By Emily Drooby
While walking the halls of Brooklyn’s St. Bernadette Catholic Academy, Mary Jane McCartney reminisces about her time in Catholic school. McCartney said, “The memories are great, the foundation is great.”
McCartney, attended Catholic grammar school, high school, and college. She said, “I remember praying every day in the beginning of class.”
Now McCartney’s an angel donor, with Futures in Education for Brooklyn and Queens, meaning she donates every year to help a student attend Catholic school. McCartney explained, “Well a Catholic education is such a good investment. Students from Catholic School do very well in high school, in college and in life and that’s an investment that’s worth making.”
McCartney has sponsored two students during the almost seven years that she has been involved in the program, currently she’s sponsoring Joseph Fascianella, a student at St Bernadette’s. Of his feeling about the school, Joseph said, “I just like coming to school here because of all my nice friends.” While Joseph’s mom said, “Joseph loves school, he runs to school every day he loves his classmates, his teachers, he doesn’t like the idea of missing a day of school.”
Joseph’s mother grateful for the help McCartney and Futures in Education provides. Fascianella, said, “Neither one of my kids would be able to go here if we didn’t utilize Futures in Education, their angels make my life a lot easier.”
While McCartney explained, “It’s a wonderful feeling to help a student get a Catholic education.”
In addition to providing over 1,500 dollars a year in tuition, angel donors interact with their angel students through notes, cards, drawings, and annual progress reports. They also get to meet their students during an annual angel reception.
Just at St. Bernadette, there’s sixteen students receiving scholarships from Futures in Education, that’s more than $22,000. Eleven of those students are angel students and have sponsors similar to McCartney. Across the Diocese of Brooklyn there are 686 angel students in 80 elementary schools.