“Our area is rich with exciting programs and extracurricular activities however many of these programs are not able to offer scholarships for those with financial need. Prior to the founding of the SKJAJA Fund, participation in many of these activities was not possible for children with limited financial resources.”
— Angela Snider
Morris Grove Elementary School Social Worker
"I think SKJAJA is one of the greatest assets about being in a community like Chapel Hill. Because of SKJAJA's mission, our most vulnerable children are able to experience music, sports, and the arts in ways they would never otherwise be able to. It has been my honor and pleasure to work with them over the years."
— Bill Melega
Chapel Hill High School Teacher
“The trip that SKJAJA enabled me to attend was amazing, but the journey SKJAJA has taken me on has been even more transformative. The impact of SKJAJA’s funding doesn’t end at the lesson or trip, but continues on, fostering a “pay it forward” mentality inside each recipient. Service used to just be a requirement for high school to me, but SKJAJA has shown me how it can change lives.”
– Amit Parikh
former SKJAJA Kid & SKJAJA Club Vice President, Chapel Hill High School Graduate, 2019
"With the help of SKJAJA, kids receive the funding to take part in activities that will teach them valuable lessons. I want to make sure that nothing stops kids in our community from doing what they love. And that's why I SKJAJA."
— Molly Zimmerman
SKJAJA Club, 2018-21, Chapel Hill High School Graduate, 2021
"One of the ideas that makes SKJAJA stand out is the concept of "paying it forward." Asking students and families to engage with the community develops a sense of pride and instills the importance of giving back. Students and families are able to see the positive impact they can have on individuals and the community at large."
— Candace Norwood
Northside Elementary School Social Worker
"SKJAJA has been an integral part of ensuring that our arts programs are accessible to all students, regardless of how families may be impacted by their income. They have partnered with us to provide opportunities for students to sing at Carnegie Hall, provided instruments for orchestra and band students in need as well as much more along the way. They are a valuable partner who work with us to find creative solutions to problems that we may not be able to tackle at the school level."
— Bob Bales
McDougle Middle School Principal
SKJAJA has earned a place in the heart and soul of CHCCS!
— Stefanie Mazva-Cohen
Culbreth Middle School Social Worker
"SKJAJA clubs allow our students to not only fundraise to support the Fund, but also spend time helping our community grow. They mentor younger students, participate in outdoor cleanup days, and organize opportunities for SKJAJA Fund recipients to give back. It has been an honor working with these students, as well as the SKJAJA family, who care so deeply about our district!"
— Clare Matusevich
SKJAJA Club Advisor & Chapel Hill High School Teacher
"SKJAJA is a true gift to our community. Providing local students the opportunity to participate in activities that are financially beyond their reach is a gift. Providing our high school students an opportunity to learn how to respectfully support their peers a is a gift. SKJAJA is, in a word, a gift."
— Christine Cotton
PORCH Founder & former Chapel Hill High School PTSA Vice President
"Thank you and the SKAJAJA fund for providing the Spring 2018 grant for Matthew's cello lessons. I am very pleased with his progress, and also in his mature and conﬁdent playing. This is a crucial time at this age for young men, and I am so grateful that Matthew has the opportunity that can give him something he loves which can carry on for his lifetime."
— Jane Salemson
"I think of SKJAJA as an aquifer for the growth of students within our community. Like the aquifer, the resources they offer leads to incredible development and engagement in many ways not immediately visible. The impact SKJAJA has on the families and communities is beyond the specific grant recipients, and it contributes to a positive, supporting culture in the district."
— Garrison Reid
SKJAJA Fund Volunteer & Chapel Hill High School Teacher
"The SKJAJA application is succinct and smartly uses eligibility for other community programs to gauge need for their support. I personally love this model because it prevents a family from having to prove over and over again that they are indeed low income. It is a program that provides financial support in a dignified manner. We love and support SKJAJA always!"
— Meagan Clawer
Refuge Community Partnership, Director of Community Initiatives
"SKJAJA has provided several AVID students with opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities that normally would be impossible. The exposure to the various extracurricular activities supported AVID's efforts in making our students not just academically prepared, but well-rounded individuals as well."
— Joanne McClelland
Chapel Hill High School Teacher
"SKJAJA is every student’s #1 fan. It says...I’m in your corner, I’ll help you with your dreams, I’ll be there when you succeed and I’ll teach you the value of giving back. When all else fails, SKJAJA is a resource students can turn to."
— Mary Jones,
Chapel Hill High School Teacher, retired
"When I first joined (the SKJAJA Club) my freshman year, I never imagined the impact it would have on my life. Involving people of diverse backgrounds allows our community service projects to reach a broader group of people and gives an equal opportunity to so many groups of students to get involved in a great cause. My high school experience would have been much less fulfilling without being a part of this club.”
— Jessica Kim,
SKJAJA Club Secretary, Chapel Hill High School Graduate, 2019
"For students in need, there are numerous resources that provide support in regards to meeting their basic academic, social and emotional needs. However, there are few organizations that allow these students to reflect upon their wants and desires....their passions....That is the gap that SKJAJA fills. When students have their basic needs met, they feel supported; when they have the opportunity to pursue their passions outside the classroom they feel inspired!"
— Jessica Wallace, M.Ed., NBCT
Chapel Hill High School Counselor
"SKJAJA continues to be one of the best programs out there and part of what makes Chapel Hill so great!"
— Kristen Venema
Ephesus Elementary School Counselor
Thank you for helping me go on my beach field trip. I am excited!
SKJAJA Kid & Elementary School Student
"SKJAJA has been a prime resource for kids that have always been inspired to be like their classmates who can afford extracurricular activities. They hear kids talk about ballet, music classes, dance classes, trips to special places - some are from low income families and could not afford this for their children. Their kids could only dream this thing. Parents cry because of the things kids are doing now, and it could not be possible if SKJAJA did not exist."
— Mariela Hernandez
Family Success Alliance Navigator