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Brett McCollough's Fundraiser:

Simply put, HEAF Opens Doors

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Brett McCollough


I would like to introduce you to Crissaris—proud HEAF (Harlem Educational Activities Fund) alumna, Ivy League graduate, accomplished physician, and the youngest faculty member at one of NYC’s most prestigious hospitals. The 12-year-old Dominican girl who walked through HEAF’s doors for the first time nearly 20 years ago has defied many odds—the odds that say a kid from a neighborhood riddled with crime and poverty, a kid from a single-mother immigrant household, and a kid from a public school with sky-high dropout rates doesn't have a chance. Crissaris is a first-generation college student who grew up in a loving and caring, but economically disadvantaged immigrant family in Upper Manhattan. Her mother, who held several retail jobs and worked diligently to support her children, does not speak English and wasn’t always able to help Crissaris with her homework and complex application forms for high school, college, and financial aid. But fortunately, HEAF was there to provide support. With HEAF’s help, Crissaris applied to 14 colleges and was accepted into 13 of those, including Yale College, where she matriculated and earned her B.Sc. before enrolling in medical school at Columbia University. Today, she works as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Urgent Care Centers—the only physician on staff hired directly after residency! Every day, HEAF’s students go after school and work energetically to build confidence and self-esteem, prepare for competitive academic exams, and develop the skills they need for college and life success, one step at a time. But they can’t do it alone. We need your support to help them succeed, and we ask you to make a donation to help make their dreams come true! 100% of HEAF’s students graduate high school on time, nearly 100% go on to four-year colleges, and more than 80% earn bachelor’s degrees on time. For underserved minority students, to whom higher education often seems unattainable, these are remarkable achievements. We hope we can count on your generosity! Thank you for helping our students build the bright, successful futures they deserve. Thank you, Brett PS: To learn even more about HEAF and the great work that they do, go to their website at



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