Steve and Roxy Klein have always understood the importance of a strong education – from the opportunities they had to those they were able to provide for their children, it was easy to see education at the center of it all.
So, it made sense that they would seek to share those same opportunities with their community. They started with a few private scholarships of their own in the East Bay, and soon a friend heard about what they were doing and put them in contact with Jim McCarthy, the founder of the BASIC Fund.
“We found that the BASIC Fund was a fully functioning organization, doing at scale, exactly what we had been doing in a very small way,” Steve said.
From that connection, they knew they wanted to be more involved in BASIC Fund’s work, so Steve joined the board in 2007. Since then, they’ve worked tirelessly to support the work and scholarships, but Steve knows there is always more to be done.
“The BASIC Fund has developed into a very productive organization that has served more than 23,000 children in the Bay Area. Most private elementary schools are aware of our scholarships, such that they make referrals to us, but each year we know we could be helping so many more students,” Steve said. “It’s an unfortunate situation because there are close to 9,000 empty desks in the private schools around the Bay Area. That means there is ample supply in the system, and our wait list indicates there is sufficient demand. All we need to match the supply and demand is more funding.”
What has really kept them connected to their work throughout the years is the school visits.
“I’m always amazed by the ‘goose bump’ experience of a school visit. The teachers and administrators are real-life heroes. Their compassion and effort is extraordinary, and the students always seem to be working very hard, but are very happy to be at school. The students seem to view the school as a sanctuary and feel safe there.”
If you’re interested in attending a school visit and seeing the impact of BASIC Fund scholarships at work, please contact Michelle Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.