Here are a few ways that we have helped:
From shelter room to college dorm room.
Christopher is a young man COS supported for many years, providing assistance in his extra-curricular activities, tutoring, and guidance. As a result of his academic drive, Christopher was invited to participate in the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. In addition to providing the funding for his transportation and accommodations, COS helped to outfit him in a new suit. As Christopher tells it, “Because of the confidence instilled in me in that new suit, I took the train to New York City after the conference and was able to meet with the admissions office at Columbia University.” Due to his motivation and our support, Christopher attended Columbia University (Class of 2011) on a merit scholarship while we continued to provide resources (a laptop, for example) and partial tuition assistance. Christopher now works in NYC where he is pursuing a master’s degree (also at Columbia) in Narrative Medicine and studying for the MCAT. He hopes to enter medical school in the fall of 2013.
An artist in the making.
COS began supporting Max in 2005 when we became aware of his interest in art. In addition to our art tutoring programs, we provided him with a steady stream of necessary art supplies. He worked his way through San Francisco’s School of the Arts and upon graduation was accepted at several private art colleges. COS provided Max assistance through his college career at Art Center College of Design and he graduated in December of 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Illustration Design. Max is currently working for Disney as a concept artist.
Max at one point had written, “The generous donation you’ve given me will allow me to make it through college and become a professional illustrator someday. You directly influence my success — remember that when I’m famous (I’m saying “when” I’m famous, as opposed to “if” I’m famous)!”
Max has worked not only to improve his own life situation but also to give back to his community. He worked at a public library teaching art to young children and has future plans to join the Peace Corps. His acts of nurturing and strengthening his community demonstrates our mission at work. For more information about this amazing young man please view his work and learn more through his website or see a NY Times article about Max.
Dalia & Fernanda
At home on the balance beam.
Our Founder Lois Pavlow expressed so very eloquently what is at the heart of our mission: the first thing that goes when a child is homeless is their childhood. We strive to bring a piece of that childhood back by supporting enrichment activities including art, music and athletics for these kids. A great success story is Dalia & Fernanda. We have funded these sisters’ love of gymnastics since 2007. Each of the girls has moved up the ranks and has begun competing in local tournaments. This opportunity has offered these sisters a tremendous boost in self- esteem which translates to success not only in the gym but in school as well.
The Children’s Program Director at their shelter reports: “Without the support of COS these two wonderful girls would not be able to attend gymnastics lessons. It is these lessons that have demonstrated to them that they have a worth in life and taught them to set and strive for goals! Gymnastics has changed their lives in a profound way!”