Good News for Saint Joe’s and Pennsylvania Catholic Schools

The recently signed 2018-2019 state budget includes a $25 million increase for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program. All $25 million will go towards the K-12 Scholarship Organizations component of the EITC Program, which allows individuals and businesses to contribute their state tax dollars to qualifying schools to be used for need-based financial aid.

Another recent change to this program could impact Saint Joe’s
A few months ago we told you that Pennsylvania recently expanded the EITC program, originally created for businesses, to be open to individuals. Now, individuals can direct their state tax dollars Saint Joe’s in the form of a donation to be used for financial aid. We had a good response to this news and are grateful to the new donors who stepped up to participate!

A new change to the program has opened it up to even more people: now, employees of non-profit organizations are eligible to participate. Does this impact you? It might if, for example, you work for Penn State or for a non-profit healthcare provider. To find out if you qualify, simply email or call Ellen Konkle at ellen@affinityconnection.com or (814) 571-0576. She will even help you complete the application!

More than half of the families at Saint Joe’s rely on financial aid, and your participation in this program could help even more students, while also freeing up funds for other areas of need. If you work for a non-profit and are interested in finding out if you can participate, the next steps are easy: email or call our program coordinator for EITC, Ellen Konkle at ellen@affinityconnection.com or (814) 571-0576.

Family Feature: The Khozas

Learning to Live with God at the Center

The Khoza family explored all the high school options available in State College for sons Ethan and Cameron, but they believed nothing could compete with the value that Saint Joe’s offers. Now, they encourage other families to invest in the unique benefits and opportunities that Catholic high school offers.

Ethan and Cameron’s father, Makhonyola, describes the environment at Saint Joe’s as “not only academically robust, but also one that gives equal attention to the leadership, faith and character of his sons.” For this reason, he says, it’s been worthwhile for their family to make the financial investment in tuition, even if they have to make some sacrifices along the way.

“I understand that there are other tuition-free school choices out there that are compelling, but I would encourage others to strongly consider Saint Joe’s,” Makhonyola says. “I believe the academics are without comparison. In addition, many other schools stop there, at academics, when we all know that preparing kids for the real world is more than just increasing academic knowledge. There needs to be a character formation as well. It is our experience that the components that make up a St. Joe’s education–faith, scholarship, leadership and service–are bringing the best of all worlds to our children. We thank God for it!”

The Khozas say they have witnessed incredible growth in both their children.

“They are stretched and challenged academically, and they are discovering that the boundary lines of their ‘best’ are continually being expanded,” Makhonyola says. “We love this! But just as much, we appreciate how they have been exposed to acts of service and leadership which have given them important opportunities to develop more holistically.”

Ethan graduated with the class of 2018 and his parents are confident that his time at Saint Joe’s prepared him well for the next steps in his life. Cameron is a rising sophomore.

“We believe that a life lived with God at the center, seeking to influence and serve others is a life well lived, and Saint Joseph’s is helping to shape our children in this way,” Makhonyola says.

 

Q&A with the Khoza Brothers

Q: What is your favorite thing about attending Saint Joe’s?

Ethan: My favorite thing about Saint Joes is the community feeling. People care about each other, and the environment is good for accomplishing great things academically, spiritually, and socially.

Cameron: Definitely the food and the small environment

 

Q: What does receiving a Catholic education mean to you?

Ethan: It means receiving an education that is valuable and being taught by teachers who cared about me as an individual.

Cameron: It means not only learning about academic material but learning about God and the plan that he has for our lives.

 

Q: What activities do you participate in?

Cameron: I play on the basketball team and I am also involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and my brother was involved in both of these as well.

 

Q: What are your future aspirations?

Ethan: I will be attending Grove City College to study business management and hopefully work in business when I graduate.

Cameron: Right now, I’m following God’s plan. Whatever that may be, that’s where I’ll go.

 

Q: What advice do you have for future Saint Joe’s students?

Ethan: Make sure to do as much as you can during high school. Join lots of extracurricular activities even if they aren’t something you’d normally do. Also try to have fun and make friends.

Cameron: Be yourself — don’t try to be anybody that you’re not. Also be invested in the school. You have to come here and really want to get something out of Saint Joe’s.

Summer study abroad in France yields college credit, scholarship opportunity

Eight juniors and seniors from Saint Joe’s earned college credit and an amazing international experience on a ten-day study abroad program this June in the southwestern region of France. Joining other students from Bishop Carroll, Bishop Guilfoyle and Bishop McCort, the students participated in the annual Summer in France program offered by Saint Francis University.

From June 9 through June 18, students stayed at Saint Francis’ own monastery in Ambialet, France, home of the University’s Semester in France program. Students had first-hand opportunities to learn about the culture and people of France and to see, taste, feel and marvel at the wonders of the region. The group of 28 students visited castles, cathedrals, ruins, and medieval hill-top villages through excursions to cities such as Albi, Toulouse, Cordes-sur-Ciel, and Carcassonne.

Completion of the program allows students to earn three credits in Fine Arts 102: Culture and Values through the University’s Adult Degree & Continuing Studies program.

This year’s group of students is the inaugural class to be offered the Traveling Scholar Grant after successful completion of the Fine Arts class. The grant awards a one-time $3,000 scholarship to students who enroll at SFU and wish to pursue the semester long Ambialet program.  The scholarship is awarded in addition to a student’s financial aid package.

The high school study abroad program is hosted for students of local Catholic high schools as part of SFU’s efforts to cultivate partnerships with schools who share similar missions and values. Saint Francis University shares a common vision with Saint Joe’s and Catholic high schools to educate students holistically and prepare them for their next step in life.

In addition to the Summer in France program, Saint Francis also offers other benefits to area Catholic schools including the Professor in Residence program which allows students to enroll in face-to-face courses taught by Saint Francis University faculty in such areas as business, introduction to engineering and STEM, and stats.