The Inner-City Scholarship Fund raised $1.2 million at its annual dinner Dec. 4 at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, thanks to the generosity of supporters.
The funds help support ICSF in its mission to provide tuition assistance to nearly 8,000 students from underprivileged backgrounds attending Catholic schools in the archdiocese.
Peter T. Grauer, chairman at Bloomberg LP and president of ICSF, presented the 2018 Inner-City Scholarship Fund Award to Father Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University. Close to 400 guests attended.
Cardinal Dolan presented the 2018 James B. Lee Jr. LifeLink Award to Todd Maclin, principal at Maclin Management Co.
Michael Maturana, 15, a junior at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, spoke about how blessed he feels to attend a Catholic high school with support from the Inner-City Scholarship Fund. He is an honor student who hopes to attend a top-tier college and plans to major in biochemistry.
“As my parents and I considered the options and our finances, I never thought I would be able to continue my academics in a Catholic school,” said Michael, who added that he has been an altar server and a catechist at his family’s parish, St. Jerome in the Bronx.
“Inner-City has helped provide me with the best education. It has also ignited in me a never-fading spirit that gives me the motivation to continue to work toward my goals, and to grow closer to God. On behalf of my mom and dad and thousands of other students like me, thank you all for being here tonight.”
Michael gave a glimpse of his life in school and at home, where he is the second youngest of six kids—four boys and two girls. He and his younger sister both attended St. Jerome School, where their father was head custodian for more than 25 years.
“Catholic school is part of my family’s story,” Michael said.
He recently participated in the Tri-Latino Triathlon, a sports development program, featuring swimming, cycling and running, which pairs adult mentors and high school students. Before Michael came to Cardinal Hayes, he said he “didn’t even know how to swim, but I joined the Tri-Latino Triathlon to challenge myself, try new things and bond” with a few other Hayesmen who were “crazy enough” to attempt the three-sport training regimen.
The evening concluded with a performance from Isabella Leonard, a Grammy Award-winning opera singer. David Ushery of NBC 4 New York served as master of ceremonies.
Susan George, executive director of Inner-City Scholarship Fund, said, “I’m beyond grateful for the supporters in the room who have affected the lives of countless students through their commitment and support of Catholic schools.”
Cardinal Terence Cooke and a group of prominent executives of different religious backgrounds founded Inner-City Scholarship Fund in 1971. Ninety-three percent of students who receive assistance from the ICSF are minorities, and 33 percent are non-Catholic.Ninety-eight percent of seniors attending inner-city Catholic high schools graduate, and 95 percent pursue college at some of the finest universities in the nation.