In late 2000 I first met the San Bernardino kids and went into the homes where they lived. On that day, my life changed. What I saw is etched into my mind forever. There’s only one way I can describe it: I saw hopelessness. No one was thinking of the future, nor of a different, better life. The only thought was day-to-day survival.
Today, eighteen years later, we have very encouraging data:
· 4 college graduates (UCSD x 2, Berkeley, UCLA)
· 12 kids currently in college
· 6 more kids graduating high school this June, currently applying to colleges
· 1 making a career in the military (USMC)
· 1 small business owner
These statistics are impressive, but I believe the narrative of the transformation in this once-hopeless environment is just as important:
Ian, a June ’19 high school graduate, recently received early acceptance at Arizona State University. We announced it at a team training where he got an enthusiastic round of applause and many high-fives from his teammates.
Mike Reilly, the Voice of Ironman, met seven of the EE kids at a recent Challenged Athletes Foundation event. His comment afterwards was how impressive the kids were as each stepped up, shook his hand, looked him in the eye and introduced himself.
Marlene, who was raised in a dangerously chaotic environment, is now a UCSD graduate, a wife, a new mom and is currently applying to graduate school in social work. Her plans are to apply what she learns in her Masters work in the San Bernardino area, hoping to make a difference to those who are being raised in a hopeless environment just as she was.
In the early days of EE there was no parental involvement. At our last event we had 26 parents, many of whom raced along with their kids. At our annual Christmas Awards and Scholarship party, nearly every EE kid brings at least one adult along with him. As the parents see other EE kids receiving scholarships and attending college, the hopelessness is replaced with thoughts of what might be possible for their own kids.
When you encourage kids from this kind of environment to dream big, you take on a serious responsibility to provide emotional grounding as well as the financial means to support their dreams. We’ve been able to do that, thanks to your very generous aid. The change in attitude and the progress they’re making today is because of your investment in EE over the years and the difference it’s made in our ability to give these kids the help they need. We’re very grateful to you.
Exceeding Expectations plans to be around well into the future and to keep helping San Bernardino kids and families who are full of potential but simply need a little help. I look forward to you continuing with us on this rewarding journey.
I never want to overburden you, and at this time am simply asking for EE to be on your list of potential recipients if you're in the process of researching ways in which you or your business can help others during this time of year or are looking to make a donation as part of your year-end tax planning.
Our foundation is a non-profit 501(3)c, which means that your donation is fully tax deductible (Tax ID 20-4227809). If you chose to contribute, you can do it by check, made out to “Exceeding Expectations” and sent to:
31855 Date Palm Dr., Ste 3-505
Cathedral City, CA 92234
Or, you can donate securely on-line through our website, http://www.eefoundation.org/donate/
Thanks in advance for your consideration and for your ongoing support of the kids, financially or otherwise. And remember to use AmazonSmilewhen you’re making online purchases this holiday season and throughout the year. Every time you buy, EE gets a little hit – and it all helps! Plus, it won’t cost you a thing.
By the way, December is a big month for EE. Watch for upcoming stories and pictures of several events, including our annual year-end Awards & Scholarships party.