Darlene and Wendy

Relationships are life changing.  At Cornerstone, we love to celebrate the true life-change that comes only through relationship with others and, ultimately, with the One who created us for relationship.  We are going on 20 years of fostering and sharing these stories at Cornerstone and we could not have done it without your support over the years.  Every volunteer hour, every dollar donated, and every prayer brought before God on our behalf has been crucial for creating incredible Cornerstone stories.

Some of our favorite Cornerstone stories are the ones that grow beyond the school.  Wendy met Darlene at Cornerstone through the Partner Program almost 16 years ago.  Darlene was an 11-year-old immigrant from Trinidad and Wendy was a congressional staffer new to Washington, D.C.  Their bond was immediate.  Even though Wendy had the crazy schedule of a congressional staffer, she made time to spend with Darlene and became a stable, supportive presence in Darlene’s life. 

When Darlene moved on to a new school (Cornerstone did not have a high school in those days), she and Wendy lost touch.  Darlene remained motivated and graduated Valedictorian of her high school class.  As she looked back on her schooling, her father sat her down and encouraged her to thank everyone that had been a part of her success.  Darlene realized that the solid foundation and early guidance she received from Wendy had made a huge impact on her life, so she decided to write a letter to thank her.  Wendy called her within a week and they picked up right where they had left off.

Wendy and Darlene met every time Darlene was home from Brandeis, where she was attending undergrad, and Wendy was able to give Darlene critical support during her college years.  After graduating, Wendy exhorted her to pursue her passion for music and entertainment through a Masters at the University of Southern California, giving the advice that "you have to go where the action is".  Now Darlene is set to get her MBA from USC in May and is looking to work somewhere she can make a social impact through media.

                        Darlene and Wendy at Darlene's graduation from Brandeis University

                        Darlene and Wendy at Darlene's graduation from Brandeis University

Wendy saw the potential in Darlene and encouraged her to pursue her passions, making a lasting impact on her life.  Even so, Wendy assures us that, "I don't know how to be thankful enough that I was asked to be Darlene's partner all those years ago.  I sometimes wonder who has benefitted more from this relationship."

This school year, we are making an effort to reinvigorate our Partner Program in hopes of creating space for more incredible stories like Wendy and Darlene's.  We have set a goal to have 100 partners participating in our Partner Program before the start of the 2018-2019 school year.  We are currently 30% of the way there, but we still need more Partners. 

Partners have the opportunity to invest in the life of a student, like Darlene, through quarterly events hosted by the school and by partnering with their student financially to support their education.  If you would like to become a partner, you can do so by going to www.cornerstone-schools.org/partner. If the Cornerstone Partner Program is not where you feel called to serve, but you would still like to support the mission and work of Cornerstone Schools, you can do so at http://www.cornerstone-schools.org/give-now/.

Thank you again for all that you have done to bring hope and academic excellence to the students of our nation's capital and for your thoughtful consideration of making a tax-deductible gift to Cornerstone as we come to the close of this year.