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“It’s about doing little things, but they all add up and have a big impact,” explains Trudy. She and Steve, who have just celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary, have made a tradition of giving donations to Champions For Learning in the name of friends and family members to commemorate special events, in memoriam, and other occasions as a way of extending friendship while supporting the organization at the same time. Trudy, who learned this practice from her family, says “I know the gifts will be used wisely.”
Trudy, mother of four grown children and a member of Greater Naples Leadership, first became involved with Champions For Learning about 6 years ago through Bob Morantz, former mentor and 2012 Men of Distinction honoree. He had just come from a Take Stock in Children Induction ceremony and shared his experience with Trudy. She was eager to help and soon became an integral part of the Take Stock program, organizing mentor workshops, attending the Take Stock state conferences and becoming a mentor herself. “Take Stock in Children is in my soul,” declares Trudy. “To be a mentor is to grow as a person, as an adult, because it’s about what the needs of the mentee are. Sometimes they just need someone to listen to them, not someone to try to fix it. It’s about being a friend.”
Trudy enjoyed her work as a mentor so much she encouraged Steve to get involved as well. Steve, a retired Allergist and former board member of the American Lung Association of Minnesota had spent many years supporting a summer camp that he had co-founded to benefit children and families dealing with asthma. He wanted to be part of another organization with the same value system of recognizing the power of the family to have an impact on the child. Becoming involved with Take Stock in Children was “a beautiful transfer from what I always did.”
Steve is thrilled that the Take Stock Program will be inducting more students this year. “No other program has the power to change the lives of the children, their families and our community as Take Stock in Children,” explained Steve. “We are only limited by our need for donations to buy scholarships and willing passionate mentors. The quality of our students and their parents are waiting for our help.” Champions For Learning will be inducting more than 50 students into their scholarship program this year.
Dedication, hard work and commitment are philosophies that Steve and Trudy Weisberg apply not only to their personal life but to their volunteer roles as well. They have not limited their involvement to the Take Stock Program. Trudy and Steve were the co-chairs of the 2011 Getting Ahead Idea Exchange. Trudy is a current Champions For Learning Board Member, committee member for events, Roundtable Conversation Leader, and was a key member in the strategic planning process that led to the foundation rebranding from The Education Foundation to Champions For Learning. Steve is also part of the Champions For Learning Leadership Council, a mentor, and former member of the Golden Apple committee.
When asked what motivates them to be such a significant part of the Champions For Learning family, Steve explains, “I’m grateful and fortunate to be part of an organization that is an advocate for students, families and the community. It gives me an opportunity to do what I have always done with pleasure and with passion. ” Trudy adds, “The staff is committed to the mission. It feels good coming here.”
“The viability of our community will be guaranteed by educating, creating employment, and embracing all segments of our population. In order to build for today and tomorrow everyone must be brought along and empowered to make a contribution,” says Trudy.
Champions For Learning commends the dedication and generosity of this amazing couple who give their time, talent and financial support so selflessly. If you are thinking of becoming involved in the Take Stock in Children Scholarship and Mentoring Program as a mentor, please visit www.ChampionsForLearning.org or contact the Champions For Learning staff at 643-4755.