As the Children’s Educational Opportunity Foundation (CEO) begins its 25th year in Connecticut, I find myself reflecting on the fact that providing educational opportunity is the one activity that most perfectly unites caring for the single individual with improving society as a whole. If we can help but one child from a low-income family to receive a safe, high-quality K-8th grade education, we radically improve the trajectory of his or her life forever. And if we can do this for more than one child, we begin to spare tomorrow from so many of today’s social ills.
For those who have previously supported our mission of providing private school scholarships, you have a right to feel proud of what we together have accomplished. Over the last quarter-century, the more than $21 million raised has supported over 10,000 Connecticut students to attend schools of their parents’ choosing, with a retention rate of over 75%. Many CEO Scholars continue on to attend private high schools often receiving scholarships.
If you are relatively new to CEO, I call your attention to the elegant simplicity of awarding matching scholarships (of half the tuition up to $2,100 per year) to children of financially struggling but highly motivated parents who sacrifice much to provide a better future for their families. We work closely with the schools they attend to ensure success while keeping our administrative expenses low.
The only downside to what we do is the knowledge that we assist but a fraction of families who apply for our scholarships. This year alone, we had to turn down over 220 qualified students from the cities and towns we currently serve – Bridgeport, East Hartford, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury. And that doesn’t begin to measure our desire to assist children elsewhere in our state.
As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, would you please help us change the lives of Connecticut’s underserved children by contributing generously at the level you can.
Dr. Lewis M. Andrews
President and Founder of CEO