Dick Scanlan here, Broadway writer/director, and founder of an arts program in Johannesburg, South Africa. That is where, in 2011, I met Andrew Johns. He was 15 years old, and he had a dream: to attend college in the USA. Andrew and I worked together to make that happen, and in August 2015 he started at St. Michael’s College in Vermont.
When we began this journey, I knew that financing Andrew’s dream would be challenging, because the US dollar is so much stronger than the South African Rand. We were delighted that Andrew received the largest scholarship St. Mike’s offers its international students, but there was a gap. Each year we’ve filled it by crowd funding.
We’re close to the finish line: Andrew is set to graduate in May 2019!
In order to do so, he needs to raise $40,000. Why so much, especially since he receives a scholarship? Well, tuition alone is $46,000, room and board is another $10,700, and health insurance (required and administered by Andrew’s school) is $1,800. That’s $58,500. Oh yeah, he has to live, too! Books, pizza, movies, shampoo, Red Bull… it adds up to approximately $10,000. So $68,500. Subtract his $26,500 scholarship plus the $2,000 Andrew saved this summer from his earnings as an intern at MacKay Shields (a prestigious NYC investment firm), and we’re left with a $40,000 deficit.
The money Andrew and I raise through this campaign will be deposited into my bank account. $30,000 of that money will be paid by me directly to St. Michael’s College when it presents us with invoices at the start of each semester. The remaining $10,000 is held for Andrew in my savings account, with a bi-monthly transfer from my account to Andrew's for his allowance (he manages money VERY WELL), and occasional additional transfers made from my account to his for unforeseen expenses.
Andrew’s experiences studying business at St. Michael’s College, plus his summers volunteering at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, doing an unpaid internship for Zuckerberg Media and then a paid internship at MacKay Shields, give both Andrew and me hope that when he graduates and seeks a job, he will be able to utilize what he has learned at St. Michael’s College and elsewhere to become a useful addition to his future employer. He is able to live this dream only because so many generous people like you have helped us. We are very grateful to each and every one of you for believing in Andrew. It is my intention that this is the last letter of this kind I will ever have to write, because the education Andrew has received and the experience he has gained will make it possible for him to support himself and his family, and to help others in the future the way so many of you have helped Andrew.
Help support Andrew and make his dream come true.
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