OpeningSUMMER 2012 DOORS. Artful Thinking. Juan William Chávez - PDF

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DOORS OpeningSUMMER 2012 Artful Thinking Juan William Chávez current base of operations is 1306 St. Louis Avenue, in the Old North Saint Louis neighborhood.* Not so long ago, it was an old wreck 2½ stories

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DOORS OpeningSUMMER 2012 Artful Thinking Juan William Chávez current base of operations is 1306 St. Louis Avenue, in the Old North Saint Louis neighborhood.* Not so long ago, it was an old wreck 2½ stories of instability, boarded windows and doors, a worthless roof, a rotting interior, and a vast expanse of missing bricks in the middle of a structurally crucial exterior wall. The building at 1306 has been recalled to life. Chávez, Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, and the Kranzberg Arts Foundation collaborated to save the building, transforming it into the Northside Workshop, an unusual nonprofit group of which Chávez is founder and artistic director. (Nancy and Kenneth Kranzberg have been generous Scholarship Foundation donors for nearly 20 years and established the Meyer and Marcelle Kranzberg Designated Scholar Loan in honor of his parents.) Juan calls Northside an art space, but he s not talking about drawings, paintings, photographs, and sculptures. Rather, its workshops apply what he calls an art way of thinking to community issues and problems. It evolved from his work directing Boots Contemporary Art Space in the Cherokee district, which he closed in The exhibitions inside were interesting and exciting, he recalls, but what was more exciting to me was what was happening outside in the backyard the conversations, the dialogues, people networking, germinating ideas, starting partnerships. Art is the best excuse to get people together and talk. Thirty-five years old, Juan was born in Lima, Peru, but arrived in St. Louis when he was still an infant. His Peruvian father had met his St. Louisan mother when his father was a student at Washington University. They married and spent 10 years in Lima, then returned to St. Louis in 1977 with baby Juan and his older sister. Juan attended Christian Brothers College High School, then did what he calls the community college tour : Meramec, Florissant Valley, and finally Forest Park, accumulating a year s worth of fully transferable credits at low cost. With the support of a Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis interest-free loan, he spent the next three years at the Kansas City Art Institute, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in During this time, Juan was the Dick and Jo Liddy Designated Scholar. Juan at Northside Workshop, with two active bee colonies from his Pruitt-Igoe Bee Sanctuary project. In Kansas City, he says, I was a painter, but I was also interested in community activism and trying to fuse the two. Juan found the energy for that fusion at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I hopped off the canvas and started being IN the space, he recalls. He graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2004 and returned home to St. Louis. He has since repaid his Scholarship Foundation loan in full. Juan accepts the inherent uncertainty of a professional life in art and community activism. What I do is really risky, he says. I don t recommend it. But he says he no longer lives grant-to-grant. He teaches drawing at Webster University, earns honorarium fees as a guest lecturer, and serves as guest curator for exhibitions at such institutions as the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. The occasional grant comes in handy, though. In April, for example, he received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in New York. The focus of that fellowship is one of Juan s most ambitious projects, the Pruitt-Igoe Bee Sanctuary, which will include a four-month exhibition at Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis County starting in October. Juan wants to provoke expansive thinking and conversation about potential community uses for the north St. Louis site where the Pruitt-Igoe Housing Complex, a failed 33-building experiment in public housing, once stood. By tapping the energy of many segments of the St. Louis community, Juan says, the site could find new life as a different kind of public space, a place of education, healing, partnerships, and collaborations. Juan William Chávez Class of 2000 Bachelor of Fine Arts KANSAS CITY ART INSTITUTE Class of 2004 Master of Fine Arts SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO * For more information on revitalization efforts in Old North see the article on pages 8 & 9. 2 THE SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION OF ST. LOUIS Supporting Change, for the Better A little more than seven years ago, Michele Sakamoto 38 years old, married with four children ages 4 to 18 began changing her life. I had a lot going on in my personal life that was she pauses and chooses words carefully not ideal. I realized I had to make some changes in order to take care of my kids and myself. Michele Sakamoto Class of 2014 Bachelor of Science/ Master of Occupational Therapy SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY A year later with help from friends, neighbors and her parish the now-single mother was ready to return to school and acquire the knowledge and skills she needed for a career in health care. Initially, Michele s goal was a degree in social work, but that changed after she met an occupational therapist who inspired her to explore the field. I saw that I could work directly with clients and see results, she recalls. I knew it was a growing field. And I knew occupational therapists work in a lot of different situations. It felt like the possibilities were endless. But then Michele did something that a lot of prospective students don t do or don t do thoroughly enough: She began researching the profession. She learned that unemployment among occupational therapists was practically nonexistent and that demand for their services was projected to grow as baby boomers aged and needed help learning to remain independent. Then Michele s research turned local: reading about local occupational therapy degree programs, visiting schools, and meeting with faculty members. She decided the best program for her was the five-year combination bachelor's/master's program at Saint Louis University s Doisy College of Health Sciences. There was one crucial issue left for Michele to research: cost. If I had taken all five years at SLU, she says, I would have ended up owing more than $150,000 even after all the federal and institutional grants she felt she could count on. That was not a realistic option. Instead, working closely with academic counselors at SLU and St. Louis Community College, Michele identified two years worth of prerequisite courses she could take at various community college campuses while accommodating her work schedule. The credits would apply fully toward her SLU occupational therapy program, and her need-based federal Pell Grant would cover their cost. She also found that starting annual salaries for occupational therapists averaged around $63,000 and that the median salary in the field was about $72,000, significantly higher than that for social workers. I had to provide for the present and also look to the future. Michele s relationship with The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis began with the third year of her occupational therapy program, her first at SLU. She receives support from the interest-free loan program and is among the small percentage of loan recipients also receiving Bravo Grants. The grant program recognizes students who have overcome significant personal adversity to pursue their education. Michele says she knows that some students borrow far too much for higher education and wind up with unmanageable debts that stifle their future options. I think they just don t think about it, she says. But I had four kids at home. I had to provide for the present and also look to the future. How could I look to the future if I were up to here she raises one hand above her head and flicks it sideways in debt? SUMMER NEWSLETTER The Debt Challenge Nationally, students graduating from college in 2010 took with them not only a degree, but also an average financial indebtedness of about $25,300. To the multitude of challenges that smart, talented students from low-income backgrounds confront as they pursue higher education, add yet another: education loan debt. Nationally, students who graduated from college in 2010 took with them not only a degree, but also an average financial indebtedness of about $25,300 each, according to the Project on Student Debt. The figures were a little lower for Missouri ($22,600) and Illinois ($23,900) but not much, and the averages have been increasing with each new graduating class. It s not surprising. Schools have steadily increased the cost of postsecondary education, but the pool of grants and scholarships hasn t expanded enough to meet the increased needs of lowincome students. Shrinking government budgets and shortsighted policies have constricted need-based aid, particularly at the state level. Borrowing may have become unavoidable, at least to some degree. The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis has been urging students and families to exercise great caution before committing to education loans that can saddle new graduates with crippling debt payments. Excessive loan obligations can be even more devastating for graduates who have chosen fields in which compensation is traditionally low and especially for those who can t find work at all in a sluggish economy. Students who default on education loans may end up with damaged credit ratings just as they start life as independent adults. Scholarship Foundation education loans awarded to about 650 St. Louis-area students each semester are interest-free, fee-free, and include a one-year, post-graduation grace period before repayments begin. But such terms are extremely rare, a function of the Foundation s nonprofit mission to help qualified students overcome financial barriers to higher education, improve their lives, and strengthen society in the process. The for-profit financial industry operates under a very different mandate, and students and their families generally should avoid its loans. Even some federal student loan programs PLUS loans to parents and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, for example may prove impossibly burdensome. Making good decisions about education loans requires good information, which can be hard to come by. Financial aid award letters, notifications schools send to students they have admitted, may make it even more difficult. The formats of these documents vary widely from institution to institution. Many of the letters are confusing, combining grants and scholarships with loans under the broad heading of financial aid. Some are cruelly misleading. They show a zero balance, implying that financial aid will cover all of a student s costs. In truth, the calculations often get to zero by including education loans borrowed at onerous terms that will leave students or their parents with unmanageable amounts of debt. It is possible to avoid the loan-debt trap, of course, as the previous profiles of two students demonstrate. One received Scholarship Foundation financial assistance, repaid his loans in full and is busy working as an artist and cultural activist deeply involved in the St. Louis community. The other is still receiving Scholarship Foundation support while finishing her education toward a career in occupational therapy. The Scholarship Foundation s mission to remove financial barriers to higher education isn t limited to providing direct financial support to low-income students. It also includes helping students and parents acquire the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions that will fulfill their educational goals without accumulating crushing debt. Toward that end, The Scholarship Foundation conducts free workshops explaining how to discover the true cost of attending different schools, decipher confusing financial aid documents, and determine which schools offer the best aid packages. Information about the workshops is available through the Foundation office and on its website, Additional resources are available through St. Louis Graduates, a coalition of more than a dozen area service providers (including The Scholarship Foundation), educators, philanthropic groups and business leaders focused on improving college completion by St. Louis residents. Its website is 4 THE SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION OF ST. LOUIS New Designated Scholar Loans It has been 30 years since former Foundation President Nancy Kalishman initiated a new category of major giving at The Scholarship Foundation. This unique approach gives a donor an opportunity to honor or remember a loved one in perpetuity by helping worthy students. Currently there are 248 Designated Scholar Loans at The Scholarship Foundation, each with a story to tell and a significant individual to honor. Designated Scholar Loans are established with contributions of $25,000 or more, which may be paid in one lump sum or pledged and paid in five payments within a four-year period. Additional information on establishing a Designated Scholar Loan (DSL) can be obtained by contacting Faith Sandler at There was a flurry of DSL activity at the close of 2011 resulting in a total of 11 new funds created last year. The following donors each established her THIRD DSL: Marilyn Boettcher honored her new grandchild with the Sierra Carson Boettcher Designated Scholar Loan. Gloria Feldman created the third Gloria and Rubin Feldman Designated Scholar Loan. Marianne Knaup, mother of board member Kathianne Knaup Crane, recognized Kathianne s service with the third Knaup Family Designated Scholar Loan. The newest Designated Scholar Loans are described in this issue. Joey Eidelman Memorial Scholarship While most Designated Scholar Loan Funds are expressions of honor or memorials to loved ones, the Joey Eidelman Memorial Scholarship is of deep and special significance. Joey was born on October 18, 2009, to Sarah Mermelstein Eidelman and Tom Eidelman. His parents conveyed to the Foundation that from the moment he was born, he was the epitome of exuberance and energy. His sparkling blue eyes and illuminating smile were infectious, and anyone who met him fell in love immediately. As a baby and a toddler, he could out-laugh, out-climb, out-wrestle, and out-dance just about anyone. He was an adventure-seeker and an independent soul who smiled from head-to-toe, and anyone around him couldn t help but to smile, too. On January 30, 2011, at 15 months and 12 days, Joey passed away suddenly during a routine nap without explanation or warning from Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC). Through this loss, Joey s family continues to find comfort in knowing that he lived every day of his life happily and surrounded by people who loved him. For those who knew him, his too-short, but untarnished life reminds us how fleeting time can be and to take hold of every moment as a gifted opportunity. The memory and legacy of Joey Eidelman lives in the hearts of his parents, grandparents, family, and friends. This legacy will now also take shape in the opportunity to enrich the lives of others by offering educational opportunity to students with financial need. Each year, in perpetuity, a Joey Eidelman Scholar pursuing a career in health care will be named. Specifically, students who view health care as a means not only to employment but to service will be given first priority, whether they are pursuing R.N., B.S.N, E.M.T., M.D., or other allied health degrees. Joey was the first-born child of Tom Eidelman and Dr. Sarah Mermelstein Eidelman. Sarah, who was a beneficiary herself of loans from The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, is a pediatrician. Tom is an investment advisor. Tom s parents Rachel and David Eidelman have generously funded the Joey Eidelman Memorial Scholarship in memory of their grandson and in honor of Joey s parents. The Mermelstein and Eidelman families are pleased to announce that Joey s little sister, Amelia (Millie) was born in December 2011 and has brought great joy to the family. The Scholarship Foundation will proudly remember Joey by opening doors to education for generations to come. For more information on SUDC, visit SUMMER NEWSLETTER Four New DSLs Established by Carol and Robert Jones Since 1995, Carol and Robert Jones have been consistent and generous donors to The Scholarship Foundation. Originally introduced to the Foundation by former board member, Peggy Ross, Carol served on the board in the 1990s. Carol and Bob have supported the Foundation through a variety of means including tributes, ScholarShop merchandise donations, annual gifts, a major capital campaign gift, and most significantly eight Designated Scholar Loans. The first two DSLs, created in 1998, were named for Carol s parents, the late Gloria M. Goldstein and Samuel R. Goldstein on the occasion of his 80th birthday, followed in 2007 by two more in their own names, the Carol G. Jones DSL and Robert E. Jones DSL. In December 2011, Carol and Bob created the following four new Designated Scholar Loans, each named for one of their children. Now three generations of Carol Goldstein Jones family have been honored through The Scholarship Foundation s DSL program. Cindy J. Bennett Designated Scholar Loan will help students of science. Cindy graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in environmental biology. David R. Jones Designated Scholar Loan will be directed to students of business. David graduated from Bradley University with a degree in business computer systems. Wendy J. Magid Designated Scholar Loan will assist students of engineering. Wendy attended Northwestern University where she graduated with a bachelor s in psychology. Laura J. Reichman Designated Scholar Loan will be directed to students of liberal arts. Laura earned her master s in physical therapy at Washington University. Carol noted that both she and Bob are former teachers, so education is very important to them. They feel it is important to give people skills that lead to independence, the true gift of an education. Over the years, they have been particularly impressed by the students inspirational stories. Carol indicated that it makes them feel so good to hear about how students overcome barriers and succeed. She appreciates reading the letters of the students who benefit. She would like her children to have that same opportunity to learn what life is like for students who are navigating a financially challenging environment in pursuit of higher education. The Jones Family (left to right): Laura, David, Carol, Cindy, Bob, and Wendy The Chester M. Flegel Designated Scholar Loan, in Memory of Esther Flegel In December 2011, The Scholarship Foundation received a generous contribution from the Chester M. Flegel Trust to establish the Chester M. Flegel Designated Scholar Loan in memory of Mr. Flegel s mother, Esther Flegel. Stanley Hollander, trustee and cousin of Chester Flegel, explained that the fund was to be distributed after Mr. Flegel s death to benefit disadvantaged children and youth, with the specific purpose of providing such individuals an opportunity for quality education. Mr. Flegel specified that gifts from the trust be made in honor of his mother, Esther Flegel. The Chester M. Flegel Designated Scholar Loan will benefit two students annually, with priority given to students of science, engineering, and professional or affiliated fields. The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis is pleased to be selected to create these educational opportunities in honor of the Flegel family. 6 THE SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION OF ST. LOUIS Donors and Scholars Connect In June, a group of DSL donors, Scholarship Foundation students and graduates, Foundation staff and board members shared an evening together at the West Wing of The Gatesworth. Former board member, DSL donor, Gatesworth resident, and hostess extraordinaire Peggy Ross helped Mimi Fargo, DSL coordinator, plan the event. The donors, several of whom reside at The Gatesworth, were Lee Bohm, Morton Deutch, Gloria Feldman, Sunny Glassberg, Marianne Knaup, Lucy Lopata, and Peggy Ross. All of t
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