Hello! My name is Karen Hammen and I am the Vice Principal at St. Peter’s Elementary School, deep in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District. Our school, founded in 1878 to serve the children of San Francisco, provides a quality, Catholic education which fosters the academic, personal, and spiritual growth of each student so that they can be successful in high school, college, and beyond. I have had the pleasure of working with the students, families, and staff of St. Peter’s for the last year and a half.
As I reflect on my journey at St. Peter’s, one of my most gratifying memories was an afternoon spent at City Hall with Mr. Jim McCarthy, the founder of the BASIC Fund, Mrs. Rachel Elginsmith, the Executive Director, and four students who are recipients of BASIC Fund scholarships. On February 28th, 2014 the BASIC Fund was honored by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for over 15 years of outstanding service to the children and families of the city and county of San Francisco.
Here at St. Peter’s we are blessed with 296 students who arrive at school each day with eager minds and a deep faith that they belong to a school family committed to their future. About 95% of our students come from Hispanic families and about 85% of their families fall under the federal poverty level. Despite these financial challenges, the parents of our students dream of providing their children with educational opportunities that they themselves did not have access to. The BASIC Fund enables the majority of our students to attend St. Peter’s. Each of the BASIC Fund recipients and their parents are grateful each day for their “extended family” which includes those who generously support their education through scholarships. Each of you truly makes an impact on the lives of our students and their families.
The principal, Mrs. Gloria Galarsa, and I are thankful for the BASIC Fund, which has helped St. Peter’s students since its inception in 1998. The BASIC Fund’s commitment to partnering with parents and children enables private schools, like ours, to continue providing a quality education to low-income children. The gift of a St. Peter’s education would not be possible without the generous support you give to the BASIC Fund.