Summer of a Lifetime
“These kids in poverty, if given an opportunity and a chance, will be successful,” said Patrick Baldwin, a senior vice president with the Baldwin-Marcovici Group in Chicago, part of the private banking and investment group at Merrill Lynch.
Mr. Baldwin has volunteered since 1999 for Right Angle, an organization that enables local low-income minority high school students to experience the Summer of a Lifetime by attending college summer programs to get a taste of higher education. He served as board president from 2008-13, helping Right Angle grow by fundraising to increase the organization’s annual budget, hiring its first Executive Director, driving the development of promotional materials, spearheading a board restructuring, and expanding Right Angle’s network of community ambassadors.
In Chicago, it is estimated that as few as 11% of public school students will earn a college degree. In recent years, 99% of Right Angle’s participants decided to go to college as a result of Summer of a Lifetime.
What began in 1997 as funding for 25 students has mushroomed to 750 students in 2014 attending 69 college programs across the U.S. About 3,000 students have benefitted so far. Students are recruited from a network of 14 charter schools.
“I think we’re at a tipping point, about to explode. It’s working and growing exponentially,” he said. “The program has resonated with donors because the results are so practical and concrete. They can have a direct impact by funding scholarships for one student or a group.”
“It’s been an awesome ride and it’s only getting better.”