My name is Steven Henao-Escobar and I sit on the Governing Board of North Valley Military Institute or "NVMI," a Los Angeles county charter school in Sun Valley.
In my three year relationship with NVMI, I've watched the school change the lives of hundreds of students through their unique mix of military discipline, heart-felt dedication, and amazing curriculum & faculty. The school's incredible success amongst troubled youth, special-needs, and under-priviledged students has made NVMI a beacon of hope within Los Angeles county.
The school's success has in many cases meant that they are receiving students who just haven't been able to succeed either academically or behaviorally at other schools. NVMI has turned the lives of these students completely around! This trend is most obvious in the special needs student population at NVMI. The school educates over 500 students and of that student population, more than 20% are special-education/needs/disabled students. Public schools typically don't have more than 5%-10% of their total student population being special needs students. Year after year, the special needs community at NVMI has grown because parents have heard through the grapevine that this program is really working for their special needs kids! The military structure and superb leadership has created an environment that both nurtures and challenges these students to succeed. While this is a wonderful testament to the outstanding results of a unique program it also means increased expenses and fiscal pressure on the school budget. The costs of educating special needs students tends to be much higher than the "average" studendepending on the student's disability.
The school has been operating on a very lean budget, but there is now a very serious budget deficit. The school is being forced to consider the elimination of at least six (6) special education instructors and several other faculty members which means that wonderful special education students like Nadia and Rosie won't get the education they deserve and need.
Please help us serve our special needs students at NVMI. We are raising $250,000 so that we can continue to staff our special needs faculty and give these students the best education possible.
The school, families, and students are doing everything they can to fundraise on behalf of not only the special needs population, but also for the entire school. As the financial status is such that school may well be forced to shut its doors if it cannot become solvent in the very near future.
As we finally put this devisive political season behind us, let's remember that our communities only thrive through the benevolence of individuals. It is individual Americans that make this country great. Help us, help these students with issues as traumatic as congenital heart disease, autism, and abuse. Our younger generations needs us, we can't let them down. Help keep an impactful and life-changing program open by donating today.
America is indeed great, because we as indiviudal citizens have never forgotten our sense of duty to our future generations. Let's keep the future of our posterity bright; let's keep NVMI open!