Beaverton High School just got a big boost: a nearly $2 million donation from an alumnus.
Scott Shleifer, who graduated from Beaverton High in 1995, is now a successful financial investor. In an effort to give back to his community, he chose to donate $1.8 million to the Beaverton High School Success Fund, a volunteer-run non-profit organization that raises money for the school.
“Scott graduated long before any of our students were born. He’s a ’95 graduate, ”said Beaverton High School Principal Dr. Anne Erwin.
“He credits his time at Beaverton High School as one of two educational institutions that prepared him for the success he is experiencing,” Erwin said.
In a statement from the Beaverton High School Success Fund, Schleifer spoke about the importance of his time at Beaverton High School.
“I was blessed with a fantastic elementary and middle school education, which began in the Beaverton School District at Beaverton High,” said Schleifer. “It set me up for success while studying global economics at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Returning my support to today’s students is important to their current and future success. This grant is about creating opportunities to improve access and affordability of school services and activities so that we can build this generation of future committed professionals and leaders.”
The recent donation started immediately and is helping students right now and has changed some plans, in a positive way.
“The Success Fund has been awarding scholarships worth $30,000 in recent years and we are going to multiply that by five, so we will give at least $150,000 in scholarships to our students as they move into their future,” said Erwin.
An email from the Beaverton High School Success Fund said the donation will also help students participate in band, choir, theater, art, drama and animation without paying fees. Admission to sporting events, dances and plays will also be covered. Student athletes, like José Hernández Mejía, will receive half of their paid fees.
“Not having to think about ‘Oh, how am I going to pay that much,’ but having that reduction in half is incredible,” Hernández Mejía said.
“COVID was a difficult time, not just for me, but for everyone else financially, especially,” he said.
José, who is a senior and plays soccer, said the donation will help not only provide opportunities but also build a community. He specifically referenced how excited he was about free admission to soccer games.
“We have the best section of students in the entire state, not to brag, but we do [… ] especially to freshmen, it gives them that opportunity to leave without having to pay, ”said Hernández Mejía.
The benefits are intended to last the next four to five years.
“I have brothers and relatives who are going to come here, so to have that opportunity for them, I think it’s incredible,” said Hernández Mejía. “It is a huge boost, especially after the pandemic. It was a tough and exhausting 18 months and having a gift this size that says, ‘Plan ahead. We believe in what you’re doing,’ it’s incredible.”
Jon Caplan, president of Beaverton High School Success Fund, said he is excited about the donation and the impact it will have on the school.
“We hope this motivates other parents and alumni to offer their financial support so that BHS really helps make a positive impact that allows BHS to help prepare all students for their future possibilities,” Caplan said.