From The Catholic Review
Partners in Excellence, an archdiocesan program to provide Catholic school scholarships to Baltimore City children, smashed an Oct. 20 “PIE Giving Day” fundraising goal by more than $60,000. Supporters donated approximately $185,000, enough to provide more than 70 scholarships through the program.
PIE was launched in 1996 under the leadership of Cardinal William H. Keeler. In total, it has now awarded more than $38 million in scholarships.
More than 170 PIE supporters gathered for a special Oct. 20 back-to-school breakfast at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore to celebrate the program’s success. Archbishop William E. Lori thanked PIE donors for their support.
Each year, about 650 scholarships are awarded, but there are close to 1,400 eligible students who apply for a scholarship. The program relies on financial support of corporate partners, individual donors and others.
Matt Anthony, senior director of engagement and giving in the archdiocesan Department of Advancement, said PIE gives life-changing opportunities to many children and also helps keep Catholic schools stable and strong.
“By filling the schools with students, we can ensure that schools stay open,” Anthony said.
During the breakfast, PIE honored Joseph and Catherine Liberatore for their support of the program.
Joseph Liberatore highlighted the success of PIE students and how efficiently PIE schools use resources provided through the program.
“I could never think of a better place to put our philanthropy,” Liberatore said. “Next year, I would love to see PIE continue on an upward trajectory.”
Brittanese Dobyns told supporters how PIE helped her sister gain the educational foundation she needed for college. Her sister, Brishae’ Dobyns, a graduate of Holy Angels Catholic School in Baltimore, Seton Keough High School in Baltimore and Coppin State University, is a PIE alumna now preparing for law school.
Partners in Excellence “opened so many doors of opportunity for my sister and for myself,” said Brittanese Dobyns, noting that the program helps entire families and future generations.
Kaitlyn Hammel, assistant principal at Archbishop Borders School in Highlandtown, said she has been teaching PIE scholars since 2017.
“I’ve seen the trajectory of families being shifted thanks to students being able to go to our schools,” she said.