Despite the very cold shoulder that Winter Storm Landon has given North Texas, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has warmed three Communities In Schools affiliates (Dallas, North Texas and Tarrant County) with gifts of $3.3M each.
Yup, you read that right — $3.3M (aka $9.9M)! The monies will support each CIS’s unique program.
According to CIS North Texas CEO Ann Pape Wilson, “We are blessed and incredibly grateful for this transformative gift. At CISNT, we believe in the transformative power of relationships. We hold fast to the promise that education is the key to transformed lives. This gift ensures the stability of our work and the fulfillment of our mission and our promise to students across North Texas.”
As the Texas Education Agency reported, “nearly one in two students (45%) across North Texas are at-risk of dropping out of school.”
The months of the pandemic have provided a greater blow for such students resulting in heightened food insecurity, learning loss and increased mental health needs.
As CIS Dallas President/CEO Adam Powell explained, “Ms. Scott’s investment is indeed transformational. It will enable us to serve more students on more campuses in our region. Most importantly, this will give us the critical resources we need to expand our clinical team and strengthen our ability to help students in mental health crisis. It is not a stretch to say that this gift will save lives.”
BTW, if MacKenzie’s name sounds familiar, it’s not because she’s a North Texan. She is the former wife of Jeff Bezos, who helped her husband create Amazon. While her ex is building one of the world’s largest sailing yachts, MacKenzie has signed the “Giving Pledge” and been donating billions of dollars to various charities.
* Photo courtesy of Communities In Schools North Texas