Carolyn and Phillip Perelmuter have been named as chairs to Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters’ “Campaign for Tomorrow’s Promise,” an initiative doubling our available college scholarship funds for Little Brothers and Sisters by raising $1 million for JBBBS’ Scholarship Fund. The Perelmuters – active in the life of the agency since the early 1990s – are dedicated to its program development. Phil is a former Big Brother and served on the agency’s Board of Directors; Carolyn is currently serving on the Higher Education Scholarship Committee.
The goal for the campaign is to amass the $1 million by March 28, 2015, the date of the agency’s Annual Gala and 95th anniversary celebration. With this accomplished, scholarship awards can be increased, and funding gaps decreased, so alumni Little Brothers/Little Sisters and Friends graduate with less debt.
To date, the Campaign for Tomorrow’s Promise has raised $445,000.
The agency’s work isn’t complete when a Big Brother/Sister match is identified, a child sent to summer camp or economic assistance rendered. The JBBBS Higher Education Scholarship Fund was created to provide ongoing, merit-based support to alumni Little Brothers and Sisters and Friend 2 Friend participants aspiring to college.
In 1965, Maxwell Burstein and friends established the JBBBS High Education Scholarship Funds. That same year, the agency awarded scholarships to five Little Brothers and Sisters totaling $6,000; in 2006, it awarded 33 scholarships totaling $79,000 and, last year, 44 Little Brothers, Sisters and Friends received scholarship aid totaling $103,200.
Participants come to JBBBS experiencing need in the broadest sense: many from families in economic distress, others touched by medical or mental health concerns, death, divorce, a parent’s incarceration. Others are recently immigrated. Upwards of 12% of Little Brothers and Sisters are receiving AFDC or SSI. Their stories are extraordinary and deeply moving. And, many aspire to college. With strategic growth on the horizon, increasing numbers of deserving and well-qualified alumni Little Brothers and Sisters will see need for scholarship aid unmet and be forced to make tough choices about foregoing college or incurring significant debt.
Thus the need to raise an additional $1,000,000 for the JBBBS Higher Education Scholarship Fund through the “Campaign for Tomorrow’s Promise.”
The average unmet financial need for a Little Brother/Sister is more than $10,000 – $25,000 per academic year. This gap is typically bridged by loans, leading to an average of $65,000+ in education-related debt accumulated by a graduating senior.
Even though JBBBS academic scholars have lived through some of the most difficult and trying circumstances, these young adults, with support from the Fund, have fixed their course toward a bright future for themselves and greater contribution to family and community.
To discuss scholarship funding opportunities or to make a one-time gift to the JBBBS Higher Education Scholarship Fund, please contact Susan Gotshalk, Vice President of Development at 617.558.6536 or firstname.lastname@example.org.