Editorial: Sometimes asking for help is the hardest thing about getting it

After stories about those financially struggling in town, many reached out with offers of help

In parts one and two of a story by high school senior Claire Borecki of the challenges of the “not so wealthy” students in wealthy town, several in town reached out with ways these students can seek assistance.

Ali Ramsteck, assistant director of Darien Human Services, said her department and the schools do have resources to help students and families in need.

She said she hopes that this information becomes common knowledge and noted that any of the matters brought to them or the schools remain “strictly confidential.”

The Department of Human Services can be reached at 203-656-7494.

The Darien YMCA provides financial assistance for memberships, sports programs and camps for local families on a confidential basis. Those who have questions may call Amy Kiser at 203-655-8228, ext.1358. Nancy Sweeney is office manager in charge of financial assistance regarding programs. She can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 203-655-8228, ext. 1304.

The Darien Community Association is the largest provider of scholarships to DHS graduates — with funding for both new and returning college students — and is the only scholarship program offering recipients the opportunity to re-apply for all four years of college.  The DCA awarded a total of $51,000 in 2016.  Over the past 75 years, the DCA has awarded over $2 million in scholarship funding to more than 1300 DHS graduates.

Scholarships are based on both merit and need, and funded by a wide range of DCA programs — from the Thrift Shop to the Academic Lecture Series to house rentals — and with the support of donations.

For more information, go to [email protected].

These are just some ways the community offers help for students in need. If a student or family needs help trying to make a child’s passion a reality — whether it be art, dance, sports or theater — it doesn’t hurt to ask. The response to Claire’s article proves that the depth of Darien’s generosity and compassion runs deep.

Asking for help might be the hardest part about getting it.


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