The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) Foundation held its annual Phonathon event on Feb. 18 through 21.
Fifty-seven student and alumni volunteers raised more than $94,500, surpassing the event’s original goal of $75,000. The donations will provide monetary support for all areas of LSMSA’s unique living and learning community.
Each year, student, alumni and staff volunteers dedicate four evenings to call the school’s supporters, asking them to make a financial contribution to the school.
“Phonathon is certainly the Foundation's biggest fundraiser of the year, and it provides critical support for our Annual Fund,” said LSMSA Foundation Executive Director Angela Robinson. “This fund gives the Foundation flexibility to meet the school's needs as they change from year to year.”
In the past year, Foundation funding has enabled student organizations to attend various conferences around the country and has allowed instructors to engage in professional development that will enhance course instruction. The Foundation has also supported improvements to faculty workspaces around campus, new science lab equipment, a campus-wide emergency notification system and production support for the spring musical “The Apple Tree”.
“LSMSA benefits significantly by the generous gifts bestowed by our support groups,” said LSMSA Executive Director Steven Horton. “We would not be able to offer our students, faculty, and staff the many opportunities for personal and professional development that we do if we did not have their support.”
Students who choose to participate in Phonathon do so for various reasons, from wanting to contribute to the school to working on developing professional and interpersonal skills.
“I have been trying to get over my fear of calling people on the phone since the fifth grade, when I had a bad cookie-dough fundraiser call where I got rejected,” said Rachel Judson (’19). “It was nerve-wracking at the beginning, but after making a few calls I got the hang of it.”
“I enjoy getting to call alumni, parents and small businesses for support, and I am happy that a student like me can help impact our school,” said Jada Bezue (’19). “I think it’s a great way to give back to the school and a nice way to volunteer.”
Students who participated in the event said they enjoyed connecting with alumni and hearing of their experiences while they attended LSMSA.
“I volunteer because it is always fun talking to alumni,” said Sydney Sorbet (’20). “They always have really useful advice to give that you wouldn’t typically consider. I got to speak with one former student who was in theatre when she was here, and I’m in theatre now. It’s nice to be able to make those connections.”
“While I made calls, I talked to an alum who gave me an idea about a program that they used to do back in the ‘80s,” recalled Judson. “Since I’m with the Student Government Organization, we’re going to try and bring it back.”
“Over the last 10 years, Phonathon has become a tradition that is highly anticipated by both our student callers and our alumni,” said Robinson. “It's overwhelming and heartwarming to hear from our supporters about how much they enjoy speaking with current students during these calls. It certainly speaks volumes about the commitment that the LSMSA community has for ensuring that our students, faculty, and staff have the resources they need.”
Professional development opportunities and on-campus improvements are made possible through the generous support of Foundation donors. For more information on the foundation and how to support LSMSA, visit https://www.LSMSA.edu/foundation.