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Donor Stories - Peter Aronson and Marie Landry

“My wife and I are in the education business so we feel very strongly that educating people is the single best investment a person can make simply because it makes a difference in the entire lifetime of a person. In the most economically challenged areas of the inner-city, the Catholic schools do it better than anybody. The Jewish Talmud has a teaching that when one saves a life, it is considered as if they saved an entire world. Inner-City Scholarship Fund is saving many worlds.”

– Peter Aronson and Marie Landry, Inner-City Scholarship Fund Sponsors, Professors at Yale Medical School

How did you originally get involved with Inner-City Scholarship Fund?

Marie: I went to Catholic grammar school and high school and back in my day there were lot of people who were, of course, first-generation. My father was an immigrant. So I was always very grateful for the education I received. And I realized in the years since that Catholic schools, especially in the inner-city, had really taken on a sense of mission even among populations that may not even be Catholic. I just thought the Catholic schools were so essential and so important to success. I began getting involved with Inner-City back in 1995 and my husband eventually became involved and he took over and eventually gave a lot more money than I gave! [Laughter]

Peter: Well, I didn’t go to Catholic school; in fact, I’m not Catholic, I’m Jewish. I did grow up in New York City though and was fortunate to live in an area that had very good public schools. I’ve been on the admissions committee at the Yale medical school, and like most institutions we are interested in recruiting a diverse student population in terms of racial and economic backgrounds. But there’s a relatively small pipeline of applicants that we’re getting from low-income inner-city students. So we’re very concerned about supporting education at the earliest grassroots level because you can see there’s a major problem there. Inner-city Catholic schools really have a great track record for sending kids on to college so it just seemed like a wonderful way to support education in a way that would make a difference.

If you could write the future for Inner-City Scholarship Fund what would it be?

Peter: The work Inner-City is dedicated to is arguably the most important work that can be done for New York City and in the United States in general, which is to promote people’s education. It not only benefits individuals over a lifetime; we are actually helping ourselves as a society by helping these children. My hope for the future is that more people understand what a tremendous benefit to all of us this sort of work is and that they get involved themselves.

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