News & Posts
On Sunday, October 16, the national newscast for NBC, The NBC Nightly News, featured a vignette about a unique marketing campaign, “Save our Stories”, for our neighbor, 826 Valencia Tenderloin Center. Our partners in after-school language arts programming are trying to build awareness for their organization and identify new volunteers. To accomplish this, they are using messages written by students in bottles placed around San Francisco. Click on the link above to see footage of De Marillac Academy students. We are grateful for our partnership with our neighbors, 826 Valencia!
On October 15, the 5th graders participated in Northern California’s largest sandcastle building event, the 34th annual Leap Sandcastle Contest.
This is a spirited competition between teams of architects, engineers, contractors, designers and local elementary school students at Ocean Beach. De Marillac Academy 5th graders had a great time building their “Taco Truck” sandcastle with Turner Construction. The kids worked SO hard, as you can see from the pictures. Their jobs ranged from collecting water in buckets, carrying heavy buckets of water to our site, jumping on sand mounds (to pack it down), to carefully designing our sandcastles (while eating pizza). They were very focused and determined for hours. Thankfully, it did not storm while we were at the beach (it only drizzled in the morning).
Click here to see more photos of the event.
“For those looking from the outside, the messages highlight existing traits not visible beneath the pervasive issues most associated with the neighborhood. For those looking at the banners from within, the hope is they reinforce and redouble an already existing pride.” -Epicenter SF
72 new banners were installed this past month in the Tenderloin to highlight the neighborhood’s “tender tendencies”. This project was led by the Tenderloin Community Benefit District (TLCBD) in collaboration with Mucho, a global boutique design studio. Along with several other neighborhood organizations, De Marillac wrote a letter of support for the grant itself when the TLCBD applied and was interviewed by the marketing company, Mucho, as part of the neighborhood input process during the design phase.
The TLCBD focuses on creating positive change in the Tenderloin neighborhood through their organization services and neighborhood projects such as Synthesia – a new light art project coming to Larkin street; and The Tenderloin Safe Passage. This banner installation has incited a “groundswell of positivity”. For more info on the banner project, check out the Epicenter’s blog post.
De Marillac Academy’s educational model and the Graduate Support Program (GSP) are deeply rooted in the NativityMiguel school movement, with a unique commitment to support our graduates through high school and into post-secondary life. We take great pride in our programs that carry out this commitment every day, providing social, emotional and academic support beyond the classroom.
“To identify passion, purpose and academic/professional goals for future endeavors” is the first objective of the Graduate Support Program. “We want our graduates to have options in life.”
De Marillac’s devoted team of two, Lauren Stevens and Evan Vaughan, have put together a comprehensive College and Career Access Initiative (CCAI) to help implement effective programming that will serve our graduates in the most effective and impactful way.
“Over the years we have determined there are many gaps and disconnects among students when it comes to identifying their skill sets and personality traits that might lead to certain careers.”
This initiative, formalized 4 years ago, partners with community organizations such as G.R.O.W., Students Rising Above, JUMA Ventures, Making Waves, ScoreBeyond & First Graduate to facilitate workshops scheduled throughout the academic year. The CCAI focuses on educating students, graduates and families on various post-secondary educational options, familiarizing them with the process of application and placement and identifying and addressing the many barriers that hinder the process of attending post-secondary institutions. It also aims to reduce the financial burden placed on graduates and their families associated with the cost of continued education with guidance through the financial aid application process. Most importantly, the goal is to plant the seeds early – to start thinking about life purpose and passion, personality traits, various skill sets and career paths.
“Our programming/CCAI efforts have strategically become a priority in GSP, as they are directly responding to the greatest needs presented by our graduates and are built specifically around working towards De Marillac’s institutional outcomes.”
In addition to year-round programming, the Director, Lauren Stevens and Program Coordinator, Evan Vaughan actively go out into the community to check up on alumni, visiting high schools, community agencies, CPMC’s Child Development Center and various college campuses, to collaborate and make sure their emotional and academic needs are met. This is something you don’t see often, if at all, from middle school or high school counselors. As stated by the US census Bureau, “in order to ensure that the next generation is aptly prepared to navigate an increasingly competitive global economic environment, the U.S. must broaden our focus from getting students “into” college to getting students “through” college.” Getting students into high school or college is usually where the support stops. At De Marillac, we make sure to continue our support until a post-secondary degree has been completed.
Being a small private school with a class average of 24 students, De Marillac has the advantage of fostering a solid mentor-like relationship with the students, which is why so many alumni come back to the De Marillac Academy for support, events and community service. High school counselors are busy with large caseloads, making it difficult for our alumni to get the unique support they need. On average, the Graduate Support Program sees 25-30 alumni a week.
After our last results from a survey sent out to high school seniors and college freshman, our DMA alumni said:
“As of now, all they (GSP) have provided me through my high school experience is enough (more than enough), and I know that it will be equally so upon entering college.”
“De Marillac became a family to me. My classmates were the brothers and sisters I never asked for but was yet given. DMA really helped me get a different paradigm shift about education and who I want to be.”
This past summer, GSP had a 95% participation rate in the first annual Summer Support Workshop (a new addition this year to the CCAI), which focuses on preventing “Summer Melt” and increasing college and post-secondary persistence. This term “Summer Melt”, comes from research on low-income, college-intending seniors and found that 33% of them reconsider college plans or changed their intending college in the fall, and 20% decided not to begin college at all. This is due to lack of guidance and support, cultural differences and difficulty in financial literacy and admission support when applying to college. The Summer Support Workshop is a significant intervention and program aimed at reducing the college dropout rate and summer melt among our graduates, and helps in preparing them for success in life. The workshop includes sessions on stress reduction and mindfulness, financial wellness, challenges faced by first-generation students, resume building, determining life values and purpose, and navigating campus life.
The Graduate Support Program plays a very critical role in carrying out our mission and vision here at the De Marillac Academy. We encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Instagram where we post updates on our alumni and posts featuring the amazing work of the Graduate Support Program.
Also coming up is our Back to School Night on September 21st , each fall at De Marillac Academy, we open our doors to friends, supporters and new visitors to showcase our transformative work with the children, youth and families of the Tenderloin at our Back-to-School Reception. This year, in De Marillac’s 16th year of service, we will be highlighting stories of the “journey” of our students and graduates. Our Reception’s program will include the debut of the video, “At Promise“, produced by Heist, followed by a panel of graduates responding to questions from our students about their journey. Please join us to build community, enjoy refreshments, tour the school, and meet students, graduates, faculty and staff.
De Marillac Academy offers a unique educational experience focused on meeting the needs of a community’s underserved children. This is accomplished through an advanced network of partnerships–with parents, nonprofits, corporations, benefactors, volunteers and the local government. As evidenced in the 2015-16 Honor Roll of Donors, these partnerships are not only helping students achieve greater levels of wellness and success, but they are also revitalizing a community long marked by economic hardship and blight.
Wine Sales Support Scholarships at De Marillac Academy: Brother Timothy Cabernet Sauvignon Sale – September 10-24
Time to stock up for the holidays with Brother Timothy Cabernet Sauvignon!
Please click the link here to order this fantastic wine and designate “De Marillac Academy” to direct proceeds of your purchase to support our student scholarship fund. Orders must be made before September 24.
“…a special bottle of Cabernet, not only because of the story of Brother Timothy and that it’s providing charity for at risk children; it’s special because it’s small production, hard to find and very good wine, to top it off.”— WINE SPECTACTOR
Thanks to our cherished partnership with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Developement Coorporation and the Kelly Cullen Community, located at 220 Golden Gate Ave., De Marillac Academy has access to a gymnasium for Physical Education classes as well as for our growing Athletics Program. September marks the beginning of a new season of CYO Volleyball, where this year, De Marillac Academy will be fielding 3 teams. If you would like to watch the Saints in action, please click on the link here to find the games schedule. We are excited to see our student-athletes represent De Marillac Academy at competitions throughout San Francisco!
Games are subject to change, so please use the link for updated schedule information.
On Wednesday, August 24th, De Marillac Academy had the opportunity to share it’s mission with some folks from Microsoft during our Corporate Day of Service. Our campus is open to corporations seeking to find fulfillment beyond their typical work day; usually, groups between 5- 10 people join our students for a one-on-one, 2 hour service, participating in our literacy tutoring session.
Microsoft, a fellow Tenderloin neighbor, has a commitment to their community through many programs such as the Mid-Market Matters Philanthropic program, and Hack for Good Philanthropic Programs. These programs focus on bridging the tech divide within San Francisco, and the rest of the Bay Area. In addition to providing programs where Microsoft can provide outreach services to their community, Microsoft looks for ways that the community can provide insight and inspiration to their employees- and that starts with learning about their neighbors. De Marillac’s Corporate day of service fits hand in hand with Microsoft’s philanthropic efforts.
Upon completion of the literacy tutoring session and tour, our visitors have an opportunity to fill out a survey and note any comments or lingering questions. One common theme, is that our visitors wish they had more time with the students, as they are always amazed at how polite and eager they are to learn. As our Corporate Day of Service program continues to develop, we hope to provide more opportunities for our neighbors to see the Tenderloin in a new way.
Follow this link for more information on De Marillac’s Corporate Day of Service.
To learn more about our neighbors at Microsoft, and free programs such as Girls Who Code, check out their blog at www.microsoftbayarea.com.
One of the best things about being part of the Tenderloin is the wonderful group of neighborhood partners that De Marillac is fortunate to work with; one such partner is The Hall SF. Located at 1028 Market Street, between 6th and 7th, The Hall believes in, “Harnessing the Power of Food to Build Community.” We are gratefully partnering with them on August 4th from 4:30 – 8:00 p.m. for a happy hour event, An Evening with De Marillac Academy. The Hall will be donating 15% of their bar profits from the event directly back to our students. Please stop by and join us for a drink and some conversation.
If you have any questions about the event, please contact our Director of Special Events, John Ellsworth. We look forward to seeing you on August 4th!
Cast Your Vote for the De Marillac Academy Student Photography Contest, Sponsored by the San Francisco Hilton Union Square
The Hilton San Francisco Union Square is sponsoring a photography contest for De Marillac Academy Students. Over the next two weeks, photographs will be posted to the Hilton San Francisco Union Square Facebook page and the Parc 55 Hotel Facebook page.
How did this happen? Former San Francisco Chronicle photographer, Frederic Larson, was engaged by the Hilton San Francisco Union Square to put together a series of photographs that highlight the bright, positive aspects of the Tenderloin neighborhood, such as images of the students at De Marillac Academy. This led to the idea that De Marillac Academy students themselves would capture images on mobile phones across various categories, such as: “People”, “Pet with Human”, and “Grandparents”.
Please cast your vote for the photographs you like by visiting the social media pages linked on our website. A $100 gift card will be given to the winning photographer for each category, and there will be a celebration for the students at the end of the campaign. Thank you for your support of De Marillac Academy’s budding photographers!