Words of Thanks
Here are some letters from De La Salle students who are members of our Bishop John S. Cummins Scholarship Program. The writers are the sons of families who have severely limited financial means, but who have taken up the opportunity to experience the educational excellence available at De La Salle High School. The letters are straight-from-the-heart thank-you’s to the donors who help to fund the Bishop Cummins Program. These young alums tell us what it means to them tbe prepared at DLS for the next steps in their lives.
The Bishop Cummins Program offers access to boys who demonstrate academic potential and have expressed a strong desire to attend De La Salle. It provides financial support that goes beyond tuition assistance to ensure that these students and their families can engage in the full range of curricular and co-curricular opportunities. And it equips students with the Tools to Succeed by providing a learning environment that emphasizes moral values, academic excellence, responsibility, and accountability.
“I am in my last year at Saint Mary’s College, graduating with a BS in Accounting, and I hope to prepare for and obtain my CPA license within the next year. All this I feel was possible because of the work ethic De La Salle taught me, as well as the support and guidance they have reassured me with. De La Salle would never have happened for me without the Bishop Cummins Scholarship Program. My father being an immigrant from Mexico with little formal education never fully understood why paying a large price for high school was necessary when there were many public schools around that were free. Not only did he not understand it, but it was something he could also not afford. The amazing faculty and staff worked with him year after year reassuring him of the benefits the Lasallian education brought, and the unknown donors who helped my family with tuition and other expenses reinvigorated my drive for academic success.
Now, as my younger brother prepares to enter high school soon, in my father’s eyes there is only one school that he wants him to go to. So I write this letter as a thank-you on behalf of myself and all other students who have benefited from your thoughtful kindness. Your support is not going unnoticed or unappreciated, but it is being made into opportunities that are changing students’ lives. Thank you.”
Omar Lopez, class of 2009
“I am currently a fourth-year physics major at Cal Poly. I graduated from De La Salle in 2009, and I cannot stress how much the experience has resonated within me since then. Being a man of faith, integrity, and scholarship makes more sense to me each passing day, and I honestly feel more complete because of it. The values that De La Salle instills in its students are something of profound importance not only for the students, but for all the people that these students eventually influence. Without the Bishop Cummins Scholarship Program, I might possibly not be writing this letter to you today. The Bishop Cummins Program put further emphasis to my experience at De La Salle by truly challenging me as to how I defined myself as a man, and what I could do to get better. Besides the much appreciated financial aid, the Bishop Cummins Program ensured that I had mentors constantly pushing me, to take my character to the next level. These mentors were a force of nature when it came to reminding us how we ought to act. I still keep these things in mind to this day and hope that, one day, I may return to De La Salle to contribute to this great experience for others.”
Edward Taylor, class of 2009
“With your support through De La Salle, I had many resources, including the college advisors and the faculty and staff, to help me get to the next level, which was college at the time. Without these resources I don’t know where I would be today. As of today I am a junior at Arizona State University in Tempe, majoring in Business Management in the W.P. Carey School of Business and working for the Stephen Gould Corporation, all while maintaining a cumulative 3.0 GPA through college. I have enjoyed almost every moment of college and can’t believe that it is actually over in a year. Without your contributions to the Bishop Cummins Scholarship Program, a lot of kids like me would have missed out on a great opportunity. I plan to be a very successful man after college in the business world, and none of this would have been possible without your help. So again I would like to thank you for everything you have done for us while we were in high school.”
Kerry Blakney, class of 2010
“Many, many thanks for all that you have done for me and that you are currently doing for my Spartan Brothers still attending De La Salle. Your generosity during my high school career helped facilitate my acceptance at one of the most prestigious colleges in the southern United States. This year I am a freshman at an all-male liberal arts college named Hampden-Sydney College, founded in 1775 in the beautiful commonwealth of Virginia. The thorough academic grounding that I received because of your generosity at De La Salle has played a key role in the success that I have experienced here on the East Coast. My first semester, I managed to achieve a 3.7 grade point average while holding two jobs on campus, participating in several clubs, and performing in plays. I managed to accomplish all these things because of the social and organizational skills that I acquired while attending De La Salle. Currently I am pursuing a French and Humanities double major. I attend St. Theresa’s Catholic Parish in Farmville, the town closest to us. I thank God every morning for the blessings He has given me, and one of the gifts I thank Him for is the fact that I have such a sound education. Thanks to you, I am where I am now, and I sincerely believe that I would not be here if I had not received the education and opportunities that you helped to provide. Thank you and God bless you.”
Taylor Anctil, class of 2012
“Through the challenging course work and teachers who really care for students at De La Salle, I was able to get really good grades; this helped me in applying for colleges, and I got admitted to UC Santa Barbara—the best school there is! I absolutely love it in sunny Santa Barbara. I volunteer, I participate in intramural sports, and I also joined the fraternity Sigma Pi, which is one of the best things I’ve done with my life. None of this would have been possible without De La Salle, but even more importantly, none of this would be possible without the generous gifts from donors like you. I appreciate so deeply every ounce of help that was given to me and my fellow Spartans. I had the honor of meeting some of these donors and it was an absolute privilege to meet some of the people that made my success possible. I wish I could give back! Sadly, as a college student, I can’t yet, but it’s going to feel great when I can finally pay it forward and give back generously, too.”