Summary of Bob Crites' presentation at the potluck on May 9, 2008
Our program at the May 9th potluck was an inspiring update on
'Students Helping Kids International (SHSKI)', a program founded by
Bob Crites, an RPCV of Brazil and a former member of WCPCA. Several
guests accompanied Bob to our potluck including his wife, Dalva,
John Hicks and his wife Heliane Pinto from Brazil now of Eugene,
their daughter, Ana Luisa, and Elizabete dos Santos Pereira who was
the first recipient of a scholarship from SHSKI.
Bob founded SHSKI over ten years ago while working as a counselor in
the Springfield public schools. He began with students and their
parents and staff members at Briggs Middle School raising funds to
provide school scholarships to children in Rio de Janerio.
Promising students who would otherwise have been unable to get a
good education are selected by Brazilian partners in the program who
provide ongoing guidance and moral support.
Bob has expanded the program to 31 schools and individual sponsors
in the US. In 1998 at the request of Dr. Jane Goodall the program
was extended to Tanzania.
Elizabete and Dalva Crites
The scholarships are offered to students in elementary school and
continue through high school as long as the students make good
progress. Currently an annual scholarship for a Brazilian student
costs about $2,500 per year and for a Tanzanian student about
$1,000. To date a total of 51 students have received scholarships.
Recently Bob has arranged for Maryland Partners of the Americas to
take over management of SHSKI but he continues to be active in it.
Since this new organization works only with programs in Brazil, the
Jane Goodall Institute has taken over the administration of the
Our guest, Elizabete, whose education was sponsored by SHSKI from
first grade through high school, shared with us her personal
experience as a scholarship recipient. Simply stated, the
scholarship gave her the opportunity for a valuable education and
many opportunities for professional work. This changed her life
A year ago she was half way through her senior year in high school
in Brazil. This academic year she's studied as a senior at
Springfield High School and lived with an American family in
Springfield. In June she'll receive her high school diploma from
Springfield HS. She's been fortunate also to have the support
throughout the year of the Hick/Pinto family who brought a touch of
Brazilian culture to her and her friends in this area.
Elizabete has been accepted and offered a scholarship to a
university in Brazil. She'll begin her freshman year there in the
Bob and Elizabete's presentation was a heartwarming testimony to the
investment in human potential that was at least somewhat inspired
by Bob's Peace Corps experience (editor's comment). Many, many
thanks to Bob, Elizabete, and their friends for an inspiring story.