Orange, California (BROADVIEW MORTGAGE) May 23rd, 2013
For many high school students, wearing a cap and gown at graduation is something that is a “given” part of finishing high school. After all, how awkward would it be to simply walk across the stage and not be able to move that tassel across that mortarboard at the end of the ceremony?
One high school in ABC Unified School District ran the risk of their students not taking part in this time honored tradition. Tracy High School needed $5,000 to be able to purchase their student’s cap & gowns for their graduation ceremony. With a decrease in funding, they had to look to a more creative way to raise money.
I was approached by Mark Anthony Ruiz, a Realtor in Cerritos and asked if we would like to attend. Being in the mortgage industry, we never pass up an opportunity to ditch the office and golf, so of course we said yes.
The tournament took place at Ironwood 9 Golf Course in Cerritos, California on May 22nd. It was a blast!
While there I took the opportunity to meet some of the teachers, staff, and supporters of Tracy High School. The impression I was left with was that the needs are vast, funding is sparse, and it is the students that are effected as a result. Regardless of where anyone stands on the political spectrum, I doubt that anyone would argue that we do “too much” for our public schools.
Even though we had a great day meeting people and driving around a golf cart (at least our bankers did, I stayed in the clubhouse), the funds raised address only a small part of the problem. This meets one symptom of the problem with no guarantee of future funding. Reflecting on this, it occurred to me that if they have to put on a golf tournament to pay for caps and gowns, what will they have to do to buy books? Technology? Supplies for their teachers?
As fun as the event was, it was a reality check for me and for Broadview Mortgage as a company. As a bank that touts and promotes empowerment through education, we could do more for our public schools. We can sit and have these conversations with educators, listen to their frustrations about working in under-equipped schools, and then we can do what we always do…nothing.
Yes, it’s great that the banker came by with a photographer, bought a couple of tickets, and sponsored some water bottles. What a terrific PR piece to market and advertise! From the looks of it, the banker talks the talk. Now that the excitement has worn down and the clubs have been put back in the garage, is that same banker going to walk the walk?
The answer is, unequivocally and blatantly, yes. With every fiber of my being, yes. I don’t want to setup unrealistic expectations and promise to donate a million dollars, but make no mistake, we’re not going anywhere.
Small business, big business, any business…help our schools! Yes, times are tough and many people are struggling, but how much tougher will it be for these kids at Tracy without a diploma? “They’re not my kids and not my problem,” oh but they are, they are. These kids will either be the future of your community or it’s demise. The civil engineer fixing the pothole or the drug dealer pushing pot in your neighborhood. They are very much your/mine/our problem.
What then is the solution? Human compassion and decency. As Americans we take care of our own and believe in investing in our future. We build roads, bridges, and satellites to help get us places…we should do the same for our public school students, so they can get places.
That said, I’m committed both personally and professionally, to working with ABCUSD Education Foundation on helping to fund programs that make a difference in the lives of students and change our communities for the better. Broadview Mortgage is happy to encourage these students to move onward and upward, to wear that cap & gown with pride, and to remind us all that empowerment truly stems from a good education.
About the Author: Chris is currently the Assistant Director of Branch Development and an MBA Candidate. He is passionate about building community relationships and supporting worthy causes. In his free time Chris enjoys playing with his Labrador puppy “Abby”, playing guitar and reading books. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (714) 538-4404