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15

January

“A Dream Come True” – A Short Movie

A Film by Sylvia Chase

Over a six month period, De Marillac Academy benefactor, volunteer and award-winning broadcast journalist Sylvia Chase chronicled the impact of a De Marillac education upon the Luna family.  This short movie highlights Olga Luna’s dedication to her children, and beautifully captures the spirit of perseverance, hard work and faith illustrated by each member of the Luna family; students and graduates of De Marillac.

Until you are able to come personally visit our students, please experience De Marillac through this movie. This piece offers an unparalleled glimpse into the neighborhood, home life, classrooms, and support programs that come together to make this unique community. And, please share it with your friends, colleagues and family.

From the writer and producer, Sylvia Chase:

“As a volunteer, my privilege has been to make a short movie about daily life at De Marillac Academy and the unusual community that surrounds the school: San Francisco’s Tenderloin. It is the wounded heart of town where living is far from easy and not always pretty. But when you walk through De Marillac’s gate, you experience a certain peace in the laughter of children and in the rustling quiet of a classroom where students are bent over their books and papers. They are in a safe place that is dedicated to their future… and to ours.

From the moment I stepped through the school gate in the spring of 2010 to the final words narrated just before Columbus Day, De Marillac dazzled me. It is like a sparkling jewel in a worn out setting. Surrounded by poverty, drugs, gangs, violence; De Marillac’s precious light glows. It is a loving and well-organized, highly-principled family made up of donors, volunteers, students, their parents, teachers, staff and counselors. And, more pro-bono counselors than I have ever seen in any school in the country! And always, there are the Daughters of Charity and De La Salle Christian Brothers whose mission is to serve and educate the poor.

We often see these students in sharp focus, as they ought to be. Yet, in the course of making this movie, I have been deeply inspired by the adults at De Marillac. Their dedication is selfless. How do they sustain this through a year round curriculum and 10 hour school days?! I don’t think this movie will answer that question, but you will see that it is a glorious institution, worthy of our support.”  – Sylvia Chase

Posted on: January 15th, 2013

28

September

Lasallian Volunteer Finds His Vocation

Paul Avvento ’07 served as a Lasallian Volunteer for two years. He’s now a teacher and the director of student activities at De Marillac Academy, while also pursuing his master’s through the Lasallian Fellowship Program.

A secondary education major with a concentration in history, Paul Avvento ’07 became interested in the Lasallian Volunteer program while in Rome at the Young Lasallian Symposium in 2006. Many of the other representatives had been volunteers already, and their enthusiasm for the program rubbed off on him.

The former student body president had been heavily involved with campus ministry and social action, and even spent a summer living and working at Resurrection School in Harlem, a Christian Brothers school, doing summer school test prep for the students.

“So I got to see what it was like to live in communities and work in a school designed for kids who need special attention and special focus, which I really enjoyed doing,” he says.

Avvento began his LV service at De Marillac Academy in San Francisco, which serves children from low-income and underserved households in the Tenderloin area. During his first year, he taught seventh- and eighth-grade physical education, and seventh-grade religion, and was a language arts teaching assistant for seventh-graders. He chose to volunteer a second year and was scheduled to spend more of his time in the development office assisting the school’s fundraising efforts, but a week into the year, he was asked to fill a recently vacated spot and assume teaching responsibilities for middle school religion and eighth-grade social studies.

“I didn’t think it was possible to love a job as much as I do, and I strongly believe it’s because it’s a vocation for me. This was a great opportunity for me to continue to grow in the craft of teaching,” he says. Avvento was offered a permanent position at the end of his second year and is now in his fifth year at De Marillac Academy. He serves as director of student activities and teaches eighth-grade social studies and religion. As director, he oversees all clubs and elective classes, coordinates sports programs, and supervises the volunteers.

He also entered into the Lasallian Fellowship Program at St. Mary’s College of California, where he received his administrative credential and master’s in educational leadership. The program provides tuition remission for students who commit to teach in a Lasallian school for three years.

“I didn’t think it was possible to love a job as much as I do, and I strongly believe it’s because it’s a vocation for me at this point,” Avvento says. “Right now, I am firmly committed to doing whatever I can to help the families that we serve and to help those students reach the high potential that all of them have, even though for some of them, it’s tough to see it.”

Original post from Manhattan College can be found here.

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Posted on: September 28th, 2012

4

November

THE PUSH: A South Pole Adventure

The Push

On January 17, 2012, for the first time in history, two adaptive athletes will push the limits and themselves to the most inhospitable place on the planet – the South Pole. The chosen date marks the 100-year anniversary when Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition reached the earth’s most remote spot.

Fueled by perseverance and, for Grant Korgan, a motivation to recover from a paralyzing injury, he along with guide Tal Fletcher will present on Tuesday, November 8th from 9:30 to 11:15 a.m. to the Tenderloin’s De Marillac Academy.

Read our press release here!

Posted on: November 4th, 2011

26

February

"A Dream Come True" – A Short Movie

“De Marillac dazzled me. It is like a sparkling jewel in a worn out setting.” -Sylvia Chase

Over a six month period, De Marillac Academy benefactor, volunteer and award-winning broadcast journalist Sylvia Chase chronicled the impact of a De Marillac education upon the Luna family.  This short movie highlights Olga Luna’s dedication to her children, and beautifully captures the spirit of perseverance, hard work and faith illustrated by each member of the Luna family; students and graduates of De Marillac.

Until you are able to come personally visit our students, please experience De Marillac through this movie. This piece offers an unparalleled glimpse into the neighborhood, home life, classrooms, and support programs that come together to make this unique community. And, please share it with your friends, colleagues and family.

To play the movie, click on the above image.  For more viewing and downloading options, proceed to the end of this article.

From the writer and producer, Sylvia Chase:

“As a volunteer, my privilege has been to make a short movie about daily life at De Marillac Academy and the unusual community that surrounds the school: San Francisco’s Tenderloin. It is the wounded heart of town where living is far from easy and not always pretty. But when you walk through De Marillac’s gate, you experience a certain peace in the laughter of children and in the rustling quiet of a classroom where students are bent over their books and papers. They are in a safe place that is dedicated to their future… and to ours.

From the moment I stepped through the school gate in the spring of 2010 to the final words narrated just before Columbus Day, De Marillac dazzled me. It is like a sparkling jewel in a worn out setting. Surrounded by poverty, drugs, gangs, violence; De Marillac’s precious light glows. It is a loving and well-organized, highly-principled family made up of donors, volunteers, students, their parents, teachers, staff and counselors. And, more pro-bono counselors than I have ever seen in any school in the country! And always, there are the Daughters of Charity and De La Salle Christian Brothers whose mission is to serve and educate the poor.

We often see these students in sharp focus, as they ought to be. Yet, in the course of making this movie, I have been deeply inspired by the adults at De Marillac. Their dedication is selfless. How do they sustain this through a year round curriculum and 10 hour school days?! I don’t think this movie will answer that question, but you will see that it is a glorious institution, worthy of our support.”  – Sylvia Chase

Special thanks to Sylvia, cameraman and editor Carl Bidleman and their team for their dedication to De Marillac in the design, filming, editing, and production of this short movie.

Sylvia Chase produced, wrote and narrated “A Dream Come True.” During four decades, she has been an ABC News Correspondent on 20/20 and Primetime and a contributor to the Bill Moyers programs, Now and Journal. Her television career began at CBS, where she reported for Walter Cronkite and hosted the daytime news program, Magazine. Chase anchored the evening news in San Francisco during the 80’s. She is the recipient of several Emmy awards, as well as the Dupont and the Peabody.

Movie Access and Download:

To play the video, click on the image at the top of this article or one of the links below (please allow some time for buffering depending on quality chosen). To download, save and share a file, right-click and select “Save Target As” (Windows).

H.264 MPEG4 large (160MB)

 

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Posted on: February 26th, 2011

5

December

Oasis in the Tenderloin


De Marillac Academy, an oasis in SF’s Tenderloin

“It’s all about the kids,” says Mike Daniels, who runs De Marillac Academy on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin.

He brings community members together to create a safe space for his students and their families in the city’s toughest territory.

As Daniels sits among a group of fourth-graders, he asks telling questions. Is anyone considering going to college? Six heads bob up and down in unison. And where would you like to go? USF, UCLA, St. Mary’s College, maybe USC, they answer excitedly.

“Seventy-one percent of our students complete high school, and the same percentage enroll in a two- or four-year college or university,” Daniels says. Nationwide, high school graduation rates of students from similar communities are at or below 60 percent.

“These kids are our future,” says Joe Garrity, captain of the Tenderloin Police Task Force. “De Marillac Academy is an oasis. Mike does a great job of bringing civic focus to the area. We have saints and sinners in the Tenderloin. You’ll find the saints at De Marillac.”

The school is the only tuition-free, full-scholarship Catholic school in the city serving at-risk children. It teaches a student body rich in cultural and religious diversity, about 120 students a year, grades four through eight. De Marillac Principal Eileen Emerson-Boles says the involvement of parents strengthens their mission. “We partner with parents to empower our families,” she says. “Monthly meetings, educational programs and volunteer opportunities shape our community in positive ways. When students see parents interested in education, things change.”

This article was reprinted from SFGATE.com/San Francisco Chronicle, December 5, 2010. The original can be found at: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/04/INIQ1GL0OF.DTL#ixzz17MIqdnhU

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Posted on: December 5th, 2010

11

August

De Marillac opened its doors this week to 119 boys and girls in grades four to eight and 116 alumni in high school and college.
The 2010-2011 school year marks ten years of educating children in the Tenderloin neighborhood. De Marillac’s Tenth Anniversary will be celebrated at the 5th Annual Scholarship Benefit on February 17th at The Westin St. Francis and at other school events throughtout the year. This school week, the community also recognized the birthday of foundress Saint Louise de Marillac.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
    

 

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Posted on: August 11th, 2010