Dear Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School,
This year, in our current COVID reality, as we feel challenged to remember our blessings and look for hope, we can seek comfort and connection through community and find meaning by helping CRLS parents and children whose struggles are greater than ours.In the face of the COVID crisis, FOCRLS has worked to rise to the challenge.
To respond to the increased need for food assistance, FOCRLS was able to expand an existing partnership with the CRLS Family Liaison through a city grant to provide $100 Market Basket vouchers to 100 struggling families. In spite of having to cancel our Spring Bash because of the pandemic, we were still able to provide $55,000 in scholarships to 36 members of the CRLS Class of 2020; this was possible because of the incredible generosity of so many of you and our local corporate sponsors, particularly Google, Philips North America LLC, and CambridgeSeven. To help CRLS parents find a way to meet each other and connect, FOCRLS held a virtual get together in early November.
In the coming months, FOCRLS will seek new ways to support our faculty challenged by remote learning; provide opportunities for parents to connect; and continue to support CRLS families who are struggling because of the economic devastation that the pandemic has created. Above all, we must support our graduating seniors who will need financial assistance ─ and there will be more than ever before ─ to pursue their academic goals.
“As I pursue my degree I know that it will not be easy financially or academically, but with the help of this scholarship I was able to eliminate some of my financial struggles, which allows me to focus more on my school work.” ─ Ralph (pictured), our Class of 2020 Mary Frances Monti Memorial Scholarship awardee, now studying software engineering at George Washington University
To make all of this possible, we ask for your support. One of the best things that has emerged from this COVID crisis is the countless examples of acts of generosity. And we know that you will be providing one more example.
Donate online at focrls.org (automatic recurring monthly gifts are especially appreciated) or mail a check payable to Friends of CRLS, along with your contact information, to Friends of CRLS, P.O. Box 391541, Cambridge MA 02139.
Because of your past generosity, we know, with the need so VERY great this year, that we can count on you to provide more generously than ever!
Jamie Sabino President, FOCRLS Board of Directors
Your donation is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. FOCRLS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
To learn about our programs or find out more about donating, establishing a scholarship, involving your business, or volunteering, please visit focrls.org.
We hope you’ll read, enjoy, and be inspired by the content that we’ve collected in our new annual report to remind you that by donating to Friends of CRLS you’re investing in the future – not just these students’ futures, but in the future for all of us.
Photos and quotations from many of our Class of 2020 scholarship awardees who are now starting their first year in college. See their rosy faces and read their own words about their plans, how scholarships bring their goals closer, and their thanks for your support.
Thank You to Salman, our youth from the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP). He’s been gathering interviews with our 2020 scholarship awardees and Bash event sponsors. Being able to share the impact that college scholarships make in students’ lives and some of the reasons sponsors decide to support Friends of CRLS’s programs will help us raise funds for future College Scholarships, Faculty Innovation Grants, and Student Travel Fellowships.
Here’s a bit about him:
“My name is Salman, and I am a rising junior at the Belmont Hill School. My favorite sport is soccer and I have been playing competitively for about 10 years now. I am from Cambridge and attended VLUS for middle school and went to the Haggerty School for elementary school. I am very excited to be working with Friends of CRLS this summer!”
Enjoy the rest of summer, Salman, and have a great junior year!
Friends of Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (FOCRLS) would like to share with the community an appreciation of Christopher Saheed, who was a key collaborator in forming our organization. As the high school’s principal at the time, he provided invaluable advice and encouragement to Elaine Schear and Donna Spiegelman, the two CRLS parents who founded our non-profit in 2006 to support opportunities for students, graduates, and faculty. “Although we were brand new CRLS parents when we approached Dr. Saheed about starting a non-profit, he didn’t flinch. He even made sure FOCRLS had an office at the school,” said Dr. Schear. “We soon were offering grants to faculty for innovative projects – his idea for how to support a range of students and faculty and become visible at the school. This was Chris: purposeful, down-to-earth, supportive.” Since 2007, FOCRLS has awarded Faculty Innovation Grants, each up to $1,000, to 235 teachers, club advisers, counselors, librarians, social workers, and administrators for projects expanding the curriculum beyond the normal budget.
Dr. Saheed, who held degrees from Tufts, Suffolk, and Harvard universities, retired from CRLS in 2011 and then moved to Florida. He succumbed to pancreatic cancer on June 25, 2020, after a three-year battle.
When FOCRLS reached out to James Maloney, Chief Operating Officer of the District (Cambridge Public Schools), for a memory about Dr. Saheed, he responded, “I had the good fortune of working closely with Chris during his years as the principal of CRLS on the renovation of the high school. I was struck by his calm, knowledgeable and caring demeanor. All of the buildings on the campus today reflect his vision for the school. In many ways the high school campus is a living memorial to his passion for the students of Cambridge. He was a tremendous leader.”
In honor of his retirement and through the generosity of an anonymous benefactor, FOCRLS established a scholarship named after Dr. Saheed. Since 2012, FOCRLS has awarded fourteen of these $1,000 scholarships to ease college costs for academically and financially qualified CRLS seniors planning to pursue careers in the field of education. FOCRLS has expanded our scholarship offerings each year, with 38 college scholarships totaling $55,500 awarded to members of the CRLS Class of 2020 with a range of aspirations and backgrounds.
Jesse Lowe, Class of 2020 awardee of the Dr. Christopher Saheed Future Educators Scholarship, said, “Dr. Saheed sounds like an incredible man, and reading about his life makes me even more grateful to be receiving an award in his name.” Jesse, whose parents are both also educators, will be starting at Clark University this fall.
Around the time of his diagnosis, Dr. Saheed contributed $5,000 to the fund, becoming the sponsor of the annual scholarship from 2018 through 2022. Several of Dr. Saheed’s friends recently donated in his memory, some providing moving tributes.
Ed Hashek and John Jors said, “Christopher and his husband Stephen Nonack have been our best friends for a number of years. He will be truly missed – such a generous, intelligent, and caring person.”
Dr. Saheed shared 43 of his 67 years with Stephen Z. Nonack, who also studied at Tufts University ⎼ where the two met in 1973 before making their relationship permanent in 1977 ⎼ as well as Simmons University and UMass Boston, and built his career at the Boston Athenæum as an archivist and librarian.
“Dr. Saheed was a gentle, inspiring educator, and an exceptional human being,” said friend Patrick Ladden, an educator and museum director. “It took many months before he disclosed his own background and education achievements, as he mostly was enthusiastic to talk about CRLS, not himself.”
Dr. Saheed’s enthusiasm, generosity of spirit, and caring personality will be missed by numerous people, and even those who never had the pleasure of meeting him will continue to feel his influence.
To help carry on the Dr. Christopher Saheed Future Educators Scholarship, please visit this donation page>>.
Congratulations and Thank You to Jahmaya, our Class of 2020 awardee of the Patrick Ewing Scholarship!
“I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to you for making the Patrick Ewing Scholarship possible. I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honor and I am deeply appreciative of your support.
The college I am attending is Allegheny College, where I will be majoring in criminal justice and minoring in political science. One day I hope to become a judge.
I would like to thank you once again for selecting me for the scholarship and I vow to make use of the money in college by maintaining good grades in college. By awarding me the Patrick Ewing Scholarship, you have lightened my financial burden which allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of school, learning. Your generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community. I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as you have helped me.”
Congratulations and Thank You to Ralph, CRLS Class of 2020 awardee of the Mary Frances Monti Scholarship!
“Next school year I plan to pursue a Bachelor of Science in software engineering — at George Washington University — with emphasis on application development and artificial intelligence. With this education, I will be able to enter a profession that will continue to shape our society as the years go by. After I have enough on-the-job training and knowledge about the marketing aspects of a company, I plan on developing my own mobile application. My focus is to use my acquired knowledge of artificial intelligence and application development to create an app that uses augmented reality to improve the lives of others. I have a clear picture of where I will be in the next 10 years, and I know through higher education I will be better set up to get there.”
Congratulations and Thank You to Sabira, awardee of a CRLS Core Values Scholarship! Sabira exemplifies Opportunity, Diversity, Respect. She’s enrolled at Bates College, where she’ll be studying psychology and art. She’ll use one or both of her passions in a career to help young people overcome obstacles in their lives.
Sabira wrote to us, “I am incredibly grateful and honored to be a CRLS Core Values Scholarship recipient. Thank you for your belief in my abilities and recognition of my hard work. This scholarship has considerably lessened the financial burden in the pursuit of my higher education and will help ensure my success. I sincerely appreciate your support and cannot thank you enough.”
Congratulations and Thank You to Andy, our multitalented* Class of 2020 awardee of the “100 by 100” Cambridge Business Community STEAM Scholarship for the Arts!
*acting, singing, dancing, choreography, digital art, fashion and jewelry design, photography, and more
Andy wrote to us, “Thank you so much for the “100 by 100″ Cambridge Business Community STEAM Award for the Arts. I feel honored to be selected from the hundreds of students at CRLS and I cannot describe how grateful I am. This scholarship was essential to help finance my journey at Columbia College Chicago for graphic design and without your generous donation, it wouldn’t have been possible. I appreciate you taking time to read my essays and acknowledge all my work at CRLS. I cannot express how blessed I feel to have donors who appreciate my artistic work and wanna see me succeed in college and I will make sure I do exactly that.”