Texas Border Business
PHARR- Members of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) community and beyond joined forces in support of student scholarships for the Class of 2021 and raised over $15,000 through the first-ever PSJA Family Day of Giving 2020 virtual fundraiser held Dec. 1-2, 2020.
Due to the challenges from the pandemic, PSJA ISD mobilized to help the PSJA Education Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt philanthropic organization comprised of mostly PSJA alumni, continue providing scholarships to graduating seniors.
“We thank our entire PSJA Family and community for donating in support of our seniors,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. “We know the pandemic has brought many challenges and we truly appreciate the generosity of our community to give back for scholarships. Every single contribution made a difference and showed the power of what we can do when we come together as one.”
Making history, the 48-hr virtual campaign included support from dozens of PSJA alumni, employees, parents, and community members.
In addition, a School Giving competition was held to encourage all 43 PSJA ISD schools to come together as a true family in support of graduating seniors. The top three schools in terms of total donations were PSJA Memorial ECHS at $1,802, PSJA ECHS at $1,515 and PSJA North ECHS at $1,251.
Top donations raised by school level included Berta Palacios Elementary at $765 and LBJ Middle School at $320.
According to Palacios Elementary Principal Michelle Fox-Cardoza, giving back was very important to her team.
“Throughout the past school years our campus participated in many community service projects. This year we didn’t want a pandemic to stop us from taking action and supporting our local high school seniors,” said Berta Palacios Elementary Principal Michelle Fox-Cardoza. “They definitely deserve all the support they can get from an elementary campus. We were happy to take part in an event that encourages students to further their education. Elementary, middle or high school…we are all PSJA ISD!”
Similarly employees at PSJA Memorial ECHS, the leading high school, also took it upon themselves to support the PSJA Class of 2021.
“PSJA Memorial was happy to give back to our PSJA students who are deserving of a bright future with the help of this scholarship,” said PSJA Memorial ECHS Principal Dr. Rowdy Vela.
Through Milestone Challenges, local businesses like Nuri-Fusion Street in McAllen and DHR Health also donated $500 and $2,500, respectively, in support of the campaign. Whataburger will be donating coupons for all students and staff in the winning schools. In addition to businesses, alumni classes also mobilized to give back. The PSJA High School Class of 1986 and 1984 were among the top in the Giving by PSJA Class Competition.
“As part of our 35th Class Reunion celebrations we wanted to give back to a district that gave so much to us,” said Debra Salinas, PSJA High School Class of 1986 Alumna and Director of Learning Support (504 And Dyslexia) Special Education.
All proceeds raised will go for scholarships for PSJA ISD students through the PSJA Education Foundation. To date, the nonprofit organization has raised more than $1.7 million for scholarships, teacher grants, and literacy initiatives.
The application for the 2020-2021 PSJA Education Foundation Scholarships opens December 7, 2020. All PSJA ISD seniors can apply at www.psjaisd.us/Foundation.