Last Updated on August 9, 2023 by Luke Feldbrugge
The Pendergast Elementary Community Foundation is located in Phoenix, AZ and is committed to inspire, promote and support extracurricular programs, charitable health and wellness services, financial assistance and scholarship programs for students and teachers. The foundation has contributed over $200,000 in scholarships to aspiring teachers at the iTeachAZ program at ASU Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.
Pendergast Foundation Interview with Jay Flynn
The Homes for Heroes Foundation awarded the Pendergast Foundation a $10,000 hero grant to provide support for their Teacher Transition Stipend and Professional Development scholarships.
Jay Flynn, Hero Outreach Coordinator with Homes for Heroes, speaks with Dr. Roger Juarez, President of the Pendergast Foundation, and Pendergast Teacher Transition Stipend recipient, Alyssa Wigton. In addition, Laura Roman, Homes for Heroes real estate specialist, also joined the conversation. Laura nominated the Pendergast Elementary Community Foundation for the Homes for Heroes Foundation grant.
You can watch the full interview here or read the transcript of the interview below.
Jay: Hello. Thanks for joining us today. I’m Jay Foley and hero outreach coordinator with the Homes for Heroes Foundation. And today, I’m joined by Dr. Roger Juarez. He’s the president of the Pendergast Foundation, along with Laura Roman, our Homes for Heroes real estate specialist. We’re also honored to be joined by our teaching hero, Alyssa Wickham. Welcome, everyone.
Thank you guys, for joining us today. It’s my honor to be with you. As part of the Homes for Heroes Circle of Giving, the Homes for Heroes Foundation provides grants to nonprofits whose missions are to help our heroes in dire need.
Dr. Juarez, Laura and I are so happy to present this August 2023, $10,000 Homes for Heroes Foundation Grant to the Pendergast Foundation. Congratulations!
So let’s take a few minutes to talk about the Pendergast Foundation and its mission of service. Dr. Juarez, first, can you tell us about how the Pendergast Foundation came to be?
Dr. Juarez: So the Pendergast Foundation has been around for roughly 15 years or so. It started with the previous Superintendent. I joined the foundation about five or six years ago as a member and then eventually became the president. And I’ve had the honor of being president for the last three years, and I’m going on four now.
The foundation has three main pillars we would like to address in the Pendergast community.
Help teachers during the transition period of becoming a teacher. For example, graduating college students, coming into the teaching profession. We have a scholarship we call a Transition Stipend that helps with the transition process. The scholarship helps to attract new teacher talent to Arizona and stay within the local districts.
It also helps to better define the annual situation of that teacher, so they’re in a better position to purchase a home or an apartment, and lower their total cost of entry into the teaching profession from a financial standpoint. That’s the main idea behind this scholarship.
Another way we help teachers is by assisting teachers already in the district. Let’s say they want to do some professional improvement. For example, a teacher that may want to get a certificate, or a masters degree. This is another way that we help.
So, pillar #1 is to help either newly graduating teachers, or teachers that are already in the district. It’s about helping teachers get better, or giving them access to better their own techniques. So that’s one of the pillars that we do.
The other two pillars are a little different.
One of them is community based. We’d like to bring the school districts together with the community. And the way we do that is by sponsoring one of the most fun events that I really love, which is called the Color Run.
If you can imagine 2,000-3,000 kids running a maze with white shirts and a bunch of volunteers throwing colored dye at them, the whole idea is to get the shirts as colorful as humanly possible. At the end of the maze, we usually have the firefighters come out, they douse everybody with water, and we end up with a color muddy mess. And, it’s a lot of fun.
The PTA gets involved quite a bit. Each school gets involved. And the idea is to sort of bring the teachers, the parents, everybody together at one huge event, and get that connection going between the teachers, parents, students and the administration. It’s more of a personal fun way, let’s say, versus your standard teacher parent thing that a lot of schools do.
The last item we’d like to help with is healthcare activities. So if there’s a need for either kids, teachers, or staff of Pendergast that’s related to either the eye field, dental field or medical procedures; we plug them into the right process. Or, we’ll put in some financial assistance towards these medical procedures.
These are the three main pillars that we take care of at the Pendergast Foundation.
Jay: Awesome. Awesome. Sounds like you guys have a lot going on. So, Laura, I know that you have a passion for our educators and our teachers. Can you tell us why you felt led to nominate the Pendergast Foundation for this Homes for Heroes Foundation grant?
Laura: Yes. Thank you so much for all of this, Jay. I’m so excited to be here and this is actually my second school year working with the Pendergast School district. The relationship started very organically through a lot of the work that I do locally through the Glendale, AZ Chamber of Commerce. And so last year we took on some campus beautification projects.
Over the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Superintendent, with Dr. Cruz, with Dr. Mar, with all of the district staff, and just to see their passion for the teachers, their goals to improve every aspect of the teachers’ day to day lives was just really inspiring. Now we have a partnership with the school district, and I’m really excited to continue moving forward, showing our love and appreciation for our teachers in a way that makes a meaningful and long lasting impact.
I thought with what the foundation is doing, it doesn’t get any better than that at impacting our teachers’ lives. And then just continuing our partnership with the school district and helping in any way that we can.
Jay: That’s awesome. So, Dr. Juarez, you talked about the pillars of the Pendergast Foundation and the things that you guys do. So tell us how you plan to use these grant funds to support our teacher heroes.
Dr. Juarez: Well, we would love to use the funds to recognize a graduating student teacher that’s coming into the district. We will follow the same process to help this individual get financially stable and get a foot into the school district, so we can keep them here for a really long time.
Jay: That’s awesome. Laura I know you will agree, that’s a perfect fit for Homes for Heroes, the Homes for Heroes Foundation and our mission to thank every hero in the nation.
So, Alyssa, thank you for joining us. I understand you are a recipient of the Pendergast Transition Stipend Scholarship. So tell us how the Pendergast Foundation’s support has impacted your life.
Alyssa: It’s only impacted my life, work, and outside of work. With the funds that I get every year, and the support that I get from the foundation, allows me to provide more supplies for my classroom and helps to support my students needs a little bit more than the average amount I receive from the district or from my school. It really does help with the littles in my first grade classroom. It also helps with my student loans and different things I have in my personal life.
Jay: Awesome. We’re so excited to be able to support the Pendergast foundation, hearing the great work they’re doing, and helping support teachers just like you.
So, Dr. Juarez, wow. Everything you guys are doing at the Pendergast Foundation is truly making a difference in teachers’ lives.
So if our viewers wanted to learn more about you guys, where can they go to learn?
Dr. Juarez: Thank you. It’s the Pendergast Foundation. I want to say thank you guys for the recognition, as it were, very humbled. And, thank you Alyssa for taking a little time off your busy day. I know you’re getting ready for your class. Thank you for sharing a little bit of your story and how this has made a difference for you in your life.
Jay: Absolutely. And we’ll have links to the Pendergast Foundation’s web page, and also to the donate link for everyone to use.
You guys are a wonderful nonprofit supporting our teaching heroes in the Phoenix area. And, I want to thank you guys so much for taking the time to join me today.
Homes for Heroes Circle of Giving
Grants from the Homes for Heroes Foundation are made possible by the Homes for Heroes Circle of Giving and its network of real estate and mortgage professionals. Homes for Heroes, Inc. is committed to providing savings to community heroes; such as firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, military (active duty, reserves and veterans), healthcare professionals and teachers.
To expand its Circle of Giving, Homes for Heroes, Inc., donates a portion of its earnings to the Homes for Heroes Foundation. So, every time a hero buys or sells a home using the Homes for Heroes program, they are helping other heroes across the country facing a housing crisis or who are in need of urgent financial assistance.
If you are interested in learning more about how Homes for Heroes can guide you through the home buying, selling or refinancing process AND save you an average of $3,000 after closing, simply sign up to speak with a member of their team. They will follow up with you to answer all of your questions. When you tell them you’re feeling ready to speak with their local specialists in your area about home buying, selling, or refinancing, they will connect you with their local specialists to begin the process.
Simply visit the Homes for Heroes Foundation page if you’re interested in learning more about where it has awarded recent grants to hero organizations throughout the country, how much they’ve awarded to date, and how it all works.
If you’re interested in supporting and donating to the Homes for Heroes Foundation to assist heroes in need, please visit their donation page to submit your contribution via PayPal. And, thank you for your interest and support.
Thank you for watching another Homes for Heroes Foundation grant video about the impact it is making nationally and in local hero communities, along with hero supporting nonprofits who use the grant dollars they receive to assist the heroes they serve.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Homes for Heroes YouTube channel to get notified of the new hero grants awarded by the Homes for Heroes foundation.