In the early 1990s, when Camden had the worst public school systems in the U.S., Father Michael Doyle inspired Pepe Piperno to get involved with Camden’s Catholic schools by sponsoring a student. Given a stack of photos and the opportunity to pick one child, Pepe took the whole class. That first class graduated 8th grade in 2006. So began the Domenica Scholars program.
Now as then, most children attending Catholic schools do not come from Catholic families. They do come from families who want them to get a rigorous education in a safe and supportive environment.
“Once they graduate high school, kids have plenty of scholarships available for college,” said Pepe. “But someone needs to help them get to that point. That’s why we concentrate on high school scholarships.” Since the program began in 2006, 300 Domenica Scholars have graduated from high school.
We currently offer up to 25 Domenica Scholarships every year to 8th grade students who show excellent potential and demonstrate financial need. Scholarships continue for all four years of high school unless students fail to meet academic standards.