Powered by Grafix Web Works © 2013 - Saint Mary’s Catholic High School 2525 North Third Street - Phoenix, AZ  85004 - Phone: (602) 251-2500 calendar | parents | alumni | faculty Sponsor a Student The Saint Mary's "sponsor a student" program (formerly known as POSSE) is one of the greatest examples of the she spirit of generosity that defines the Saint Mary's community.  The "Sponsor a Student program has been active for over 15 years and has quite a special story of its own.  In 1996, a Phoenix businessman who had recently moved from New York, asked Saint Mary's if he could sponsor an inner-city student by paying most of the student's tuition.  He then encouraged some of his other business associates and friends to also sponsor students.  He named the endeavor the P.O.S.S.E  program (P.O.S.S.E  = Partnership of Students, Sponsors and Educators), and modeled the program after a similar student-sponsor program that he had witnessed in New York.  The first year, 13 sponsors contributed $15,000 to help ten students at Saint Mary's.  Over the years, additional sponsors have joined the program, helping make the Saint Mary's experience possible for over 200 hundred students.   Last school year, over 50 students were part of the POSSE program.   Five of the original sponsors from as far back as 1998 still remain actively supporting POSSE students at Saint Mary's.  The founders remain actively involved with their students through high school and beyond.   Some sponsors have funded up to 6 students' tuition at a time, displaying an incredible sense of generosity and commitment to the type of quality, Catholic education that Saint Mary's provides. THE PROGRAM The student/sponsor relationship is intended to motivate students to succeed academically while gaining a new perspective on their potential in life.  The sponsor is given an opportunity to provide encouragement and inspiration to help the student successfully graduate and realize their dreams beyond graduation.   Students communicate with their sponsors regularly throughout the school year, with varying levels of contact, from letters to in-person meetings.  At graduation, the Saint Mary's Scholarship and Benefit fund sponsors a reception for all graduating program seniors, their parents  and sponsors.  This heartfelt event is deeply meaningful for all the participants. The Sponsor a Student program is run through the Saint Mary's Scholarship and Benefit fund, a 501 c(3) non-profit organization.  Funds flow through the Scholarship and Benefit Fund annually to Saint Mary's High School as partial tuition payments for students identified by the school. The mission of Saint Mary's Scholarship and Benefit Fund is to provide resources to Saint Mary's Catholic High School, students, faculty and staff to ensure access to excellent academic, social, and cultural opportunities for all students. The Sponsor a Student program has a 15 year long-standing history and evidence of collaboration in the Arizona community and beyond Sponsors can dictate their level of involvement. Some sponsors wish to remain anonymous, while others have an active role in their student's high school career.  Sponsorship amounts range from $500 to $6000 per student.  The average sponsorship is $2000 per student. Program students are expected to strive to grow spiritually, academically, socially, and personally while participating in the program as well as be a student in good standing and involved in school-sponsored activities.  Students are chosen for the program based on the following criteria: o Desire for a structured, values-based education o Motivation to take advantage of a superior high school education o Their inability to meet the financial cost of attending a private high school Development Office Staff: Patrick Madigan Director of Development (602) 251-2506 PMadigan@smknights.org Kristen Heckel Development Assistant (602) 251-2507 kheckel@smknights.org