Ms. Nikki Kaufmann wears a lot of hats at St. Michaels University School. She’s a phys ed teacher, a boarding houseparent, a soccer coach and she helps with University Counselling. In each of these roles she sees firsthand how the Dream Big annual fund directly impacts students and their future endeavours.
“The best way I can put it is the annual fund gives so many opportunities to a diverse student body. Through financial aid we give so many students the opportunity to be at our school and to contribute in all kinds of areas,” Nikki says. “As a phys ed teacher and a coach we always have the resources – facilities and equipment – to help give our students opportunities to play sports. In the boarding houses whenever we see a need we have always been able to find the funds to give students a better school experience.”
Nearly 25% of our student body receives financial aid to ensure they have the opportunity to be a part of our school community. Each year, SMUS provides students with more than $2.2 million in financial aid, $400,000 of which is raised through the Dream Big fund.
“A big part of my philosophy as a teacher is the idea of cultivating great people. To know that with the annual fund we have the ability to bring great students who will contribute to our school in all kinds of ways – service, sports, leadership – makes me proud to work here and proud to donate,” Nikki says.
A Slam Dunk for Students
Donations through the Dream Big fund also help support student athletics in a variety of ways. Funds help attract high-calibre coaches to run programs like squash and tennis, fund the purchase of new equipment (from jerseys to boats for the SMUS Community Rowing Centre) and send young athletes to national and international tournaments.
“I support the annual fund because it comes full circle to me. Teachers benefit from having a diverse student population and from having the facilities and resources we need because it allows us to focus all our attention on students and their learning,” Nikki says.
She encourages community members to consider supporting the Dream Big fund because it aligns so well with the athletic department’s pillars.
“Sports is about more than winning. We value character, community and excellence in sports. I don’t think there’s a better way to show a commitment to those pillars than by supporting the annual fund and supporting kids in their growth and success in all areas of their life.”
A Dream Takes A Team
You, too, can be their champion. Behind each SMUS student with a big dream is a team of people committed to helping make that dream a reality. That team includes teachers, counsellors, coaches and donors – all working together to give each student the support needed to make their dream real.
Please join us in supporting the Dream Big Fund.