DeAlbert Shephard believes he’s a step closer to fulfilling his dream of being an intelligence analyst in the FBI because of his Catholic high school education and the Inner-City Scholarship Fund.
The junior at All Hallows High School in the Bronx shared his story with more than 400 guests who raised more than $1 million at the 42nd annual Inner-City Scholarship Fund Friends Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan May 8.
“As one of six children, paying Catholic school tuition was just not possible for my family,” DeAlbert said to the crowd. “Without Inner-City Scholarship Fund, I know my high school experience would have been very different. I am here because all of you saw the potential in not only me, but in thousands of other students with stories just like mine.”
The scholarship fund, established in 1971 by Cardinal Terence Cookie and a group of executives from many religious backgrounds, assists more than 8,000 Catholic school students annually in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island. Ninety-eight percent of inner-city Catholic high school seniors graduate, and 95 percent pursue post-secondary education.
Cardinal Dolan and gala chairs Thomas and Colleen Golden were present at the event where Savannah Guthrie of NBC’s “Today” Show served as master of ceremonies. Guests enjoyed a “42nd on 42nd” performance by Cardinal Spellman High School, the Bronx; Notre Dame School, Manhattan; and Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School, Manhattan.
“With the end of the school year approaching, we are constantly reminded of the importance of a quality education,” said Susan George, executive director of Inner-City Scholarship Fund, in a statement. “I’m honored to be with the people in this room, especially Colleen and Thomas Golden, who are so passionate about supporting Catholic education for future generations.”
DeAlbert is a captain of All Hallows’ bowling team and is a member of the school’s track, golf and mock trial teams. As a sophomore, he represented his school at the International Leadership Conference in Ireland and will return this summer with 14 All Hallows’ students.
“Coming into high school as a nervous ninth-grader, little did I know that this incredible place, with so much history in its stonework, would change my life forever,” he said. “I know the knowledge I have received from my experienced teachers, challenging AP classes, and my insightful peers is leading me toward a great future.”