Kindergarteners waving from school bus windows

Back to School and Going Places

Our long-time partner Catholic Partnership Schools needed a new bus. We stepped up to fill the need! The bus will be used to transport students to field trips, afterschool programs, sports events, and the like.

Transportation in Camden can be a problem,” said Elena Piperno, Domenica Foundation director. “Now students who are attending afterschool programs and other events outside their schools have a way to get there safely. This support will be really important to families.”

Domenica Foundation is funding purchase of the new bus through a donation spread out over five years. We can’t wait to see the places the students go!

This donation is in addition to our substantial annual grant for CPS tuition assistance. Our grant helps fill the gap between what it costs to educate a child (about $7,300) and what a family pays ($2,000 to $2,500).

High school students boarding a bus

Guess who else got on a bus? Domenica Scholars on their way to visit Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ!

Recipients of our high school scholarships are definitely “college material.” Every one of them is smart, hardworking, and motivated. Because of their Domenica Scholarships, they are in high schools that fully support their academic development.

Many scholars will be the first in their families to go to college. The application process can be overwhelming. Understanding financial aid options and how to apply can be especially hard.

So the Domenica Foundation steps in. Our visit to Rowan University on Saturday with 25 Domenica Scholars in grades 9 to 12 was the first of two college visits this fall. On October 28, we’ll travel to St. Joseph University in Philadelphia.

Students in a college lunchroom

Rowan’s VIP treatment of our scholars started with the fanciest bus some of them had ever ridden. When they arrived on campus, their tour started with an admissions presentation, including financial aid. We work with our college partners to make sure our scholars learn about programs that help make higher education affordable. 

The highlight for many scholars was the small-group campus tours led by Rowan student ambassadors. The groups visited academic buildings, the gym, a dorm, and the student center. 

Lunch, courtesy of the university, was another favorite activity. We were thrilled to meet up with a few of the eight former Domenica Scholars who are now Rowan freshmen.

“Going to college is a big step for any student, but especially if you’re the first college-bound student in your family,” said Elena, who accompanied the group. She noted that several seniors expressed interest in applying to Rowan for next year.

“Seeing what it’s really like enables our scholars to envision themselves as college students. We hope these trips break down the barriers of entry. Exposure to what college is like is a huge part of getting comfortable with this next big step in their lives.”