Most of Cassata High School’s students have had difficulty in traditional schools and face serious obstacles in completing their high school education. For the 2014/2015 school year, 21% of the graduates are the first in their family to earn a high school diploma and 37% are former dropouts. 67% of students are from families with incomes below $25,000 annually and most require tuition assistance. In addition to other challenges, the average student enrolls significantly behind in reading and math.
Cassata High School is a private, nonprofit outreach school that is committed to providing young people with another chance at success. Cassata’s students are some of the most underserved in our community, yet they have a zeal to learn and an earnest objective to succeed.
With the proper environment and the resources available, thanks to the support of the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of North Texas, these students are transformed from potential dropouts into thriving high school graduates.
To hear these students’ stories is to know that Cassata is an absolutely vital part of this community. Here is one of those stories.
My father was never a part of my life. My mom did an outstanding job of raising me and my sister. Even when my sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor and hospitalized for two years, my mom was the rock solid foundation of our family. While my sister was ill, my study habits went out the window and I had to repeat my 5th grade year. I stayed at my previous school through the end of 7th grade. My education was shaken, but my experience led me to Cassata. I tested and passed the Cassata entrance exam and was placed in the 9th grade.
What is Cassata to me? My other home. It’s the place that made me an independent person and allowed my educational journey to flourish. The faculty and staff are dedicated to helping each student find their own path. When I would visit my sister at the hospital, I was surrounded by nurses and doctors. This experience led me to realize that I want to be a pediatric nurse. When I graduate from Cassata, the first people that will see me in my gown holding my diploma are my mother, sister and my grandparents.
I thank my Cassata family for every opportunity they have brought into my life. They continue to show me that no matter where a child has been, they will love, support, guide and encourage each one in their educational journey.
To celebrate 30 years of giving from the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund, Community Foundation of North Texas is hosting a series called 13 Days of Giving. Each weekday through December 17, we’ll share a story highlighting how one of the nonprofits benefitting from the fund has impacted this region. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to receive the daily alerts, or visit www.cfntx.org.