the federal poverty guidelines were messed up. I could tell you all about the Workforce Investment Act. On a macro level, I wanted to fix poverty. I said things like, “on a macro level.” But I didn’t personally know anyone who was from a low-income community. Not asingle person.

Then I joined Per Scholas. And over the last three years, I learned a lot about luck. 

I met a student who was smarter than most of my old college physics classmates, who was unable to work for most of his adult life because his mom carried him across the Rio Grande when he was four years old, and he didn’t have work authorization.

I met another student who was even smarter than that guy, and one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met, who was out of work for years because he’d been caught selling marijuana as a teenager. 

Do you know what happened to the guys who sold weed in my high school? They went into finance. The last I heard, they were doing quite well.

More than 80 classes have graduated from Per Scholas since I joined three years ago. During almost every class, at least one student has lost a family member or a friend. I’ve only been to three funerals in my life.

There are students who have shared in conversation with me that they are homeless, are living with a mentally unstable parent, are taking on the childcare responsibilities of their younger siblings. There are students who haven’t eaten in days, who walk five miles to get to Per Scholas every single day, or who left horrible situations and except for their Per Scholas community are completely alone. I never knew poverty was lonely.

So I learned about poverty, and I learned about luck.  And for awhile at Per Scholas, I thought my mission was to change the luck of our students. We were getting curious, motivated, problem solvers into great jobs – a huge reversal of fortune! I celebrated every single time one of our students beat the horrible odds they’d been facing and landed a life changing job with agreat salary.

But something was still bugging me. What was the problem we were trying to solve here? I would be at Per Scholas and hear about a student landing ajob at a great employer partner, and feel happy and energized. And then I would go visit that same employer partner and see a tech workforce that looked an awful lot like my university physics classroom, or the Wall Street trading floor, or like me. Highly educated, highly white, highly not representative of New York. And I’d feel like I was kidding myself.
We have to stop celebrating the students who beat the odds. It’s time to change the odds.

This is what I want to do with all this luck and this dream job of mine. I want to change the odds. I want to walk into any – into all – of our employer partners and see a tech workforce as beautiful and diverse as the people of this city. I want to change the face of tech in New York.”


Per Scholas New York, Managing Director, Kelly Richardson. Check out more stories from our students on what #Ajobchanged for them and support our mission to change the odds here.

Per Scholas says thank you to supporters with end of year video

To view the video, click here

Per Scholas raises $125K in Most Successful Fundraiser Ever

The New Beginnings fundraiser raised $125,900 for Per Scholas this holiday season. A record amount–and $50,000 more than 2013. Thank you.

These donations represent friends, volunteers, alumni, board and staff who gave generously and helped us spread the word about our work. The result is enough funds to train nearly 20 individuals for a life-changing career in technology. On average a student comes into Per Scholas with a personal income of $7,000 annually. The average starting salary of a Per Scholas graduate is nearly $30,000. That’s life-changing impact.

“Before I came to Per Scholas, I was working in retail, making nearly nothing. I knew I needed a change. I was always fascinated with technolgy because technology is part of everything we do….I am very grateful and I want to thank you for this life-changing opportunity.” – Vanessa Williams, NY IT-Ready Cycle 16

A very special thank you to the Per Scholas Board of Directors and regional advisory board members who generously pledged to match every dollar raised up to $30,000–which was a success!

To all who donated, thank you from everyone–staff and students. 2014 was an amazing year, and we couldn’t have done it without you.

“I Am Someone” Campaign

UPDATE Feb 2012: The “I Am Someone” campaign raised $47,398 from more than 200 donors to help Per Scholas students and graduates in 2012. Thanks to all our volunteer fundraisers and generous donors!

UPDATE: The “I Am Someone” holiday campaign has launched! Please visit the Per Scholas page on Razoo.com to join in — it’s easy and takes just a minute. Be sure to check out the video of our graduates talking about the impact of Per Scholas in their lives.

“I Am Someone” campaign.

The campaign is celebrating the achievements of Per Scholas graduates and program participants while building a new base of support for the agency’s work. Between November 2011 and January 2012, it will focus on raising dollars from individuals through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites.

Please stay tuned for further announcements!

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