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JUNE 2021 NEWSLETTER

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Scholarships In Action:

A glimpse into the impact scholarships have had on a few of our previous Propel scholarship recipients that are still completing post-secondary education & the vision of the charitable donors behind their scholarships.

 

Barmen-Moser Scholarship Recipient: Nsai "Kit" Temko (they/them)

"To Stu & Laurie, thank you for believing in me, for hearing my story and seeing who I am and literally investing in me. I am so grateful and forever will be for the opportunities you've granted me that I would have never been able to have been a part of without this scholarship." - Nsai

Nsai graduated as Valedictorian of Propel Braddock Hill High School's Class of 2019 and has gone on to pursue a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (focusing in Intersectionality, Environmental Science, and Activism) at Emory College in Atlanta, GA after being awarded the $20,000 Barmen-Moser Scholarship, generously funded by Stewart Barmen & Laurie Moser.

This scholarship has lifted a weight off of Nsai's shoulders, enabling them to be engaged and fully participating in their coursework by not only providing support for course materials and supplies but also the ability to participate and experience many unique opportunities offered at Emory College outside of the typical curriculum. Nsai is grateful to be able to fully immerse in their post-secondary educational experience thanks to this scholarship.

Nsai provided some sage advice for the Propel Senior Class of 2022: "Embrace your uniqueness and that there's not always a "right" or "wrong" way to do things! Work hard, it pays off. No matter what people tell you, how people make you feel, put in the work and you can prove to be brilliant and succeed!"

Nsai's Propel Experience

After attending a cyber charter school, Nsai transferred to Propel Braddock Hills and took a deep dive into all that Propel Schools and our community had to offer, such as:

  • Performed Spoken Word at the Andy Warhol Museum twice
  • Played the Scarecrow in the school play, "The Wiz"
  • Conducted their Senior Project on how to increase diversity in the STEM field
  • Took dual enrollment classes and all five AP classes (Language, Literature, Art,  Psychology, & Calculus)
  • School reporter
  • Home Team & Crew
  • Student Ambassador

Nsai commented, "Teachers at Propel just care so much that you're learning & actually comprehending the content, finding your own voice and improving your work ethic."

Nsai at Emory College

Nsai just finished up their second year at Emory College and is excited to teach people through accessible entertainment. 

Nsai is currently involved in the Campus Ministry, summer courses (Imagining Activism, Oceanography, Yiddish), volunteering to teach youth aged 5 & 6 to read, and the IDEAS fellowship. For this fellowship they are currently organizing a protest to require corporations that donate to police to also donate to schools. This will provide Nsai the opportunity to be able to design and instruct their own course. 

Nsai has also created a webcomic to implement knowledge from their own personal experiences in a manner that incorporates real life topics in an engaging and accessible way to their 4,000 viewers.

Nsai's Vision for the Future

Nsai is currently weighing the pros and cons of applying to graduate school and maybe even pursuing a PhD. Their overarching goal is "to improve everyone's daily life" by getting involved in urban government or becoming a Cartoon Network Screenwriter to create content that makes important topics more accessible.  

Nsai's has a vision of working in sustainability on specific topics such as water treatments, improving access to clean water, educating the public about recycling and environmental engineering. 

One large project they already have marked down once they're a Governor is to require large corporations to install green roofs, but Nsai's vision doesn't stop there...

Keep an eye out for

"NSAI 'KIT' TEMKO FOR PRESIDENT" in 2036!

Laurie Moser & Stewart Barmen

"To change the system is pretty hard to do as an individual and it takes an awful lot to get movement going on how to change education, but we really felt that we could make an impact in one scholar's life. After much discussion, we decided to fund one scholar for four years at $5,000 a year and that money would be the last money, not the first, because we wanted to make sure that there was money at the end to buy that computer, to fly home, to buy a pizza with the rest of the kids, and what we thought would complete a student's collegiate experience."

"We talked to college students who had received scholarship money to ask them what would make a scholarship meaningful and it was this one student who said sometimes they felt like they couldn't really be a part of a social network because they didn't have that kind of money. So that allowed us to sort of let down some academic barriers to say, okay, we want to fund the whole experience and we don't think many funders think of it that way. So we think it's a good investment, especially with Nsai, because they're so wise, wiser than all of us."

"Providing a scholarship gives them financial support, but it also gives them the psychological support that says that there's somebody out there who really cares about them and what they're going to be doing."

 

Fu Trades Scholarship Recipient: Haley Thompson

"To Hilda Fu, thank you for the opportunity and the motivation it gave me to continue my education beyond high school. I was so excited to learn I was the recipient that it gave me the extra push I needed to keep applying to other scholarships too." - Haley

Haley was among the inaugural class from Propel Montour High School in 2020 and has gone on to attend the Cosmetology Program at Empire Beauty School in Pennsylvania after being awarded the $2,500 Fu Trades Scholarship.

Haley was incredibly honored and proud to receive this scholarship as it significantly helped to subside mental and financial barriers she had toward following her dream of pursuing cosmetology, and that she was able to brag that she had earned this scholarship and that her vision was backed by Propel Schools and the Scholarship Selection Committee.

Haley provided some sage advice for the Propel Senior Class of 2022: "Just don't give up, because it's so worth it in the end. I want people to know that school should be your first priority. Set that goal for it to be a priority to get yourself in the mindset and take every opportunity you can manage. Other students were hesitant to sign up for the Global Service Learning Opportunity in Jamaica offered by Scholar Opportunities because the pre-work was a little daunting, but it was completely worth the memories and experience and I'm forever thankful!"

Haley's Propel Experience

Haley was attending a cyber charter school when she saw that Propel Montour High School was opening and didn't hesitate to apply. She maintains that it has been one of the best decisions she's ever made and will forever be grateful for the many doors her Propel experience has opened for her. While at Propel, Haley participated in:

  • Learning Experiences outside of the classroom (museums)
  • Service Learning Projects
  • Home Team (Trips to Harrisburg, organized Propel gatherings such as Homecoming and movie nights, proposed bills to improve students' Propel experience)

Haley commented, "During my senior year my teachers were a big motivator for me to apply to this scholarship and I'm so thankful for their confidence in me."

Haley at Empire Beauty School

Haley is currently 11 months into her 18 month Cosmetology Program at Empire Beauty School and is on track with her vision for the future!

As a single mother, Haley chose to work as an assistant at a hair salon to support her family while attending Empire Beauty Night School. Her entire experience has been extremely beneficial and she's grateful for choosing to attend this local beauty school specifically, as they had advertised they'd be taking extra COVID-19 precautions to be able to continue accepting outside appointments. Haley recognized that she's much more of a hands-on learner and knew that this would be a necessary part of her education.

Her dedication has paid off as she is already working on the floor at Empire and thrilled that she'll start accepting appointments very soon!

Haley's Vision for the Future

Once she graduates from Empire Beauty School and completes her Cosmetology Licensure process, she will become a full-time stylist at her current salon. Beyond that, Haley already has a few paths laid out for her future!

After working at the salon for a few years to build her portfolio and client-base, she has three separate visions for her professional future.

Her first vision would be to open her own salon. Her second vision is to return to Empire Beauty School for their Distinguished Educator Training Program for licensed cosmetologists and become an Empire Beauty School Educator. Her third vision is to become a Brand Ambassador/Educator where she will have the opportunity to expand her career and hone her craft by experiencing comprehensive, in-depth training, and sharing her knowledge with other stylists.

Hilda Pang Fu

"The good thing about creating a scholarship as opposed to a general donation is that we can specify how we want the money to be used for while aligning with Propel's mission. One thing that actually coincides between my vision and Propel's vision is that we want to support trade workers and to encourage students to pursue education for the in-demand trade jobs that require skills and experienced workers that we are lacking in our community and nationally."

"To others considering creating a scholarship, I would say it's incredibly gratifying to know I can support something I really believe in and that's encouraging trades and elevating the notion of skilled trade job training."

"I am so glad to hear how Haley's been doing in the past year since she received the scholarship. It gives us gratification to support a young person who wants to acquire useful skill sets so as to stay independent and to meet the needs of our community. We particularly like the fact that she has a dream and a plan!"

Hilda Fu, Founder & President of Luminari, also offers a tuition-free spot for a Propel scholar in their "I Want to be an Ambassador!" flagship camp.

 

2021 DATES TO REMEMBER

Power of Propel Gala - August 31

Join us for an evening of cocktails & hors d'oeuvres as we recognize these passionate & dedicated Propel Scholars that have been awarded a Propel Schools Foundation Scholarship to pursue post-secondary education or vocational opportunities. This Gala benefits 10 Power of Propel Scholarships & our Career Pathways Program.

Trick or Trot - October 31

Come on down to North Shore Riverfront Park and participate in our first ever Trick or Trot! You can be an event sponsor, host a booth, or choose to participate in either our 5K race, 1M race, or our Fun Run (ages 5+). However you choose to support Propel Partners in Wellness, don't forget to wear your Halloween costume! 

Amazon Prime Days - June 21 & 22

 

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Propel Schools Foundation
3447 East Carson Street | Pittsburgh, PA 15203 | 412-325-7305
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