For a small group of teenage boys immigrating to Connecticut from eight different countries, attending college in the U.S. was unmapped territory. Although these adolescents thrived on the soccer field, they were in need of significant tutoring, mentoring, and extra academic enrichment before college applications could even be considered.
However, they had a goal in sight and Elm City Internationals (ECI) founder, Lauren Mednick, had the skills and resources to help them achieve it. In 2012, after 5 years of spending 24 hours a week, 11 months out of every year, practicing soccer, working on their reading and writing skills, and connecting with college coaches and admissions offices, the eldest ECI students had their college acceptance letters in-hand and looked forward to seeing their dreams come true. Unfortunately though, the organization’s scholarship fund was facing a $15,000 deficit.
Identifying the large impact this could have on the students’ lives, our firm had an idea. In response to a $100 donation request, we initiated a pledge of $7,500—asking ECI to fund raise the other $7,500—a much more obtainable goal for a small, grass roots non-profit. ECI supporters came through with the remaining necessary funds and the match was achieved! The fund enabled all of the students to afford college that year and also gave ECI the momentum gain support in years to come. In May 2016, ECI’s first cohort all obtained a college degree.
In addition, Faxon Law Group privately sponsored one of ECI's student-athletes, Andrew, a young refugee from Liberia, during his freshman and sophomore year at Sage College in Albany. In May of 2016 Andrew (pictured top left) was the first in his family to earn a college degree. He is currently employed by the State of New York helping people with disabilities.
Enriching students’ lives with the scholastic foundation that they need paired with a sport that they love is a winning combination for the hard-working participants at ECI. We at the Faxon Law Group strongly believe in the mission and Ms. Mednick's expert execution of the program. Among ECI's Board of Trustees is Faxon Law Group partner Eric Smith, proudly serving his third consecutive year.