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Every December, Gayle Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, gets into the holiday spirit with a “Month of Giving,” in which she champions causes she deems worthy with transformative gifts. This year, the donations include a gift to help the Good Shepherd School launch a second location in New Orleans. The new school will be called The Gayle and Tom Benson Good Shepherd School – Giving Hope Campus.
Since 2001, the Good Shepherd School has assisted low-income urban youth to reach their potential. The school provides high-quality extended-day faith-based education year-round, and continues to support students throughout college with guidance.
The announcement of the gift went on to mention many of the achievements of the Good Shepherd School, beginning with its outstanding high school graduation success, seeing students get their diplomas at a rate of 100%. Its growing alumni community now has 239 graduates that showcases the longstanding impact the school has on the lives of its students.
College attendance is also impressively high at the Good Shepherd School, with 85% of alumni pursuing higher education, with 19 having graduated college. Furthermore, a substantial number of GSS graduates, 138, are excelling in local Catholic, private, and charter high schools.
On the New Orleans Saints website, Gayle wrote:
“Education is the key that unlocks a world of possibilities. In supporting the Good Shepherd School, my hope is to provide the children of New Orleans with not just an education, but a foundation for a future filled with promise and potential. Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive, and through a faith-based education, we can empower our young people for generations to achieve their goals.”
Thomas G. Moran, Jr., President and CEO of Good Shepherd School, hailed the donation, stating that the mission of the Good Shepherd School would not be possible to carry out without the faith-filled generosity of Mrs. Benson. He wrote:
“At a time when inner city Catholic schools are closing at an alarming rate throughout the country, Good Shepherd School is defying the odds and opening a second campus in the Desire-Florida community in conjunction with the Giving Hope Foundation.”