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Esperanza: Kerry Leavitt Memorial Scholarship:


Esperanza means “hope” in Spanish.  So many teenagers in Washington DC grow up without hope that they can go to college and pursue a profession that is both personally and financially satisfying.  I aim to spread the hope that all children can succeed and that all children deserve a college education if that’s the road they choose.  I also want to give children the message that the world is full of caring people who want to help them succeed.


Kerry Leavitt was a dear friend of mine who died at age 53.  A highly successful social worker educated at Stanford University and Smith College, Kerry greatly valued higher education.  Among her numerous accomplishments, she taught at the University of Virginia Medical School's Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction; traveled with a delegation to the Republic of Georgia to help train trauma therapists treating torture victims; and taught mindfulness practices to female inmates at the maximum security facility in Fluvanna County.  About 23 years ago, Kerry became aware of a child trafficking problem in Nepal. She singlehandedly raised many thousands of dollars for a program to teach young Nepalese women and girls work skills and protect them from being sold.  Kerry’s life’s work and eagerness to help others are an inspiration to me.  I am excited to honor her memory with this scholarship program.


The Esperanza scholarship recipient will receive funds to support his/her pursuit of a college education to be used for college related expenses such as fees, books and materials, transportation and dormitory necessities.  Please call Sheryl Frank if you have any questions about this scholarship program (301 455-8825).


The special programs of MCIP are designed to provide the appropriate support, preparation, and set of high-quality experiences so that our students can succeed in middle school and high school and successfully transition into a college or fulfilling career pathway. Our staff delivers specialized afterschool, weekend and summer programs, academic support services, and life-skill development for students. We also assist parents with school-related issues affecting their children and provide professional development training for DCP public school teachers.

  • After School and Saturday Tutoring Program - provides academically at-risk students with extra tutoring services, self-paced instructional support and a dedicated homework drop-in center.  The daily rigor of the instructional program is interspersed with activities that promote health and wellness, communication and leadership skills.


  • World Cultures Program - proficiency in foreign languages and cross‐cultural literacy are the foundation of a CHEC education and imperatives for all of America's youth ‐‐ especially for immigrant, refugee and American minority youth.  World Cultures is an immersive educational experience that requires resources for professional development, language instructors, curriculum, language acquisition software, educational materials and supplies and funds to support exchange and study abroad programs.


  • Professional Development Institute – CHEC is keenly aware that teacher quality and effective teaching has the greatest potential to impact student learning and that student achievement is directly related to teacher competence. The Institute provides teachers the opportunity to improve their skills and content knowledge by bringing experts in the field to expose faculty and staff to cutting-edge industry best practices, to facilitate collective and deeper understanding of new standards like the Common Core and increasing the number of teachers professional certified in their content areas.

  • Teen Parent and Child Development Center – is a National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accredited program managed by a team of certified early childhood educators. The Center provides services to 23 teen parents and maintains the District of Columbia’s Gold Star Rating, the city’s highest early childhood credential.


  • Pregnancy Prevention Program – This program addresses sexual education, self-esteem, and leadership skills while offering opportunities for all 1,400 students at CHEC to engage in positive diversionary activities that value academic achievement.  Students are provided with classroom instruction, peer education, mentoring, career development, community service learning, after-school activities and therapeutic support.


  • Delinquency Prevention - is a gang and substance-abuse prevention and intervention program that is part of an intensive community-wide effort to re-engage approximately high-risk youths. The program staff provides leadership and team building activities, family strengthening strategies, outreach support, academic and career mentoring, street law education, male responsibility instruction, and substance abuse prevention.


  • Parental Involvement Program - provides year-round services for CHEC parents through English as a Second Language instruction and referrals, counseling, acculturation assistance, GED preparation, immigration and naturalization assistance, and translation and interpretation services. Approximately 500 parents regularly use Center services annually.


The College Scholarship Gala for Bell Multicultural High School is MCIP's premier annual fundraising event and is designed to close the financial gap for our most deserving college-bound students. The Scholarship Gala attracts guests who come to enjoy an evening of fine dining, lively silent auction bidding, a moving scholarship ceremony and memorable live entertainment.  The Scholarship Gala was created by the Amigos Corporate Advisory Council in 1985 as a way to raise critically needed scholarship dollars and to bring together a cross-section of the local business and philanthropic community, government officials and the community at large in celebration of academic excellence.  Now in its 33rd year, the Gala has raised $3.4 million dollars since its inception and has made it possible for 90% of our graduates to consistently pursue a post-secondary education.


Unrestricted gifts— every year contributions made without limitation as to their use—help support CHEC  and MCIP'S most pressing needs. “Unrestricted” may imply a wide range of discretion in their use, but in fact these funds are in large part committed to critical areas such as professional development, student incentives, college visit and study abroad opportunities, to name a few. They also provide the Executive Director and Principal with important latitude to undertake new initiatives and meet unanticipated needs throughout a given year. In short, unrestricted gifts are the lifeblood of MCIP, and their skillful use by our leadership keeps MCIP and CHEC and its programs vibrant.


At MCIP, we help families in need every day. But there are certain days, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, when being without hurts even more, especially when children are involved. On Thanksgiving Day, food takes on even greater meaning. More than sustenance, the turkey and all the fixings represent normalcy, family, community. On Christmas morning, gifts for the children take on the same meaning. The holidays tend to be stressful times for parents that are trying to provide food, gifts, and a joyous time for their families and children. Oftentimes there is also the ongoing struggle with trying to provide for one’s family, and pay the regular monthly bills.


To help, MCIP administers a family holiday assistance program that provides food, meals, coats, and other forms of assistance to struggling families. If you and your family are fortunate to have what you need this Thanksgiving and Christmas, won’t you help to ensure that every family at CHEC can do the same? 

Imagine sitting down with your family to eat Thanksgiving Dinner and being able to reflect on the number of people enjoying a turkey and all the fixings in their homes because of you.  


Our goal is to help 50 families this year.


There is an urgent need to address a widening opportunity gap and to level the academic playing field for students at CHEC. Public education in the U.S. is currently undergoing an immersive and disruptive reinvention that is reverberating in schools like CHEC that lack the necessary resources to fully embrace and harness the power of the educational revolution that is frequently referred to as “personalized learning.” From online data dashboards that integrate information from student assessments, learning tools, educator observations, and other sources to provide compelling, comprehensive visual representations of student progress in real time to the tech-infused new PARCC standardized exam, the need to modernize the instructional program at CHEC has never been more apparent.  A digital divide exists at CHEC where many students do not have access to a learning device, a second divide exists on the use of technology. There is also a need to retool the skills of the instructional staff to provide compelling instruction to accompany the learning devices once they have been acquired.


Through the incredible generosity of the Lois and Richard England Family Foundation and HITEC Foundation our sixth grade cohort of students through to the tenth grade cohort have been equipped with powerful new learning devices. We now need to complete this critical work by outfitting the eleventh and twelfth grade classes, which consist of 550 students. The students who yet to receive new devices are using technology that dates back to 2006, when CHEC's campus was constructed.  Also, for this cohort of students, the ratio of student to device is five students per device.  The logical conclusion would be for a school like CHEC to look to DC Public Schools for resource support. With competing priorities and no immediate allocations for school computer refresh projects, DCPS is currently not in a position to assist.  Please help us to ensure the continued viability of our instructional program.


On September 5th 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration was rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). DACA was a program put in place by President Obama to protect young people from deportation if they had been brought to the U.S. as children, and to enable them to lawfully pursue post-secondary education and to work. An estimated 800,000 children and young adults across the country applied for, and were granted DACA status. Many DACA recipients were able to finish school and obtain jobs, contribute to our economy and communities, and live without the constant fear of deportation. This all changed on September 5 and the consequences are still reverberating nationwide.

This policy reversal has had a profound impact on the CHEC community. A fair number of our students are Dreamers studying at places like Princeton and George Washington University, or are finishing high school, and working to support themselves and their families.  Not having a future in this community and country is absolutely unacceptable. Many of our students that find themselves in this legal conundrum lack the resources to retain professional legal counsel or the expertise to make proper emergency plans in the event of sudden deportation. It is a time of extreme fear, confusion and dispair. With your help, we can ensure that our students are given the assistance they so urgently need.


These deserving students are not asking for a handout, just a chance to dream.



The goal of MCIP's Runaway and Homeless Youth program is to provide CHEC students with emergency shelter and support services that assist runaway and homeless youth in crisis, reunite them with their families, strengthen family relations and help transition them to safe and stable living arrangements.  The program objectives are to provide runaway and homeless youth with emergency shelter care, crisis intervention, referral services, therapy and counseling, case management, education support, socialization skills, and reunification services.





3101 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010

High School: 202.939.7700
Middle School: 202.939.6680
Fax: 202.576.9145