Season of Thanksgiving

Written by Elsa VanHove, CROSO Board Member

Like many others, I take this season to reflect on the year, especially things that have given me joy. While there have been a number of personal and professional landmarks in my year, at the top of the list is undoubtedly my whirlwind trip to Uganda in October as a CROSO ‘Ambassador’.

It is while reflecting on this CROSO trip that I want to share…

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Molly
2018 CROSO Spark Award

Written by Nora Shepard, Marketing & Communications Committee Member

CROSO celebrates innovation.

Not only is our organization incredibly innovative in how we envision global education, but we like to reward innovative thinking whenever possible. Some might say our approach is lofty; we think our idealistic approach is necessary for progress. The truth is, we need a certain level of idealism to move the world forward—to create a world we’re all proud to live in. But that idealism has to be paired with creative strategy in order to work. We’re so fortunate to work with some of the most innovative thinkers in not only Uganda, but the world.

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Molly
Welcoming new CROSO Scholars!

Written by Molly MacCready, CROSO's Executive Director

We are so excited to announce our new CROSO Scholars who will be starting their academic programs this year! Stephen, Sam, Derrick, Mercy, Brenda, Denis, and Brian were the top applicants this year and we are thrilled for them to be starting their programs. 

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Molly
11th Annual CROSO Benefit

Written by Molly MacCready, CROSO's Executive Director

On behalf of the Board of Directors of CROSO and the Annual Benefit Planning Committee, we would like to invite you to join us for the 11th Annual CROSO Benefit to be held on the evening of Thursday, October 4, 2018. This year, we will be moving the event downtown, to Germania Place, a beautiful 125-year-old historic landmark building in the heart of Old Town and Lincoln Park in Chicago.

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Happy Mother's Day!

Written by Molly MacCready, CROSO's Executive Director

Namasobo Lydia graduated with her bachelor's degree in 2012 from Uganda Christian University. She was one of CROSO's first female graduates. While studying at U.C.U., she met the man who would become her husband and the two got married in 2013. In 2015, little Esther was born, making them a family of three. During the 2016 CROSO visit to Uganda, I had the opportunity to meet Lydia's daughter, Esther. This was the first time I'd ever met one of our graduate's children before and I was surprised by what a powerful experience it was for me.

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CROSO mentioned at the United Nations!

Written by Molly MacCready, Executive Director

Dr. Natalie Hudson, director of the Human Rights Studies program at the University of Dayton, spoke as part of a panel this past Thursday at the United Nations on "The Role of Global Citizenship Education in the 2030 Agenda and Beyond." She shared with the panel the approach that UD's Human Rights program is taking as well as opportunities that are being made available for cross-cultural dialogue. And this is where CROSO comes in!

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Molly
CROSO's Partnership Model

Written by Sally Ryan
 

     Our driver turned off a busy street early one morning in June 2016, and drove down a street/alley in Mbale, Uganda. We drove into the courtyard of C.R.O., Child Restoration Outreach, an organization about which I had been reading for several years in the applications of our CROSO scholars. C.R.O. is an NGO in Uganda that provides physical and social support to street children, helping to reintegrate them into the community. Despite the primitive play equipment and the dusty grounds, I knew that we had just arrived in a sanctuary for children off the street.  To reinforce that feeling of safety and refuge, I heard the voices of children singing their morning greeting songs as they gathered to prepare for school with their teachers. Most of the children wore their orange C.R.O. signature t-shirts, and they seemed to be of one voice, ready for the challenges of their day. 

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Molly
How CROSO Supports Female Empowerment

Written by Nora Shepard, CROSO Committee Member, in honor of International Women's Day on March 8th

We’ve undeniably made incredible progress toward gender equality, but we have a long way to go, especially outside of the United States. The gender wage gap still persists, women make up an abysmal percentage of leadership, and less than 30 percent of the world's researchers are women. And, as we know, the inequality in work and financial status all stem from education. The stats there are dismal, too. Two-thirds of the illiterate people in the world are female, and 62 million girls are denied education around the world.

Female empowerment has become a buzzword recently. It’s become trendy to speak out against discrimination against women, but it’s rare to find a person or organization that really walks their walk, who actively does what they can to work toward gender equality.

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Molly
Meeting Gabriel

Written by Margy and Randy Roberts in reflection on their November 2017 visit to Uganda.

Ariong Gabriel was the first CROSO scholar we met with upon our arrival in Uganda in November of 2017, and for us, one of our most cherished moments.  

We had traveled there with Molly MacCready, CROSO’s founder and executive director.  Margy is a CROSO board member and has had a special relationship with Gabriel as they have been corresponding by email for some time.  Gabriel had gotten to know us and our family and we had learned much about his life.  We had anonymously sponsored his scholarship but Gabriel did not know that we were his sponsors.  

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A Fresh Start

Written by Molly MacCready, CROSO's Executive Director

When CROSO Scholars begin their college, university or technical school, most have found that it is a “fresh start.” With the CROSO Scholarship, they are able to focus more on their studies and each scholar has shared how important it is that they don’t have to worry about how they will cover their tuition, housing, food or supply expenses each term. When they arrive at their schools, they often find that many of their classmates come from wealthy backgrounds and have attended some of the most prestigious private secondary schools (high schools) in the country. Our scholars take great pride in the fact that they are able to compete with these classmates and that they often are acknowledged as leaders within their schools.

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Molly
Ronald: A Beacon of Hope for Uganda

Written by Randy Roberts,Written by Randy Roberts, longtime CROSO supporter who traveled to Uganda last month on a CROSO trip

Washi Ronald’s enthusiasm is contagious from the moment you meet him. And thanks to his CROSO scholarship, I believe he will be a very successful lawyer and force for change in Ugandan society in the future. CROSO’s Executive Director Molly McCready and I were able to visit him at Islamic University in Uganda (Kampala campus) during our recent trip to Uganda.

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Molly
2017 CROSO Uganda Trip

Written by Molly MacCready, CROSO's Executive Director

For a few years now, Margy Roberts (one of our long-time CROSO Board Members) and her husband, Randy Roberts, have been interested in planning a trip to Uganda. Having accepted our largest number of new scholars in July, the timing felt right to visit this fall. Thanks to a generous donation covering the flights, hotels and food expenses for me, I was able to join the Roberts on their visit to Uganda from November 1st to November 16th this year!

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Molly
What an amazing month this has been!

Our sold-out 10th Annual CROSO Benefit on October 5th set the stage for an amazing month ahead. Thanks to our awesome Annual Benefit Committee, dedicated CROSO Board members, passionate volunteers and, of course, our generous supporters, the evening was a complete success! With 200 people in the room, this was by far our largest CROSO event yet and the energy in the room was palpable. It was a room full of people excited to connect with one another and to hear new stories about the CROSO Scholars. I was honored to stand on that stage and share what an amazing impact this community of supporters has had on a group of resilient young people in Uganda. And I was humbled to stand at the back of the room as paddles were raised in continued support of these scholars. The event raised over $75,000! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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Molly
An Inside Peek: CROSO’s Annual Scholar Selection Process

Written by Elsa VanHove, CROSO Board Member and Chair of the Scholar Support Committee.

As we welcome our 2017 cohort of CROSO scholars, we wanted to provide insight into how CROSO selects our participating scholars. Many of our Scholar Selection Committee members can attest that this is rarely an easy or stress-free project, but always an uplifting and rewarding one. It is also a great way to gain an intimate knowledge of the students our organization supports, and connecting with our scholars is the best way to understand the importance of CROSO’s work.

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Molly
CROSO's Executive Director Accepts University of Dayton Alumni Award

Written by Beth Garstki Lampson, President of the CROSO Board of Directors

In the midst of all the exciting news about our CROSO Scholars, graduates, and our upcoming 10th Annual Benefit, I'd like to take a quick break and share a wonderful update about our own Executive Director and Founder, Molly MacCready. Molly was recently honored by her alma mater, the University of Dayton, by being awarded the Joe Belle Memorial Young Alumni Award.

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Messages from Uganda

Written by Molly MacCready, Executive Director

Since July 1st, I've been working for CROSO full-time and I am loving it! I have been anticipating this shift for a while and there were some things I knew would happen, but others that have really blown me away.

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Memories of Mbale

Written by Sally Ryan, CROSO Board Member
(Photos above are of CROSO Scholars Esther and Pamela with Sally in June 2016)

       It is a bit over a year since Molly and I represented CROSO by travelling to Uganda and spending time in Mbale.  Our goal was to assure that our partnership with CRO, the street children rehabilitation program, was appropriate, respectful, and coordinated as we continue to offer scholarships and training to their secondary graduates. I loved spending time playing with the children in the CRO playgrounds and communicating in person with present and future scholars. One year later, all I have to do is walk by my refrigerator where pictures are posted from the trip, and I am instantly transported back to Mbale.

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Molly
CROSO has a new Board President!

Dear CROSO Community,

     I am both excited and humbled to step into the role of interim President of CROSO. While I recognize the value of my 5 years of work as Treasurer, I have often felt that I could contribute more, and in different ways, to the growth of CROSO. Ever since I visited Uganda in 2013 and met our scholars in person, I knew that CROSO would end up a huge part of my life – and to me, stepping up to fill the role of President seems a natural next step.

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Molly