Hi everyone! Kate here!
As we close out our incredible 10th Anniversary year, we thought we would ease into the holiday season with our very own "countdown to Thanksgiving". For the next 10 days, I will share one person, group of people or experience that played a pivotal role in getting School the World to this 10th year.
I am SO thankful for all of you this holiday season, but thought it would be fun to share a little more from behind the scenes!
#10 is my SIBLINGS, Maura, Mary Pat, Ellen and Hughie.
Although they thought I was crazy when I first told them I was leaving my career and starting this organization, they have been critical supporters, and I would never have made it without them! Here is a picture of all 5 of us at this year’s 10th Anniversary Gala with Dr. Shefali.
#9 of our #givingthanks countdown is for all 75+ interns who did whatever was asked of them.
They stuffed envelopes, put furniture together, chaperoned in Guatemala and lots more! To all of you, you made a big difference and we are so grateful! @Claudia Bacon Annie Kelly Lily García Morgan Grunat Megan Gilman Jane Fanning Olivia Curran Helena Colbert Kelsey Rondini @Collean Toupin and about 70 more!!
#8 on our #givingthanks countdown is our inspiring JOURNEY video.
The production of this video remains a constant reminder of the purpose of our work. I remember doing the “test” walk with Hilario before they began filming and nearly dying… I was even going the easy way… This video ended up being a pivotal moment for us, with over 75 million views and 1 million shares. Today, I am thankful for Hilario for sharing his journey and of course Tom Kelly, Lyndsey Campbell, Marc Santos and Matt Sasso for producing this incredibly moving video. Haven't seen the video? Click here to watch: https://hubs.ly/H0lWDB00
#7 on our #givingthanks countdown is our 800+ World Changers.
Gosh, I will never forget being in Guatemala with our 1st Boston group during the marathon bombing. When the mayor spoke at the dedication he said "I don't know why anyone would want to hurt the United States. Look at what these young people who have given up their vacations and traveled so far to help our children. They represent American values that we ought to be emulating." Today, I am giving thanks to our high school World Changers who take part in our mission and make the world a better place.
#6 on our #GivingThanks countdown are Ana and Natalie!
These two women have been with us for 5 of School the World's 10 years. We could not have gotten to where we are today without them. Not only today, but everyday I am #givingthanks for these two hardworking women who continue to be trailblazers for School the World.
#5 on our #GivingThanks countdown are the Mayors that we partner with!
In my first meeting ever with a Mayor, the Mayor of Chichicastenango said "We need schools" and I said "Ok, you do half, and we do half". He agreed and from that moment on, our partnership with the Mayors has been a pivotal aspect of our proven model. One very special mayor is Jose Francisco Perez, the Mayor of Santa Cruz del Quiche (pictured). In the last 8 years, he has partnered with us on 23 (!!!) schools and continues to support our work! Today I am #givingthanks to all of the mayors that support our mission and put education on the top of their priorities, believing that it will create long-term change for their people.
#4 on our #Givingthanks countdown is Lauralton Hall!
When I was in high school I never would have believed that decades later, that same school would still be such a significant part of my life...When I started STW service trips in 2013 Lauralton Hall was the first school to get on board. I will never forget that first trip almost 7 years ago. Since then, 201 LH LADIES have raised $712,300 (!!) to travel to Guatemala and spend their February breaks building 8 SCHOOLS and 5 PLAYGROUNDS! We can't wait to welcome back our Lauralton Hall ladies this February in Panama!!
It is WAY too hard to only thank 10 people for 10 years of work… SO for #3.5 of our #GivingThanks countdown I am thanking our staff! The growth of this organization is truly a reflection of the awesome team we have in place, and how hardworking and dedicated each of these individuals are to our mission!
#3 on our #GivingThanks countdown is Claudia Pinto and Alberto Musalem!
Claudia and her husband, Alberto, immediately understood our mission, and have continued to make a transformative impact on School the World. Back in the early days, Claudia became my travel buddy and was pivotal in scouting the Quiché region in Guatemala. She is the best adventure partner!
#2.5 on our #GivingThanks countdown is my College of the Holy Cross friends.
When School the World started 10 years ago, my college friends stepped up right away to raise money and organize student groups. Not only that, but they’ve been a HUGE source of moral support! This pic is the only one I could find 😆 and it is of Bob and I, one of my longest Holy Cross friends, from this past February when he came to Guatemala with his son! Such a fun trip! But you all know who you are and today I am #GivingThanks to all of you!!