Many significant things in life begin with an invitation.
When a cute guy invited me on a date to Hershey Park, the sweetest place on earth, I said YES. Our love story began. Five years later that guy invited me to marry him and I said YES. We’ve spent thirty-three years creating our life story, which has included many invitations to participate in exciting opportunities.
Earlier this year a friend invited me to a gala to support Attollo. “A-what?” I thought to myself. I had never heard of Attollo, but I never pass up the opportunity to bedazzle myself and attend a social event. Friends, food, and fancy clothes are practically my love language. So, I said YES.
I’m glad I went. What I learned was phenomenal.
Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do
After getting into trouble in middle school, Jordan Steffy was introduced to a mentor who had very high expectations for him and who held him accountable to exceptional standards. He encouraged Jordan to work hard in school, on the athletic field, and on the basketball court. Those efforts landed Jordan a football scholarship to the University of Maryland, something he never dreamed would be a reality for him. As his mentor dropped him off for the start of his first semester, Jordan was overwhelmed with gratitude. He did know how to thank his mentor for basically saving his life.
You can’t pay it back… so you have to pay it forward, his mentor told him.
Those words stuck with Jordan. It was an invitation to take what had been given to him and give it away to others. Jordan said YES.
He is now the founder & CEO of Attollo, which is Latin for Rise Up. The organization holds true to its name. Located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Attollo is an intense college prep/leadership program of the Children Deserve a Chance Foundation, whose mission is to support success-oriented youth from primarily underrepresented communities in their pursuit of academic achievement, empowerment, and social engagement.
Based on the belief that Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do, Attollo scholars receive the kind of mentorship Jordan was given. Additionally, they have all the resources necessary to become leaders at their schools and within their communities. Each student who graduates from Attollo receives the same message to pay it forward. The purpose of the organization is not only to help individual students Rise Up but also to help the community Rise Up. They are investing in students who will be the leaders of tomorrow. Armed with the desire to work hard and the leadership principals to make changes happen; Attollo scholars understand, “You can’t pay it back… so you have to pay it forward.”
At the center of Attollo is the Rubik’s Cube, because it is a puzzle stigmatic for geniuses and it is devoid of any subjectivity. Attollo scholars learn to solve the cube in 1½ minutes. Conquering the impossible starts by simply making moves.
Attollo By The Numbers
12 schools districts
550 mentoring hours per student
84% of Attollo scholars are first generation
82% of Attollo scholars are of color
110 PT average increase on SAT
$5.1 million in scholarships awarded to Attollo students
95% of Attollo scholars are accepted to and attend a college or university
5% enter the military
82% of Attollo alumni are on track to finish post-secondary degrees
Current Attollo graduates are attending excellent institutions including Penn State, Ohio State, Princeton, Amherst, and Drexel.
Because I said Yes to the invitation to attend the Attollo gala, I discovered an exceptional organization in my community that influences and develops change agents and leaders who act as catalysts for transformation. Never did I expect that I’d write out a check that night, but I did. I believe in everything Attollo does. Children, indeed, deserve a chance.
It costs $2,500 to support one Attollo student per year. How many students can we support as Beth Rudy Consulting continues to grow? What if, together, we can support an entire class for an entire year? When you invite me to train, speak, coach, or consult at your organization a percentage of your dollars are donated to organizations like Attollo. I’d also invite you to explore your own opportunity to support the good work of Attollo. If someone has poured into your life, remember–“You can’t pay it back… so you have to pay it forward.”