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September 24, 2010

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September 24, 2010

I have worked with Laura Sumner-Coon at another non-profit - San Juan Diego Middle School. I saw all the expertise she has to be Executive Director of a non-profit. When SOAR began, I knew nothing about it. I was not aware of the possibilities for children who wanted to go to private schools that did not have the means to go. When San Juan Diego Middle closed because of the economy and grants were how the school fuctioned, Laura stepped up took everything in her power to be sure SOAR was up and running so the San Juan Diego children who did not have money for a private school could go to a private school. The scholarships for the children to go to the private schools is from constant letter writing, grant writing, contacting individuals, businesses. Laura knows how the system works. I was fortunate to be helping with closing the books of San Juan - when children would come in with their parents to her office saying they wanted to go to a private school. This is a wonderful non-profit. Also besides the scholarships given to children, Laura has a mentoring program with each child that has a scholarship to have a mentor whether in high school or middle school or grade school. I was fortunate last year to have an eighth grader at John Paul Academy II - besides me helping her every Tuesday afternoon, she taught me a lot too! The Christmas program was very enjoyable and I helped with it because my mentee was in it as a sheep. She had to make her own custume and did a great job. The bonding of mentor/mentee is amazing and very meaningfull. SOAR has a breakfast I think it is four times a year - to ask people to be Table Captains and invite people to hear the story of SOAR and give. Laura makes sure there are students there and they tell their story. I am moved by Laura's compassion to help the children that want to learn in a private school. The Board of Directors are wonderful and also willing to help Laura. This year I am mentoring a sixth grader I just started last night. We worked with Science and again I'm learning all over again. I'm also a donor to help these children go to and learn at a private school. SOAR is a Compassionate/Worthwhile non-profit.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As I mentored under this organization, I have seen children that would be lost in a public school system blossom to be great students, learn to accept all nationalites and very energetic and exciting to learn.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 23, 2010

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September 23, 2010

This has been the first year that St. John's Lutheran has been part of the S.O.A.R. family. It has been wonderful working with Laura Sumner Coon. Her devotion and dedication to this program is tremendous. She has provided our school and faculty with in-service opportunities, a network of professionals, and a school counselor intern. This program is a great resource for the students of Racine. I would encourage individuals and businesses to find out more about this program and invest in the future of the children of our city.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

attending a S.O.A.R. breakfast to hear the stories of the students involved in this program. They greatly appreciate the opportunity to attend a Christian school.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the opportunities it has offered our school and faculty.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated and excited about what they are doing.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide the opportunity for thousands of students to have a Christian education.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 23, 2010

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September 23, 2010

SOAR is an extremely valuable community resource for children and parents in the Racine community who are seeking access to quality education. SOAR is also offering a great resource for teachers and administrators who work in schools that are affiliated with the program by providing access to in-service training, school-based personnel, and collaboration with leaders in higher education.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally experienced the results of this organization in the access of students to quality educational experiences.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 23, 2010

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September 23, 2010

I have worked and continue to work with SOAR as a peer community collaborator by helping them support their participating schools prepare themselves to serve a potentially new population. SOAR is a fantastic, passionate organization with its only mission to help families provide the best education for their children as they possibly can. It is an honor to work with them closely and assist in making that education the best for everyone involved.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the ways in which teachers and school leaders have learned about different cultures and the ways in which they can provide exceptional and inclusive education for everyone.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

September 23, 2010

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September 23, 2010

Trinity Lutheran School decided to become one of the SOAR participating schools for one reason. We see as our mission to minister to those in our community regardless of race or economic need. SOAR has provided support and expertise in helping all of our participating schools. We look forward to our partnership now and in the future.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In helping to set up our school as a SOAR school.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 3, 2010

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September 3, 2010

SOAR of Racine (Scholarships, Opportunities and Access in Racine) began several years ago to provide scholarships for lower-income students to attend any of the network of our faith-based schools in Racine. The need is overwhelming - 10 students have scholarships, 90 are on the waiting list and others have had to be turned away because we are no longer accepting applications for now until more funds become available. Laura, our Executive Director, does far more than raise money for scholarships; she supports our scholarship students and families to make sure they succeed. And they have - all 10 got through their first year in the school of choice with good academic records. Laura monitors their progress, has formed a group of volunteer mentors who meet with their students at least once a week for tutoring and she has begun a partnership with a local university to have their graduate pyschology students provide counselling services to any student from our school network who could benefit from it. Providing students with scholarships and support, emotional and academic and even transportation at times is more than a full-time job and Laura happily meets it. Kudos to her and our students and families and let's hope that we can support many more over the years.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

a fufilling volunteer capacity.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working and helping the motivated students and families. These children, who do not take their education for granted, are mature beyond their years and so grateful for their opportunities.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

great!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

fund all the children who want a choice in their education.

Ways to make it better...

I could find more funding sources.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of funds. Our town has high unemployment and has lost many jobs and professionals so there has been a loss of many potential donors.

One thing I'd also say is that...

school choice is vital to the success of all students. A thriving private and public school system provides choices and helps each system to stay strong and healthy.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 2, 2010

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September 2, 2010

SOAR is an organization whose goal is to provide children and their families access to educational opportunities in Racine that are otherwise unattainable. Our families face financial challenges that make it difficult for them to afford private education. SOAR provides them with the lift they need to make this happen.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The children enorlled in out program are dedicated students and role models for others. There is no limit to what they can achieve. As SOAR students, they understand and appreciate the value of their education more than most young people!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would like to try to better educate potential/future partners and make them more aware of how important our organizaiton is to the comunity.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I enjoy the grateful smiles on our student's faces.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Our volunteers and Director and dedicated and committed to the mission and vision of our organization.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

10 Million dollars would eliminate our waiting list completely!

Ways to make it better...

My experience would be better of I had more time to devote to helping.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding is the biggest challenge.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I invite everyone to become better educated about our great organization!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 2, 2010

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September 2, 2010

What an amazing opportunity SOAR offers when over 90 families are on the waiting list to get into private schools. My children are currently waiting to get in and the SOAR director has kept us abreast of the funding issues and our position in line. To help do our part, we sold raffle tickets and helped at the carnival that was held in hopes to raise enough money for SOAR to offer more scholarships. If SOAR can get the funding and get students placed it will truly benefit those in need and give lower income families a chance for their children to rise above poverty in the future.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally seen the dedication the SOAR director has in getting the funding for the children - she truly wants to make a difference in the community.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hope to get SOAR and its objectives more known in the community.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

feeling like they care and want to make a difference in the lives of our youth.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated and helpful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

give scholarships to those who are waiting and accept new applications for scholarships.

Ways to make it better...

they were able to get the funding to provide the scholarships.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

we all need to pull together as a community and help educate and raise the youth. It takes a village to raise a child and if we want to see less poverty in the future we need to help these kids get a better education today!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 2, 2010

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September 2, 2010

Racine SOAR offers less previledged children an opportunity to obtain a superior education with a wholistic approach. Not only do SOAR students attend good schools with tuition support, but they are appointed mentors and tutors that become their 'education families' that almost guarantees that they live a wholesome life in and away from school. The SOAR model is unique. SOAR children simply blossom and the progeam strengthens the spirit of the whole cummunity. Nothing is more important than the future of our youth. I enjoy working and volunteering for SOAR activities and watching the students grow in so many ways and loving their lives. They are the future beacons of our community.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I see the community support, the good grades and outlook in life of the students and their families. I see the community support.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 2, 2010

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September 2, 2010

I am very impressed with the dedication, caring, and expertise of the leaders of the SOAR program. Offering a private education for children whose families can't afford one is a very worthwhile goal.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have mentored a current 8th grade student since the last school year. All students have individual mentors to help them with their school work. This has had a positive effect on their school grades.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Mentor a student one hour a week, mentor a family in economic distress, prepare mailings, assist in our fundraising breakfasts and introduce us to people who have passion for what we do.