Philadelphia, PA, September 25, 2023: State Senator Art Haywood (D-MontCo. & Phila.) presented a check to The DePaul Catholic School, part of the Independence Mission Schools Network, to commemorate essential funding to preserve the former church building and renovate it into a multi-use space. Funding was awarded through a 2021 RACP Grant.

“DePaul Catholic is one of the Independence Mission Schools that has been committed to low- and moderate-income families across this region, who otherwise would not have the quality of education that these young people have here,” said Senator Haywood. “What the students experience here at DePaul Catholic will carry them so far in life. It is for this reason that I am so enthusiastic that we were able to find state resources to help with renovations.”

Senator Haywood continued, “My office is fully committed to education. We have a summer reading program for students in grades K-3 designed to help reduce the ‘summer slide’. We have had over 1,200 students enrolled in our summer camps since I took office in 2015. This grant fits into our overall agenda of increasing educational opportunities for our youth. Education is a path for all our young for a tremendous future.”

Colleen McKenzie, Principal of The DePaul Catholic School expressed her gratitude to Senator Haywood, “Your support has helped our school improve both inside and outside and it means the world to us to be able to provide everything that we possibly can to make sure that our students have what they need.”

“As one of the founding members of the IMS network, I’ve had the pleasure of watching all 14 of our schools grow over the past 12 years and I am very proud of the caliber of the students that are coming out of all of our schools,” said Michael F. Young, IMS Board Member of the Executive Committee. “With Senator Haywood’s help, we did a fabulous upgrade to The DePaul Catholic School this year.  We put in new windows and air conditioning, and now we are moving on to the next improvement – putting on a new roof this year. We are here to stay, we are here to grow the school, and we are here to make sure that these young people get the very best opportunity that they possibly can.”