Praise for Hudson Scholars

I’m writing as a Hackley parent of the last 13 years, whose daughter became involved with Hudson Scholars last summer. The program is the most significant community service Hackley has offered in my experience, and its potential for creating goodwill with Hackley's neighbors and truly changing the lives of young people cannot be undervalued. Thank you for your initial and continued support of the program.

When our family began its search for a private school, we were sensitive to perceptions of snobbishness or affluence that too-often accompany life in Westchester County, generally, but private schools in particular. Hackley’s focus upon academic excellence and character allowed us to overcome our concerns. Over time, we have remained aware of the privileges Hackley affords its students. Current social awareness of economic advantage across the country have brought national focus to the issue. The Hudson Scholars program's outreach to Hackley’s less-privileged near neighbors addresses the chasm. By seeking to help impressionable middle-schoolers, the program highlights Hackley’s best values: academic excellence and the inherent benefits of helping others. It reaches out to share Hackley with others, and to encourage young students' aspirations beyond what they may see in their smaller community. To my mind, Hudson Scholars is exactly the kind of community outreach and interaction with those around us that Hackley should have been doing for years.

Recently, our daughter learned that the program might grow to include not only the anticipated new scholars, but to also allow last year’s students to return for further tutoring and friendship. She was thrilled. In fact, her text home was so excited about the surprise news, that I suspected she’d hit a home run at the softball game or received unexpected high praise on a difficult school assignment. She insisted on keeping the news private until she saw me in person. And her enthusiasm was loud and exuberant. I’m sure your thanks from the scholars’ families has been overwhelming. But I wanted you to know that from a Hackley parent’s perspective, we are also grateful for this opportunity to expand the program and deepen its community roots.

Hudson Scholars has undoubtedly changed the lives of middle schoolers in the area. But it has also changed my daughter. She has seen outside her “bubble” and found friends among younger students in the area. The program has become less about spending time with Hackley friends (which was undoubtedly her initial purpose in getting involved) and more about giving to others. Could we ask for any greater opportunity? Again, thank you for recognizing the importance of Hudson Scholars. And thank you for allowing it to grow!