Aim Higher Foundation helps families access Catholic education

| Rita Beatty for The Catholic Spirit | December 17, 2014 | 0 Comments


For stay-at-home mom Hilda Torres and her husband, Jose Castro, making ends meet has been difficult for their family of five.

Their budget is so tight that at one point, electricity to their home was shut off. Because of their circumstances, Torres and her husband didn’t think the Catholic education they wanted for their family was possible.

But thanks to the Aim Higher Foundation, their son, J.J. Castro-Torres, is able to attend first grade at Frassati Academy, a new Catholic regional school in White Bear Lake.

“We are so grateful . . . it means the world, it means better opportunity for our children,” Torres said.

“I wanted my kids to go to Catholic school because that’s what my husband and I believe in. We really, really feel strongly about our faith. That’s how we want our children to grow up. When they come home from school, they share things that are pure, kind and loving, and they are thinking about ‘what would Jesus want me to do?’?”

Frassati Academy was formed this fall through the consolidation of the parish schools of St. Mary of the Lake and St. Pius X, both in White Bear Lake.

Father Ralph Talbot, pastor of St. Mary of the Lake, and Frassati Academy Principal Patrick Gallivan were determined not to let financial challenges prevent the Castro-Torres family from getting the Catholic education they wanted for their children.

Aim Higher FoundationTo help a local child attend Catholic school, contact the Aim Higher Foundation:
To give online, click Donate at the top of the page

Aim Higher Foundation
10350 Bren Road West
Minnetonka, MN 55343
(612) 819-6711

“I assured her that Father Talbot and I and the school community don’t want finances to get in the way of a Catholic education,” Gallivan said.

“Aim Higher is one of the foundations that assist us to help children who want a Catholic school education, but money might be in the way of that goal,” he said.

Earlier this fall, more than 400 people gathered for the second annual Aim Higher Foundation Night of Light celebration to raise money for tuition scholarships — like the one J.J. received — at more than 70 Catholic elementary schools throughout the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The foundation raised nearly $500,000 in pledges, including an anonymous donation of $100,000.

“We’re so blessed by the generosity of this anonymous donor and the many other people whose gifts help more kids access a life-changing Catholic school education,” said Karen Rauenhorst, chair of the Aim Higher Foundation board.

“We have heard from so many families who have received Aim Higher Foundation scholarships about how the tuition assistance has made a real difference in students’ lives.”

The foundation has awarded more than $1.8 million in tuition assistance scholarships to deserving Catholic school students in the past three years.

Founded in late 2011, the Aim Higher Foundation’s mission is to provide student-based tuition assistance so all families have access to a Catholic school education. The foundation is governed by a board of directors whose members are local corporate, civic, education and religious leaders. A total of $736,200 was distributed to 1,107 students at 76 Catholic elementary schools during the last school year. Of these 1,107 students, 602 applied and were eligible for free and reduced-price lunch.

Foundation leaders look forward to continuing support of current Aim Higher Foundation scholars and expanding the number of tuition assistance recipients.

The Aim Higher Foundation is an independent, 501(c)3 organization, and gifts are tax deductible. All contributions to the foundation are used solely to expand access to Catholic education to more children and promote excellence in Catholic schools. For more information, visit

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