The Naperville Education Foundation is celebrating 25 years of partnership with District 203 schools.
NEF exists to provide enrichment and support programs beyond tax dollars and state funding to the schools of District 203.
The organization has been working with the district since 1993.
“And at the beginning, it started with simple things, like maybe being able to send a student to a football camp who couldn’t afford it,” said Dr. Mary Ann Bobosky, one of the founders of NEF. “Or buying a wheelchair for a student who really needed a wheelchair to get around and the money wasn’t there. There were so many different requests that we had never thought of at the very beginning.”
This year the foundation celebrated by bringing donors and students together as well as one of their first scholarship winners.
“They found faith in me and trusted me to take their gift and make something better of myself,” said Vince Lozada. “This in turn led me to be inspired to achieve what I thought was not going to be possible.”
Lozada went on to graduate from Iowa State University and currently lives in Des Moines with his wife and four children.
Today NEF has expanded its services to reach even more kids by providing breakfast for students, more grants, and programs like the business incubator, which brings students and business leaders together.
“Hopefully it really inspires them to innovate and create new services, new products, new businesses that will serve our community for the future,” said Dan Bridges, superintendent of District 203.
Moving to the future, the organization is freshening its look with a new logo to match the continued mission with NEF at the center of the district.
“And NEF is purposefully positioned that way because we are in fact the center of Naperville 203,” said Alissa Johnson Tripas, the current NEF chair. “We are what is there to support the district, to support our students.”
“If NEF can do half of what they’ve been able to do support the kids of District 203 in the next 25 years, it will be a remarkable story,” said Bridges.
A textbook example of joining students and community.
Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.
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