girl during onstage performance

50,000: More Than a Number

Eighteen years. Three states. Twelve percent average annual growth. As we approach another major milestone, we’re definitely getting ready to celebrate: 50,000 students served!

It’s hard to believe that what started as one parent’s response to his daughter’s grief after losing her mother has grown to touch so many lives. Of course, numbers aside, the real milestones come every day in countless triumphs, small and large: Naomi, the blind sixth grader who would not let disability stop her; or Ricardo, the fifth-grade boy who had been in and out of homeless shelters and wrote at the end of SPIRIT SERIES: “I have more confidence than I knew. Now I feel like I can do anything!”

A lot has happened in 18 years, thanks to so many of you who are reading this now: the generosity of hundreds of foundations and individual donors, as well as the partnership of over 1,000 educators at nearly 100 public, charter and independent schools from California to Maine. These may seem like impressive numbers. But in truth, they are far more personal. This landmark is a reminder of the 50,0000 gifts these SPIRIT SERIES students have given us all: the privilege of calling forth the best in each one of these young people and witnessing them strive to emulate the great heroes we celebrate in the SERIES. Stay tuned for our official recognition of this milestone in 2019.

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