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Who We Are

SKJAJA People

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Piano, voice (singing), soccer 

Karen Kalafatas
Director

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Girl Scouts
piano
kick the can
ice skating

Susan Roth
Operaations

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playing school Cabbage Patch
dolls
playing with
brothers

Tabitha Gaskin
Programs Assistant

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piano
clarinet
playing with collie
help treat animals
with my vet dad

Ann Daaleman
PLAY it Forward

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school plays
biking
chorus
Barbies
swim
climb trees

Diana Hersh
PLAY it Forward

SKJAJA Board

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dance
cheerleading
summer camp

Sondra Komada
SKJAJA Clubs

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football
baseball
biking
picking plums
with my aunt

Chris Wallace

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piano lessons
Girl Scouts
summer day camp

Joan White
Co-founder

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piano
poetry recitals
singing
drawing
reading
writing stories

Michelle Watson-Grant
Secretary

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ballet & jazz
piano
cheerleading
rec softball
drawing

Charlotte Kirchgessner White – Co-founder

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John Hastings
Treasurer

SKJAJA Volunteers

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piano
poetry recitals
singing
drawing
reading
writing stories

James Grant
Applications Committee

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piano
poetry recitals
singing
drawing
reading
writing stories

Amit Pakirh
Applications Committee

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piano
singing
reading
biking

Amy Holley
Applications Committee

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playing with
brothers
summer camp
baton twirling

Gloria Sanchez
Applications Committee

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piano
poetry recitals
singing
drawing
reading
writing stories

Kathy Tyrrell
Applications Committee

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dance
cheerleading

Gracie Kirchgessner

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arts and crafts
running
biking

Jeneice Mason-Carter

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Garrison Reid

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basketball
camping
trumpet

frisbee golf

Eric White
Co-founder

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piano
poetry recitals
singing
drawing
reading
writing stories

Kathy Tyrrell
Applications Committee

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piano
poetry recitals
singing
drawing
reading
writing stories

Gracie Kirchgessner

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camping

school band

scouts

computer games

computer design

Garrison Reid

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basketball
football
camping
traveling
school band
art camp

Eric White
Co-founder

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piano
poetry recitals
singing
drawing
reading
writing stories

James Grant
Applications Committee

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piano
singing
reading
riding bike

Amy Holley
Applications Committee

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clarinet
choral camp
marching band
yearbook 
swim lessons

Amit Pakirh
Applications Committee

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playing with
brothers
summer camp
baton twirling

Gloria Sanchez
Applications Committee

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piano
poetry recitals
singing
drawing
reading
writing stories

Kathy Tyrrell
Applications Committee

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piano
poetry recitals
singing
drawing
reading
writing stories

Gracie Kirchgessner

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camping

school band

scouts

computer games

computer design

Garrison Reid

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basketball
football
camping
traveling
school band
art camp

Eric White
Co-founder

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arts and crafts 
running 
biking

Jeneice Mason-Carter
Intern

SKJAJA Board

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dance
cheerleading
summer camp

Sondra Komada
SKJAJA Clubs

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football and
baseball with friends
riding bikes
picking plums
with my aunt

Chris Wallace

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piano lessons
Girl Scout
summer day camp

Joan White
Co-founder

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piano
poetry recitals
singing
drawing
reading
writing stories

Michelle Watson-Grant
Secretary

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ballet & jazz
piano
cheerleading
rec softball

Charlotte Kirchgessner White
Co-founder, Chair

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John Hastings
Treasurer

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Founding Story (and how we got our funny name)

It all started with a love story. Once upon a time, Charlotte Kirchgessner and Eric White were students at Phillips Junior High School in Chapel Hill, NC. They soon graduated from what was the only high school in town – Chapel Hill High. Years later, they met (again), fell in love (again), married (yay!) and had two children (awwww!).

Fast forward to 2007, on Kim’s Birthday (Kim is Eric’s sister). Instead of asking for gifts, Kim gave each of her family members a gift of $100. (Pretty generous!) The catch? She asked all of them to "pay it forward" and use the money to do something kind for someone else. 

One month later, the family came together to share how each of them allocated their $100. The Whites’ children (Aja & Kai) joyfully shared how they donated their money. Aja donated art supplies to her school and Kai provided a soccer scholarship so another kid could play soccer, like him. The White kids were active, busy, and loved their extracurricular learning and experiences. 

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Kim White Glasser
Inspiration

Moved by the impact of Kim’s experiment and their own children’s response to it, the Whites decided to do more. So they created a nonprofit organization. They called it SKJAJA. The mission? Remove financial barriers and provide scholarships so all kids in Chapel Hill-Carrboro could enjoy extracurricular activities. And inspired by Kim’s Birthday experiment and the joy and lessons of “paying it forward,” they added to that mission service-learning opportunities so that all young people could enjoy the benefits of service in community. 

Then the Whites invited everyone they knew to join the effort. (If you’re one of those people, THANK YOU)! Yes, it all started with a love story – and it continues with one, thanks to the love and support of countless community members like you who have helped SKJAJA grow, year after year. 
 
As for the funny name? Birthday Kim has always used “SKJAJA” to refer to the people in her family:

Scott  • Kim  •  Josh  •  Ashley  •  Jessica  •  Adam

by the way, it's SKAH -JAH -JAH. Don’t worry. It took us a while, too.

The end. (And just the beginning!) Wanna keep the love going? Support SKJAJA today.