Sandy Springs Education Force celebrated a “Legacy of Impact” and a decade of providing targeted programs in public schools in Sandy Springs at our recent VIP Breakfast. Special guests, including Cliff Jones, Chief Academic Officer, Fulton County Schools, and City Councilman Chris Burnett, remarked on the importance of SSEF’s support of the schools in Sandy Springs and noted the value of having such a unique organization to benefit the Sandy Springs community.
Presentations featured several of SSEF’s impactful programs, including the SSEF sponsored Hound Bowl, a program sanctioned by Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools (MOEMS). High Point students, Ellie Lesser and Quentin Stout, talked about how participating in the team is an impactful experience and helps them see things differently and encourages them to engage in big challenges!
Damien Sosa, a student from Ridgeview, explained that he had not felt confident reading or raising his hand as an elementary school student. Via the SSEF Reading Buddies program, he built confidence. He noted that his buddy, Ms. Renee, “Pointed out potential I did not know I even had. Thank you for believing in me and investing in me.” Another Ridgeview student, Salvador Rivera, echoed these sentiments and explained how valuable the SSEF Link With a Leader program is in helping him learn about different life journeys and careers. He concluded his remarks, “Thank you for all SSEF has to offer.”
Kim Daniel, a teacher at North Springs High School, described how the After-School program SSEF provides offers a support system and helps inspire students to turn into shining examples for their peers. Ms Daniel noted, “SSEF is funding more than a tutoring program. This program is a lifeline…A place where students discover strengths and overcome their weaknesses.”
She introduced Arrel Ramsey-Bonds, a student who participated in the SSEF After-School All-Stars for three years at Sandy Springs Charter Middle School and in the After-School program at North Springs for four years. Arrel is the epitome of the type of legacy SSEF seeks to achieve via student success. He spoke about the lessons he learned as part of the SSEF After-School program at North Springs. For example, he learned that hard work pays off and how to improve his grades. He also learned that asking for help is a sign of strength and that “having a team of people behind you makes a difference.” He will attend college at Tuskegee University and hopes to pursue a career with the FBI.
After these heartfelt testimonials about the legacy and impact SSEF has had on public school students in Sandy Springs, Sandy Springs executive director Irene Schweiger presented awards for those who efforts over the years have made a positive impact on our mission and ability to see our vision to fruition.
Patron of the Year: Ron and Carol Beerman
Carolyn Axt Volunteers of the Year: Beppie Lever & Judy Roseman
Special Event Volunteers of the Year: Esther Levine & Barbara Schneider
School Program Champion of the Year: Chef Elissa Oliver, Riverwood High School
Business Supporter of the Year: Ed Ukaonu, Indoor Billboard Network
Everyone enjoyed breakfast that was catered by student chefs at the Culinary Arts Program at Riverwood International Charter School, under the direction of honoree Chef Elissa Oliver.
Sandy Springs Education Force unveiled a brand new logo and avatar that expresses the organization’s mission and goals for the future.
To end the meaningful program, SSEF Executive Director Irene Schweiger thanked everyone for their generous and ongoing support and reminded everyone of the tremendous impact their efforts and donations are having on students in Sandy Springs.