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Thirty Years, Today: Why I Stay

February 27, 2019

Impact

Today marks 30 years I’ve been Executive Director of The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis. After three decades, I can still say without hesitation that I have the best job in town. While I may no longer wear blue blazers and silk bow ties (thankfully not entirely visible in this 1989 photo), I wake up every morning before my alarm rings, ready to get to work to create the kind of educational opportunity that can change the world.

I’ve worked with so many good people:

  • 10,000 donors;
  • 5,000 students;
  • Thousands of community members;
  • 2,000 shop volunteers;
  • Hundreds of consultants, contractors, and partners;
  • 225 staff members;
  • 200 board members; and,
  • 11 board presidents.

As the first Executive Director of a now nearly 100-year old organization, I joined the Foundation as a 28-year old, eager to learn. I am learning still and so lucky to love what I do.

Among the reasons I’m eager to head into my 31st year are:

  1. There is no more vulnerable, idealistic, or important period than the years of emerging adulthood. Every day, with students and with staff, I am reminded of the power and vision of young leaders, some of whom do not yet even know they are leading.
  2. We don’t just talk racial and economic equity, we build it. We put significant resources into the hands of real people and the outcomes speak volumes.
  3. Rooted in a history of welcoming Eastern European Jewish immigrants, our current programs are open to all residents of the region. We work every day to dismantle the barriers recent immigrants face in seeking an education.
  4. The health of our community and the viability of democracy depends upon an educated and engaged populace. We educate, advocate, and celebrate the power of the people.

I’ve grown up a great deal in 30 years, and so has The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis. In 2020, the Foundation will reach 100 years and welcome the next century of service. I’m counting on you to join the celebration!

- Faith Sandler