July 29, 2020
Dear Friends and Family:
My cousin, Rashad L. Burnley, graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1997. As a member of the Minority Achievement Committee (MAC) Scholars Program, Rashad shared his remarkable gifts of scholarship and leadership with younger African American males to help them find success in school. His dynamic efforts were highly visible to all students and sent a clear message that education, learning, and achievement were values he cherished.
Now in its 20th year, the Rashad L. Burnley Minority Achievement Memorial Fund was established as an endowed fund in 2000 to honor his legacy by furthering the work of the Minority Achievement Committee. Rashad’s Fund sustains the seriousness and strength of his own personal resolve to raise the expectations and the hopes of African American students by urging them to achieve their potential. Each year, the Rashad L. Burnley Minority Achievement Memorial Fund has provided commencement awards to Shaker’s MAC Scholars who have been committed to the program and who have shown academic progress. So far the fund has supported 30 students and has distributed $10,900 in funding.
August 2 is the 21st anniversary of Rashad’s passing. The family would like to commemorate this time by uplifting the Memorial Fund in his memory. We are grateful that Rashad’s legacy continues in Shaker and know that the annual awards in his name are truly appreciated. And yet, we know more is possible! Together we can make a greater difference for these young men and women. We hope as family and friends of Rashad, you will join us in sustaining this fund. With more support, we can increase the number and value of the annual commencement awards given. As the fund grows, we hope it might support guest speakers to inspire the scholars, travel opportunities to broaden their knowledge, service opportunities to strengthen their experience, and mentorships to provide a positive role model for younger students. The Shaker Schools Foundation is eager to partner with us to direct our gifts to have the maximum impact and benefit.
Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to the Rashad L. Burnley Minority Achievement Memorial Fund to ensure that his high ideals will continue to influence Shaker’s students. Please return your commitment form to the Shaker Schools Foundation as soon as possible to be on in time for commemoration in early August, or donate online at the Foundation’s website today.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
With love to you all,
Nikia Washington Lawrence Burnley