Remaining Steadfast

My sincere thanks to everyone who has welcomed me so warmly to my new role as Executive Director of the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Foundation.

My two daughters are MLWGS alums (Jackie ’17 and Lauren ’19) so I know firsthand what an amazing school this is and how many wonderful opportunities it offers, many of which are possible only because of the Foundation and supporters like you.

As 2020 draws to a close, we reflect back on a year that has challenged all of us to rethink ways of doing and being as we’ve combatted a global pandemic and confronted issues of racism and inequality here in our community.  Through it all, the focus on the Foundation has remained on its mission to support the success of ALL MLWGS students.

THANKS to everyone who donated last school year! When MLWGS was forced to close its doors in March due to COVID, the Foundation was able to work with the school administration and Ms. DeGroat to provide newly needed support to our students and staff. That support included grocery gift cards for MLWGS students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, while their home districts figured out how to distribute food; underwriting the cost of courses and workshops for teachers to learn best practices in teaching virtually in their specific subjects; and purchasing Kajeet devices for students who did not have adequate computers or WiFi in their homes, so they wouldn’t be left behind during the abrupt transition to virtual learning.

The Foundation also serves as a link between alumni and the school–working together to ensure that all MLWGS students have the opportunity to reach their potential and feel safe and valued. Racism and inequality are incompatible with the Foundation’s mission and also with Goal One of MLWGS’ 5-year Strategic Plan, which is to “create a welcoming and responsive environment that celebrates and reflects the diversity of the school districts we serve and fosters a sense of belonging for all.”

As plans evolve for returning our Dragons to school, the Foundation continues to cultivate resources so we are ready to resume providing the enhancements that enrich the MLWGS experience every year and any additional support this unique time may require.

I am honored to be a part of this work and in awe of your generosity, which makes it all possible. I am excited about getting to know more of you in the coming months as we continue to serve the students, alumni, staff, and families of this amazing school.

Looking forward,

Ginger O’Neil
Executive Director