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Mansoor Kapasi's Fundraiser:

Sending Austin Can! Academy students to the VEX Robotics World Championship, 2011

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Mansoor Kapasi


Two students on our Austin Can! Academy VEX Robotics Team have qualified for the VEX Robotics World Championship in Florida in April. Our school will fund $1500 of the roughly $3000 cost, while I'm responsible for raising the difference. So far we have raised $700 through the Austin Rotary Club and personal donations.

About the two students. One, Abigail*, lives with her mom and brother. She is one of the kindest and thoughtful students at our school. Her father was physically and emotionally abusive, and she dropped out of her previous school because she suffered from severe anxiety and depression. She enrolled in Austin Can! Academy after a few months after dropping out and is well on the road to graduation. Her mother, a wonderful woman fully dedicated to her kids, was laid off in December and has worked low-paying and short-term temp jobs since. I remember when Kim told me her mom lost her job. In her optimistic fashion, Kim said, "Mr. K, my mom just lost her job. I don't know how we'll get by, but I know everything's going to work out just fine." She's amazing.

The other student, Paul*, is a strong math student and very mechanically inclined. He grew up in a tough neighborhood and joined a gang at the age of twelve. At fourteen he ran away from home, dropped out of school, and lived with friends and on the street for six months. He sold drugs to get by. Joe enrolled in Austin Can! two years ago after recognizing he was on a path to nowhere. Now he's a very reliable student and gentle young man who takes care of his 4-year old sister every day after school. He has never traveled outside of Texas.

Both Abigail and Paul live in poverty and have overcome impressive odds to return to their path to high school graduation. Both are the kind of students that make teaching at-risk drop-out kids so fulfilling. We'd appreciate any assistance you could give.

*Names changed



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