I wrote in January about my experience of Catholic education, the influence of my grandparents John and Marion Shakely in my life, and why I believe it’s important to support access to Catholic education for young people.

All these reasons and more prompted the creation of the “John & Marion Shakely Charitable Fund” at the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia. It’s a small way to honor my grandparents while working with new generations of family and friends to perpetuate better Catholic support for young people. The Catholic Foundation describes the fund this way:

The John & Marion Shakely Charitable Fund supports Catholic youth and young professionals through scholarships and awards recognizing curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular achievements, as well as grants supporting Catholic youth and young professional endeavors.

Thanks to the support of many initial donors, including more than $1,000 raised during Catholic Schools Week, we’ve surpassed more than $10,000 in endowed contributions.

As a result, Archbishop Wood is awarding $2,500 this month in John & Marion Shakely Scholarship assistance to students for the next academic year. This scholarship assistance represents the equivalent of 16 weeks of part-time work at minimum wage. That’s time that can now be time spent on that student’s personal, academic, or professional development.

It’s my hope that with continuing support from friends of Catholic education we’ll be able to grow this fund and its impact in improving access to Catholic education. If you’re already a contributor, know that I’m super grateful and that I hope you’ll continue supporting the fund’s growth in the months and years to come.