5 + 2 = 5,000?
Mark Granger is a brilliant math teacher. Once at a faculty/staff day of prayer, he retold the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. You’ll recall that this story is an impossible mathematical word problem, at least for the likes of Mr. Granger or any other math teacher.
At the end of a long day of preaching, the anxious apostles approach Jesus asking him to dismiss the crowds to go home to eat dinner. Jesus responds by telling the Apostles to feed the crowd themselves. They claim that the five loaves and two fish they’ve scrounged together will not possibly be enough to feed everyone in the crowd. And this is how the story goes (according to Matthew) …
“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.”
Mr. Granger’s reflection on this word problem did not involve factoring, or fractions, or square roots. The miracle here is not in the math; it’s in the thanks giving. Reflecting on this you start to look at the various aspects of Xavier as similar mathematical word problems. For example, …
How does a school that opened in 2006 with 48 students, and a current enrollment of almost 600 students, field athletic teams & compete with local league schools with at least three to four times the number of students? How has Xavier managed to win 19 team league championships, 76 individual league championships, 1 CIF Southern Section championship, 4 CIF Southern Section team championships, and 2 CIF State championships?
How do graduating classes of 130-150 students continue to earn more than $15 million on average in merit-based scholarship for college each year? In an area where more than 60% of all students graduating from other Coachella Valley high schools fail to qualify for admission to the UC system of schools? How do 98% of Xavier’s graduates continue to secure spots at some of the nation’s top universities and colleges each year? As astonishing as that “math” is, it all begins in the mathematics of need-based tuition assistance at Xavier. Since inception, an average of 49% of the Xavier student body has received need-based financial assistance to attend school and graduate. Put in other terms, Xavier provides nearly 49% of its student body with $1.8 million in need-based tuition assistance. This is money that Xavier does not have in a reserve account; it is money that Xavier must fundraise back into the operations budget each year. Xavier is firmly committed to providing this help to our families with demonstrated need, as this ensures that we can invite and welcome any student exhibiting a desire for and the capacity to achieve what Xavier offers.
We need your partnership!
The average need-based assistance award is $6,500 per student. We’re inviting you to partner with us in this effort, to make yourself a generous part of this amazing and miraculous math-word problem. We’re inviting you to help multiply loaves and fishes. The Xavier faculty, staff, and Board of Directors are convinced that there are thousands of young people in the Coachella Valley who are starving to be fed with what Jesus so generously provides at Xavier. They are hungry for opportunity. They are hungry for access to that opportunity. They are hungry for challenge. They are hungry for support.
We are asking that you partner with Xavier to underwrite this amount for each student on financial aid. Raising $1.8 million dollars each year is daunting. So is feeding 5,000 people on five loaves and two fish. If you help just one student, you allow that student access to progressive educational resources grounded in the Catholic Christian morals that Xavier consistently provides. You allow us to form young men and women of conscience who will go out into the world to serve and to feed others.
5 + 2 = A Miracle!
Please know how grateful we are for the thoughtful consideration you will give this request. We give generous thanks every day for you and the ways you help us solve more than just math problems; you are helping us improve the lives of every student and family at Xavier.