NEW GROUP TO FUND PROFESSIONAL COUNSELLING AT XLCR
By Duane Coombs
Thursday, October 13, 2022
A newly formed group, The Excelsior 1976 Foundation, has announced a new partnership with Excelsior High School and the Family Life Ministries to underwrite a series of professional counseling sessions for troubled students at the alma mater.
The Excelsior 1976 Foundation is an offshoot of the Class of 1976’s virtual 45th anniversary reunion in 2021. It is a USA-based and registered non-profit entity which was incorporated in December 2021 in the wake of the class reunion.
Local-based representatives of the Foundation, including Richard DeLisser and William Rose, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the school and the Family Life Ministries. Under terms of this new tri-party agreement, The Foundation will provide the necessary funding to defray the cost of all counseling sessions.
According to spokesman Karl Chambers, VP of the group, the genesis of this initiative was a desire to make another meaningful contribution to the school that would be unique, impactful and enduring.
Having raised close to US$10,000.00 (approximately J$1, 530,000) from class members, after the reunion, to donate to the alma mater, there was a desire, in giving back, he said not to merely retrace the well-trod footprints of previous groups by funding the usual programs.
The group was therefore delighted, Chambers explained, when it was alerted to an existing Profession Counseling Program to which it could contribute. This initiative was settled on, in tandem with the principal, Mr. Deanroy Bromfield, after it was identified as one of the ongoing critical needs of the school.
It is under the aegis of Dr. Barry Davidson, a former Excelsior Head Boy, and his Family Life Ministries which has been doing pro bono work with the school in this area for some time. Despite the best of intentions there was always a limit to the number of students that could be accommodated. Now, with the 1976 Foundation on board, that will change, says Chambers.
He revealed that it is actually the group’s latest initiative since its inception some nine months ago. The first was an Academic Recovery Scholarship where, according to Chambers, The 1976 Foundation provided funding to compensate teachers providing extra lessons for students preparing for the June 2022 CXC Examinations.
The second, and more ambitious program, is the current Professional Counseling and Wellness Grant which will allow the Excelsior Guidance Counselor to refer students at no cost to either the student or the school.
Now with the promised dedicated funding in place, courtesy of The 1976 Foundation, it will vastly increase the number of students that can be seen by FLM, according to Chambers.
In order to realize its ambitious goal, The 1976 Foundation plans to continue its fundraising activity to help underwrite the cost of its projects.