What We're Celebrating

The impact of our first Harambee Scholarship Fundraising Dinner & Celebration

How does Harambee Christian School raise funds for inner-city youth? A night of celebrating, advocacy, and delicious barbecue. Now that’s a fundraising dinner, Harambee style.

The first ever Harambee Scholarship Fundraising Dinner & Celebration saw a packed house of 225 guests donate a total of $21,450 in one time contributions and an additional $1,280 in monthly pledges in support of students & families in need. This amount covers five full year-round scholarships!

Packed House Supporting Harambee Youth

Packed House Supporting Harambee Youth

Thanks to our generous corporate sponsor, Plaskolite, and our individual table sponsors, 100% of these contributions will go towards providing students with opportunities for academic excellence and personal thriving at Harambee Christian School.

We didn’t JUST raise funds, however! Because when that many people are passionate about God’s heart for students (and delicious barbecue), you also have to celebrate! We were pleased not only to celebrate the remarkable academic results of Harambee youth but also two cherished members of the Harambee family.

The Harambee Champion Award

The purpose of the Harambee Champion Award is to acknowledge a donor or volunteer who has supported and championed the work at Harambee in an exemplary way, and it was a privilege to recognize longtime volunteer Bill Sjoblom as the first ever recipient.

First Harambee Champion, Bill Sjoblom

First Harambee Champion, Bill Sjoblom

For the past 12 years, Bill has sacrificed countless weekends leading our student business, Harambee Imports. Harambee Imports has generated a remarkable $60,000 in revenue that supports the school’s token economy where students earn a weekly paycheck for their character, conduct and achievement in the classroom. Bill has also spent hundreds of hours in the classrooms, building relationships with students and teaching them the principles of business, marketing and finance. It’s easy to see why Bill deserved to be our first award recipient.

The Student Thriver Award

The purpose of the Student Thriver Award is to acknowledge a student who exemplifies what it looks like to thrive in the face of challenges. Among all the middle school teachers at Harambee, one student clearly stood out – Harambee 8th grader, Elonga.

Elonga and Her Family

Elonga and Her Family

According to her math teacher, Michael Harvin, “Elonga came to us from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in spite of language barriers, she thrived, demonstrating a willingness to work hard in order to overcome obstacles that exist when learning a new curriculum in a foreign language. ”

According to the Measures of Academic Progress, if 100% marks a typical year’s growth in a subject, during her first year at our school, Elonga grew over 800% in math and reading and over 500% in English Language Arts.

Her teacher continues, “In spite of cultural differences, Elonga thrived demonstrating Christ’s love for her classmates and a desire to share His love with others. Elonga has truly been a blessing to our school. God has used her example of love, perseverance, hope, humility, and compassion to encourage others.”

Are You the Next Champion for Inner City Youth?

We thank God for the faithful table hosts who partnered with us to make our first ever fundraising dinner and celebration a success in every way and for those who took their first step as advocates for Harambee youth. Most of all, we are grateful for our gracious God, who is the ultimate champion and who uses imperfect people like us to make an eternal difference.

Is God calling you to champion the cause of inner city youth? If you’re interested in partnering with us in future events to raise funds & awareness, contact Michael at larsonm@urbanconcern.org or by calling 614.291.0885 x 4140.

Michael Larson