Jubilee Announces New Executive Director

Drew Skinner Bio
The Executive Committee (from left to right): Donald M. Spooner, Dorothy Boersma, Drew Skinner, and Milt Vélez

The Board of Directors of Children’s Jubilee Fund is pleased to announce a strategic leadership transition. On July 1, our esteemed colleague and founder, Dr. Jim Petty, will begin serving Jubilee in a new capacity as “director emeritus.” Simultaneously, Associate Director Drew Skinner has been selected to succeed Jim as Jubilee’s second executive director.

While stepping away from the day-to-day responsibilities, the Board and I are delighted that as director emeritus, Jim will continue his ministry and work with us in a reduced but important capacity. He will provide counsel and advice to Drew, continue to work with and support friends and donors, and help the Board with the seamless transfer of leadership to Drew and continued implementation of our Strategic Plan.

But as one leader steps back, the Lord has provided another leader to step forward. Commencing our transition process, in June 2012, Jim recommended to the Board that Drew be considered and trained to succeed him. After thorough and careful evaluation, the Board unanimously voted to make the appointment. We see in Drew a passion for Jubilee’s mission, the ability and skill to raise money for scholarships, and a sincere commitment to guide Jubilee to greater success and growth in the years ahead. As Jim commented, “It is rare to find a young leader that combines the ability and motivation to raise funds with evident and developed character.” Through Jim and Drew’s effective working relationship, in the last two years we have seen an increase in scholarship funding of over fifty percent!

The decision to hire Drew as executive director is a year and a half in the making. Jubilee’s Board brought Drew on early with the intention of cultivating his skills and establishing positive relationships with our donor base. We have watched him mature and grow as a leader. We are excited by his vision and energized by his passion for Christian education. We look forward to Drew’s leadership of Children’s Jubilee Fund, with the   continued support of Jim, the Board, and our donors.

-Milt Vélez, Esquire
Board Chairman

The Board of Directors and Staff Members (clockwise):  James C. Petty, Olga Vélez, Randolph E. Richardson, Milt Vélez, Dorothy Boersma, Drew Skinner, Donald M. Spooner, Barrie Jones, and Deidre D. Wright. Not Pictured: Eric Daelhousen, Mary Krispin, Rebekah Palmer, and Gordon Pfeil


Caption — Board and Staff (clockwise): James C. Petty, Olga Vélez, Randolph E. Richardson, Milt Vélez, Dorothy Boersma, Drew Skinner, Donald M. Spooner, Barrie Jones, and Deidre D. Wright. Not Pictured: Eric Daelhousen, Mary Krispin, Rebekah Palmer, and Gordon Pfeil


Spring 2013 Newsletter Highlights

Spring Newsletter HeaderSpring 2013 Newsletter Highlights:

This spring, we changed up our newsletter design and format. We’re always looking for innovative ways to connect with our supporters and feature the great work our donors are supporting and our schools are doing! Keep reading to get some highlights of this new issue.

Jubilee_MainArticle Photo Article on the Direction and Goals of Jubilee

Beyond our financial and academic achievements, Jubilee has made strategic 2013-02-02 09.30.39organizational changes. We hired a new staff member, Claire Margheim, to handle events and communications, and our board approved a strategic plan. This plan lays out our identity and purpose, vision and history, case for support, and values. Jubilee’s staff and board now have a unified understanding and a shared vocabulary about our organization that can be used to define and promote Jubilee’s mission.

With these changes, you may wonder, “Who is the Jubilee of 2013?” Click here to read the full article and find out. (or download our full newsletter.)

Profile of member school, UrbanPromise AUrbanPromise_Imagecademy:

In 1988, local missionaries started a summer camp in Camden, New Jersey, to keep kids off the streets. This camp was so effective and its founders to committed that it eventually grew to become a successful, international organization called UrbanPromise. The organization now encompasses two schools, after-school programs, job training and more. One such program is the UrbanPromise Academy (UPA).

Founded in 1997, UPA is a Christian high school serving 42 students that face severe educational and environmental challenges. UPA has even received national recognition on ABC’s 20/20 with Diane Sawyer for its unique and varied educational model. Click here to learn more, or download our full newsletter.

DhanteSpotlight on Dhanté, a Jubilee Scholarship Student Who Went From School Bully to Non-Violence Award Winner

Dhanté had been kicked out of eleven public schools before attending Philadelphia Mennonite High School (PMHS), where he was sent as a last resort. He tried to use force to control his environment, but this behavior soon alienated him from most of the staff and his classmates.

When his bullying and bad language reached a boiling point, Principal Dr. Barbara Moses finally said he would have to leave. Dhanté begged not to go, so Dr. Moses offered him the option of studying conflict resolution and anger management, and if he turned around his behavior, he could stay. Through the hard work of his teachers, and against all odds, he turned his life around.

His sister Brianna, who’d gone through the program herself, said “Dhanté became a whole different person.” Eventually he approached all the students and teachers he’d offended and apologized. “I never apologized in public school,” he said. The remarkable improvement he made in relationships led to his receiving the school award for non-violence. To read about Dhanté’s love of music and life goal, download our newsletter.

*We could not have put out this wonderful newsletter without the help of our volunteer writer, Pat Van Antwerpen, and our amazing designer, Rodd Whitney from Cause Design.


Meeting Jubilee Students is Worth It

photo-1For these donors, visiting one of our member schools in March was a powerful experience. They were able to listen as 5 Jubilee scholarship students shared about their lives, hopes, dreams, and struggles. Read their reactions below.

A Rare Opportunity

by Jan Wright,  Retired Training and Consulting Specialist, Montgomery County Intermediate Unit


“I really want to thank Jim Petty and Drew Skinner for taking me along on a tour of International Christian High School in Philadelphia in March.

What an inspiration! Coming from a perspective of over thirty years in education and having seen many high schools, the students and professionals I met on my visit to ICHS impressed me with their dedication to learning in an environment grounded in Christian values. How powerful it is to see a school where students feel safe, supported and challenged.

Thank you again for this rare opportunity.”

Investing beyond the American Dream

by Edward Huff, Retired Aerospace Engineer


“The other day, three Jubilee donors accompanied Jim Petty and Jubilee staff to International Christian High School in Philadelphia. After a tour of the school, we were able to sit down with five Jubilee Scholarship students over lunch and talk. Abigail, one of the girls, asked, ‘Why do you give to Jubilee?’ Well, there’s an expression, ‘Think globally, act locally.’

We’ve read articles of those persecuted for pursuing their education, and we’ve seen pictures of little girls in places like Pakistan who have had acid thrown into their faces who were just going to school to learn. Such tyranny infuriates me with a righteous anger, but one doesn’t have to travel thousands of miles to see injustice and brokenness — and, also hope. The Jubilee newsletters give you snippets or snapshots of students who have renewed hope in learning, going to college, and pursuing a career, but there’s no substitute for visiting a school and engaging the students.

In his book, Step by Step, Jim has made the observation that, ‘Money is an issue that goes to the heart of our relationship to God.’¹ Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Church in NYC, has stated that how you treat the underprivileged, ‘is the real index of the condition of your heart.’

Why do my wife and I give to Jubilee? We believe it is money well invested. Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”² Powerful words. As far as Christ is concerned, each student is a treasure to be valued and not written off.”


² MATTHEW 6:21

Why I Give


Reasons to give vary from person to person, business to business, organization to organization. But we all share a personal belief in the work of Children’s Jubilee Fund. It’s what binds us together – donors, staff, board members, volunteers, schools and supporters.
Keep reading to find out why these donors give.

Individual Donor Profile

EricName: Eric Daelhousen

Occupation: Senior Accounting Analyst at ARAMARK

Bio: Eric graduated in 2006 with Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from Messiah College, a private Christian college in Grantham, PA. He went on to work as Corporate Accountant for Transcore for two years and then took a position at Aramark, where he currently works. He and his wife live in South Philadelphia.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO GIVE “I think investing in schools and education is crucial. It’s exciting: the idea of endowing an organization that promotes good education. Jubilee impacts neighborhoods in a different way, by developing the kids.”

WHY GIVE TO AN ORGANIZATION THAT SUPPORTS URBAN STUDENTS? “I love Philadelphia. I’m encouraged by organizations like Jubilee that don’t want to just put a Band-Aid on its educational problems, but want to fix the fabric of the issue.”

Click here to find out more about donating to Jubilee.

Business Donor Profile

JB 2009 small

Name: Compass Ion Advisors, LLC

Bio: Jim Baird, Chairman and founding principal, established the Asset Management Group of PMG Capital in March of 1994. The team formally became Compass Ion Advisors in December 2008. Compass Ion provides financial planning, investment advisory service, and investment management. They are located in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Compass Ion donated to Jubilee this year through a tax credit program.

WHY DID YOUR COMPANY CHOOSE JUBILEE?  “We choose to support Jubilee because it has an effective solution to helping systemically break the cycle of inner-city poverty. Jubilee helps fund access to high quality Christian education for families who otherwise would be trapped in the dysfunctional public school system.” – Jim Baird, Chairman and founding principal

WHY DID YOU CONTRIBUTE THROUGH A TAX CREDIT PROGRAM?  “Because of the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program, we can make a significant donation to Jubilee with next to no out of pocket expense; great news for everyone involved!” – Jim Baird, Chairman and founding principal

Find out more about the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program here

Get Involved with Jubilee

Get InvolvedAre you a supporter or friend of Jubilee looking for ways to get involved with our organization?

Join our Companies for Kids Campaign:

Do You Represent a Pennsylvania Business? Click here to learn how you can redirect your business state taxes into scholarships.

Are you an Individual Donor? If you would be willing to contact a business you know and trust, set up a meeting, or even pass along the name of a contact, please let us know! Email Drew Skinner at dskinner@jubileefund.org.

Sponsor a Student:

For just $100 a month, you can support an inner-city student at a Christian school. For $1 a day (or $30 a month), we will combine your donation with 2 other donors’ in support of an inner-city student at a Christian school. Click here for all of our giving options.

Attend a School Visit:

Want to meet our scholarship students? Each month, we visit one of our 24 member schools and give sponsors a chance to interact with students and see the amazing work our network of Christian schools is doing. Email Claire Margheim, Project and Communications Manager, at cmargheim@jubileefund.org to sign up for a visit.

Start Your Own Jubilee Campaign:

Are you interested in hosting a small event at your home to alert others to the needs of children in failing schools and the opportunities Jubilee provides? Email Claire Margheim at cmargheim@jubileefund.org with questions or to get started.




Jubilee Launches Campaign to Promote OSTC Program


Exciting News! We are launching our 2013 campaign: Companies for Kids. We’re connecting with local businesses to promote the newly-enacted Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (OSTC), which will allow businesses to redirect their state business taxes into scholarships for students in persistently failing Pennsylvania schools.

Businesses that make a one-year contribution to Jubilee receive PA tax credits equal to 75% of their contributed amount.  Businesses can increase their credit to 90% by making a two-year commitment of equal funding.

Once a business makes a contribution to Jubilee, we distribute that amount as scholarships to K-12 students stranded in failing schools, enabling them to attend the non-public school of their choice.

Passed in 2012, the OSTC program was modeled after the very successful Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, which currently saves the Commonwealth and school districts $450,000,000 per year in education expenditures. The OSTC program started with 50 million and still has 37 million available.

By redirecting taxes through the OSTC program, PA businesses could move more than 25,000 urban youth out of failing public schools and into flourishing private schools each year—preparing them for success in higher education and in life. Go to Jubilee Fund to find out how to apply today.

Are you an individual donor to Jubilee? Then you can help us!

We’re always looking to connect with caring Pennsylvania companies and spread the word about the OSTC Program. If you would be willing to contact a business you know and trust, set up a meeting, or even pass along the name of a contact, please let us know! Email Drew Skinner at dskinner@jubileefund.org.

In Response to “A Distorted Reality” from The Public School Notebook

The December edition of The Philadelphia Public School Notebook features a cover story titled, “A Distorted Reality.” It illustrates how a high school in Southwest Philadelphia saw their PSSA test scores decline from 70% proficiency in 2010 to 24% in 2011. The reason? Cheating had been taking place in the building, and shockingly we’ve now found out this behavior is citywide in both district and charter schools. The Notebook reported, “56 city schools (including 3 charters) were under investigation for possible cheating. 19 of those saw their proficiency rates drop by over 30 points.”

Jubilee is responding to this deeply troubling news. Now, more than ever, our Jubilee schools are needed for low-income urban students with hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Youth across Philadelphia are being cheated, literally.

In contrast, Jubilee’s 24 schools have an average proficiency rate of 75% on standardized tests, a number not tainted by dishonesty. Over 90% of our high school graduates enter college, and we’re seeing growing numbers of graduates make it through college and start careers.

Moronica Teng, a Logan Hope School graduate, reflected on her experience and her future as she enters her first year of high school. She writes:

“Logan Hope taught me to prepare myself for the future. They didn’t just teach math, but they also taught responsibility and honesty. Inside (Logan Hope) there are kids ready to learn, and teachers ready to prepare us for a future.”




A Riveting Performance


Last Sunday afternoon, Alexa Lee, a Radnor high school student, used her God-given musical gift by performing Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Mendelssohn. When I asked Alexa why she wanted to do it, she told me she was alarmed by the statistics in the Philadelphia school district just a few miles away from her excellent public school in Radnor.

I was moved by the performance. Feel free to click here to hear it.

About 130 people joined us, and it is our privilege to report that 20 new student sponsors are now sharing in Jubilee’s mission to open the door to Christian schooling for low-income youth in Philadelphia, Norristown, Chester, and Camden.

At Jubilee we are thankful to Dr. David and Mrs. Tessi Lee for joining their daughter Alexa to host this event. They worked tirelessly behind the scenes making sure the afternoon was a success! We thank God for new sponsorships. We also thank Wendell Holmes and the Philadelphia Mennonite High School choir as they closed out the afternoon with soulful singing. Philadelphia Mennonite High School is one of our 24 Jubilee member schools.

In Center City Philadelphia at 17th and Sansom Streets, opportunity was created for some youth who live in the city’s neediest neighborhoods. Thank God for the opportunity!

“The Civil Rights Issue of our Day” – Condoleeza Rice

At the GOP convention, Condoleezza Rice boldly stated, “We need to give parents greater choice, particularly poor parents whose kids, very often minorities, are trapped in failing neighborhood schools. This is the civil rights issue of our day.”

Thankfully, the PA legislators agree and have taken an important step forward through creating The Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit. This $50 million bill, signed into law this summer, allows Pennsylvania businesses to direct the state taxes they owe to qualified scholarship organizations. These dollars can only be given to students in PA who attend schools performing in the bottom 15% based on state standards. Over 40,000 K-12 youth are eligible to receive these scholarships.

These failing schools were required to write to the parents of these students, explaining that their public schools were indeed failing. For the past week, we’ve been receiving phone calls and e-mails from parents who now realize that their local neighborhood school is failing them. Here’s what one concerned mom wrote:

“I received a letter in the mail regarding my child’s school being a low achieving school the other day. After being informed of the statistics of my child’s school, I was devastated and felt hopeless in terms of education for my child. I have been looking around and researching opportunities for him, but I simply could not afford it. I have a feeling of desperation when I think of the importance education is to my child and how it was the key factor in my life. I am willing and able to give whatever information and documentation is needed for the application process. This scholarship would give my child the opportunity to receive the education he needs and prepare him for furthering his education and life in the future.”

At Jubilee, we care deeply for families who are in these schools. However, we need the help of the Pennsylvania business community. If you own a business and agree with Secretary of State Rice that “school choice is the civil rights issue of our day,” please e-mail me at dskinner@jubileefund.org. You can make a difference.

-Drew Skinner