By Emmanuela Blanc
St. Joseph H.S. in Downtown Brooklyn is a place where we learn in all of our classes that giving is an important aspect of living a healthy Catholic life. Students give of themselves when they volunteer at places that need assistance, such as at nursing homes or at our old grammar schools. But giving can also be seen in the lunchroom where someone is sharing her meal with a student who couldn’t afford it that day.
We at St. Joseph’s are often on the receiving end, too. If it isn’t from alumnae offering their time during class periods, it is seen through people from the community coming into health or business classes to give lectures. Just before Christmas we heard that National Grid had made significant donations to the school and representatives were coming to make a presentation. Luckily I had a chance to meet with the representatives, and it was an awesome experience.
The representatives were very friendly and came into the school building with huge smiles on their faces and a pleasing vibe that immediately made me feel comfortable. My job was to be part of a welcoming committee and answer any questions that they had about the school, and to my surprise they had more questions than I expected. Questions ranged from what neighborhood I was from to what were my greatest interests in life. They got on a personal level with me which made me feel like one of the adults in the room. I knew they had high-level positions at National Grid, and when I saw how well they presented themselves, I could see why they were successful.
The National Grid Foundation gave a total of $20,000 to our school, and in addition the National Grid Company gave us 20 computers, which are used in our college guidance office. That’s a room where seniors like myself find ourselves on a daily basis, scrolling through page after page of scholarship opportunities or working on college applications.
Something that was a total surprise to me was that a large part of the school’s expenses are covered by money we are awarded from organizations like National Grid. We are truly grateful for all the help and contributions offered to us. I think all the students here at St. Joseph H.S. would like to thank all the people who have donated their time, expertise, money or equipment to our school. It makes a difference.