Significant Grant, Significant Impact: The Power of Together
Originating from the Swahili language meaning “pull together,” Harambee is also the name of the historically Black Milwaukee, Wis., neighborhood that St. Marcus Lutheran School has served since 1875.
Thanks to your generous gifts, We Raise partnered with the Siebert Lutheran Foundation to present a $300,000 grant to St. Marcus earlier this summer. The grant supports the school’s “Building Stability and Prosperity for Community Transformation” project that will expand their support services for all school families. Recognized as one of the highest-performing elementary schools for low-income students in the nation, St. Marcus serves over 1,500 students and just opened its third campus at the start of the new school year.
We Raise and Siebert share similar visions of people and communities living in peace, free from poverty and inequality. Their alliance allows St. Marcus to expand the support services they launched in 2017 to build a more racially and economically diverse Harambee neighborhood.
“Any time two leading foundations collaborate on an essential vision with the central city of Milwaukee as its focus is an incredible blessing,” said Henry Tyson, Superintendent of St. Marcus School. “It is a huge win no matter how you look at it. We are grateful for their partnership and the impact it will have on the Harambee community.”
St. Marcus recognizes that an excellent education addresses social, emotional, spiritual, and academic needs of students and is critical for future success in life. Oftentimes, however, it’s just not enough. Students’ performance in the classroom can be influenced by life events unrelated to school. A stable home, employment, and abundance of food all affect a child’s academics.
The “Building Stability and Prosperity for Community Transformation” project offers a variety of resources for family members and resident, including financial literacy classes and homeownership workshops, one-on-one financial coaching, and job networking. Tyson says the goal of St. Marcus is to serve as a force for community impact.
“Our vision is to work with other community partners to create a mixed-income, mixed-race, vibrant learning community, where streets are safe, where housing is both affordable and decent, where there are abundant community resources for residents and where the kids can get a great education and families can thrive,” he said. “We believe Harambee is poised to continue to move in that direction.”
“We Raise is pleased to partner with Siebert Lutheran Foundation to invest in the work being done at St. Marcus Lutheran School,” said Paul Miles, We Raise President and CEO. “We are proud to support their work and equally proud to be a leading voice for foundation partnerships like the one designed with Siebert.”
We are grateful for the generous support of We Raise donors like you who “pull together” to give families a foundation for financial stability, independence, and prosperity and allow students to excel in the classroom and beyond. Harambee!