WCU Meets Fundraising Goal for Pilot Program; Inclusive Education Initiative Now an Official Program

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RAM Initiative students (from left) Nate Seagraves, Olivia Riehl, and Emily Scott are pictured with Program Director and Professor of Kinesiology Monica Lepore.

As the spring semester begins, West Chester University has announced that its RAM (Real Achievement Matters) Initiative Pilot for Non-Degree-Seeking Students with Intellectual Disabilities is official.

With WCU meeting its fundraising goal of $50,000 by the established deadline, the Lubert Family Foundation has promised to match $50,000 in grant funds. Fueled by the total $100,000 needed to transform the pilot into a full-fledged program, the RAM Initiative promises to thrive at WCU.

The university has now launched efforts to raise the next $50,000 installment needed to meet the second $50,000 match from the Lubert Family Foundation for 2021.

“Our deepest appreciation goes out to Mr. Ira Lubert for recognizing this program as a worthwhile investment,” wrote Deputy Provost Jeffery Osgood to the families of Emily Scott, Nate Seagraves, and Olivia Riehl — the three students currently enrolled in the RAM Initiative Program. “We will continue to work to raise funds for the program in subsequent years, so we can realize the full potential of the Lubert Family Charitable Foundation’s generous match challenge.”

In November, Lubert made a surprise call to the university indicating that he and the Lubert Family Charitable Foundation would support the initiative by matching $50,000, in a dollar-for-dollar capacity, if the university raised another $50,000 each year for the next five years. Upon establishing the $250,000 total challenge grant, Lubert said, “Our family believes that this is a most worthy program that challenges and helps these students grow. We hope additional people will also recognize this and be supportive.”

Numerous students, faculty, staff, and members of the community followed the lead of the Lubert family and rallied support for the program, including the Chester County Down Syndrome Interest Group, which made a $10,000 donation.

Applications for the RAM Initiative Program, which welcomes two to three students per year, are due by Feb. 10. Families interested in learning more about the RAM Initiative Program are invited to attend an Open House on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 12-1 PM at the Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center, Room 301, located at 855 South New Street.

Those planning to attend the Open House are asked to RSVP to raminitiative@wcupa.edu. More information about the RAM Initiative Program can be found by clicking here.

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