Friday, July 16, 2004

"Sell all you have and give the money to the poor"

Well, Hartford money manager George Weiss might not have carried Jesus' command in Mark 10:21 to its fullest.  But almost.  Weiss, who has a long history of educational philanthropy, has pledged $20 million to pay the college or vocational school tuition for however many of 400 Harlem public school kindergarteners beat the odds by graduating from high school and getting accepted.  Weiss intends to raise $30 million more for "extras" that he hopes will increase the chances that more of the 400 kids will make it.  These include reading specialists, social workers, and extensive summer programs.
 
Weiss has had a very personal relationship with kids who he's helped in the past, and he has refused to give up on program participants who go astray.  He has visited his kids in prison and given stirring eulogies.
 
Weiss's motivation?
 
"I just made a pledge with God: If you ever give me the financial wherewithal to make a difference, I would do something about education and have a high degree of caring and personal involvement."


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