Weiss Scholarship Foundation
In 2012, the Weiss Scholarship Foundation was able to send one Dago, Kenya student to high school thanks to donations.
Their count now stands at 79.
“I mean it’s a fantastic feeling to see it go just from an idea to where it’s at today,” said founder of the Weiss Scholarship Foundation, Brett Weiss. “But, we have really big goals and we’ve only accomplished a small percentage of what we need to accomplish.”
The founder of the non-profit was inspired to help after his first volunteer trip to Kenya in 2009.
The Naperville native eventually left his teaching job to help fund students’ educations.
“In this village, and it’s really true through all of Kenya, almost nobody goes to high school,” said Weiss. “As a matter of fact the average kid quits school in fourth grade.”
The foundation aims to change that. After high school, some of the students it’s funded move on to university, vocational school, or the village’s tailoring school – which was funded by Weiss’ hometown.
“The Rotary Club of Naperville gave us $2,500. That’s how we started the school,” said Weiss.
Weiss hopes to one day expand to other villages to get more kids to high school.
The organization is also working on bringing an especially bright student, Christine, to the suburbs to continue her education at a college or university if they can find the funding.
Like many non-profits, the foundation has been struggling during the pandemic. Weiss said it takes $3,500 to support one student for four years of high school.
“We’re doing the best we can and we’ll keep getting better,” said Weiss.
Donations can be sent through the foundation’s website.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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