By Emily Drooby
Francesca Spinelli and Darah are meeting for the first time, but Spinelli has already had a profound impact on Darah’s life, she help’s Darah attend a school with classes she loves.
When asked what her favorite classes are, Darah said, “Gym class, and music…” adding, “because we get to play the flute.”
Darah is an angel student and Spinelli is her angel donor, with Futures in Education which provides scholarships to help students in the Brooklyn Diocese enjoy a Catholic education. Spinelli’s donation helps pay for Darah’s tuition. This is Spinelli’s first year as a donor
Francesca Spinelli, “My parents sacrificed a whole lot to send me to Catholic school and right now it’s time to pay it forward.”
Futures takes a typical tuition assistance program a step further. Angels and donor’s stay in touch through notes, cards and drawings, donors get student progress reports and they also get together for this annual angel reception.
Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, the Vicar for Development in the Diocese of Brooklyn said, “It’s just a wonderful, wonderful experience, to see the children for the first time meeting their angels and even the expressions on the angels faces to see the children that their helping, it makes them feel good too.”
Over the years, Futures in Education has given out $107 million to over 30,000 students. The money goes to help students who really need it, 31 percent are living below the poverty line.
Currently, 4,500 students are benefiting from the scholarship programs. Some have an angel and some receive scholarships from other funds, but all students receiving help are giving the non-profit their stamp of approval.
Students like, Lovely, said, “I just really enjoy the angel program so thank you so much.”
Inspiring students and fostering faith, it’s no wonder donors are called angels.