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Happy Valentine's Data

February 14, 2019

Our board and staff are planning for a strategic planning session in which we will begin setting vision and goals for our centennial year and beyond. In doing so, we administered a survey to current and recent students and asked some open-ended questions for feedback about what we do and how we do it. The valentine (depicted above) simply configures the words used most often in their responses. This, after all, is the best love note we could get.

The Best Reason for Partnerships: Rico Beuford Explains

January 22, 2019

In nonprofit lingo, you’ll find the word “partnership” used to describe everything from an annual contribution to interdependent programs. Fancy words for nonprofit work are plentiful: collaboration, cooperation, alignment, affiliation, replication, collective impact, evidence-based, data-driven.

Note to Donors: Do You Know What You Have Done?

September 20, 2018


Last night, many broke the fast at the close of Yom Kippur, the highest of Jewish holy days on which those observing review the prior year, atone for transgressions or actions left undone, and set intentions for the coming year. Yom Kippur is a ritual practice of reflection and reconciliation.

Succeeding with College Success

August 29, 2018

We’re using Words of Faith to share a lengthy article about our programs from the National College Access Network. Their post is about college success metrics and programs. Please take the time to read it, as it is a deep and full explanation of what we do and how we do it.

The Thumper Theory

July 4, 2018

Today, I invoke the Thumper Theory as a way of marking Independence Day.

I am at an unprecedented loss for things to say that will celebrate the United States of America. Though this is my 57th Fourth of July, I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced the tenets of democracy, human rights, freedom, and liberty more threatened.

Food for Thought: Why Hunger Haunts So Many College Students

April 4, 2018

On April 3, the Washington Post published the recent release of data documenting hunger and other basic needs unmet among college students. The piece cited several surveys, but focused on the largest to date. The full study report can be found here: 

What is Good

March 29, 2018

I’m reminding you to remind me to look for the good. It is still there and may be shining even brighter on these dark days.

In more ways than I can (or should) mention here, this has been a long and difficult winter. Among the coinciding forces of national news, state budget crises, terrible tragedy and toxic stress in the lives of people close to us, and a seasonal absence of sunlight, it’s possible to lose track. The more you look, the bleaker it can seem.

AN INESTIMABLE GIFT: Kim Abel Retires, Leaving the Lights On

March 2, 2018

It’s ironic that I can neither calculate nor estimate the value of the gifts that Kim Abel has given in her 17 years as Deputy Director of The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, as she has been the chief accountant and spreadsheet creator for so very long. This week, Kim tries something completely new; she retires to care for herself and her family. When she gets in her car to drive away on March 2, we will all miss her more than we can now know.

BRAGGING RIGHTS: What we do works!

January 23, 2018

First, click on the image below and tell me what you see!

Just in case charts and graphs and data aren’t your thing, let me summarize in words: