Why HYS?

“Everyday I meet people who want to make the world, starting with their community, better. They are committed to making it happen, one step at a time.”

I have the greatest job in the world.  I didn’t plan it, but I followed my passion and it brought me to the Hartford Youth Scholars.

I have spent over twenty years working in public service, fundraising, and education, and this job allows me to utilize all of my experiences, skills, and interests.

I get to work with the most amazing young people.  Better yet, I get to connect them with donors who want to support the dreams of the youth of Hartford.  Everyday I meet people who want to make the world, starting with their community, better. They are committed to making it happen, one step at a time.  I recently heard fundraisers called “brokers of love” because we bring together the greatest needs with the desires and passion of donors who want to change the world.

I am able to help people who have the means to improve the lives of others, do so measurably. Therefore, what I do everyday if life changing. It is really gratifying to play a part in that process.

Fundraising is all about identifying needs and helping to secure the resources to address those needs in a concrete way.  I was recently reminded of the story of the little girl who comes across hundreds of starfish on the beach, dying.  She begins to pick them up and toss them back in the ocean.  She is told that it is hopeless, that she can’t save them all.  She replies that she just saved the one she threw back, and will do what she can, where she is, with what she has.

That is what we are doing at the Hartford Youth Scholars.  We are responsible for guiding, inspiring, supporting and empowering the young people who make up this program of Scholars.  I work everyday to ensure they each Scholar will have access to the opportunity of a better education and to the skills they need to be successful in high school, college and life.  I hope that we are equipping them with the preparation to compete, and that we are making a difference in their lives and those of the community of Hartford.

What do we have to show you for our efforts?  100% of Scholars graduate from high school.  87% of Steppingstone Alumni enroll in four-year college, and 86% are on track to graduate within 6 years, compared to 11% of low-income, first-generation college graduates nationally.  There is no better return on your investment than making a contribution to the Hartford Youth Scholars.

Roxanna Booth Miller, Co-Executive Director