I hope that this message finds you and those you love well and safe.

I think I can safely say that none of us have lived through a time such as this. In times of great disaster, we have always been able to gather, care for, and share stories with our community. Social distancing has changed that, and the stress associated with this is challenging to handle. At the GSBA, we are all concerned for the health and safety of our members, our board and staff, our volunteers and supporters, and especially our scholars.

It is with great sadness that we have made the decision to cancel the 30th Anniversary Scholars Dinner on Friday, May 15. We want to let you know that we are in constant contact with our scholars and that our goal is to continue to support them, to make sure that they are healthy and safe, and that they have resources so that they do not have to drop out of school.

In the past two weeks, we have already heard from numerous scholars needing emergency funds and we know that will grow. Luckily, through the generosity of the Beeks Family Foundation, last year GSBA created the Open Arms Fund to support emergency needs for our scholars . Without this resource, we would not be able to help the scholars navigate this difficult time.

We are moving forward with a virtual plan to select our new scholars this year and are firm in our commitment to invest over $600,000 in 60 scholars in 2020. We plan to share as many of their stories as possible and celebrate in every safe way we can think of. Stay tuned for meeting them and hearing their stories in the coming weeks and months.

What can you do now to make sure that these young people, who represent our hope for the future, continue to survive and thrive?

  • Send us your message of caring and support and we will share these with our scholars. When a student knows that there is a community of adults who believes in them, it can have a huge impact on their emotional, social, and academic well-being.

  • Make a donation to the Scholarship Fund. If you have any capacity at this time, please help us make up for the cancellation of the Dinner and the lost opportunity to show your support at that event.

  • Consider an additional donation to bolster the Beeks Family Foundation Open Arms Fund that will provide emergency funding for health, housing and food needs for our scholars in this stressful time. Visit our donation page and leave a note in the comments to designate your gift where the need is greatest.

GSBA is thinking of you and hoping you can stay safe. On the business side, GSBA has created and maintains an Emergency Resource page for businesses and nonprofits . Everyday, GSBA is reaching out to GSBA Members to listen to their stories, so that we can share them with policymakers.

Together, we WILL continue to thrive. We will get through this, and when tomorrow finally comes we need these incredible young people ready to take on the leadership challenges ahead. We're in this together, and together we can get through this. Stay safe and be well.

With hope for the future,

Louise Chernin (She/her)
GSBA President & CEO