Berges Success Story:
Marian Middle School
Committed to Breaking the Cycle
Marian Middle School, founded in 1999, is a Catholic school welcoming urban adolescent girls of all backgrounds. We are committed to breaking the cycle of poverty through education. Marian fosters each student’s spiritual, academic, social, moral, emotional, and physical development from middle school through post-secondary education as a foundation for career success.
Marian focuses on real-world, authentic learning, and has begun to take the STEM world of education by storm, thanks to the Berges Family Foundation Innovation Center that opened in 2017.
“The Berges Family Foundation Innovation Center has given Marian the learning space we need to keep up with our students. Their abilities and desires for creation and application were outstripping our facility. The new space will grow with them, challenging both students and teachers to reach their full potential. Marian Girls are world-changers and we want to thank those who gave them access to the tools, resources, and experiences they need to change the world by supporting the center.” Sister Sarah Heger, Principal
Read more to learn of the major impact the Berges Family Foundation has had on our school and one young lady in particular.
STEM Careers Now Top Choices
92% of Marian Girls name a STEM-related career as one of their top career choices, including music producer, veterinarian, fashion design, architect, marine biologist, computer engineer, computer gaming, paramedic, farmer, pediatrician, plastic surgeon, photographer, zoologist, neurosurgeon, cardiac surgeon, entrepreneur, obstetrician/gynecologist, film editor, forensic psychologist, federal agent nuclear material courier, nurse, and occupational therapist, among others.
In January 2018, 19 Marian Girls competed in the Clavius Project Robotics Jamboree at St. Louis University High School. They worked in teams of two or three to complete a series of challenges and got perfect scores in 42 of the 56 challenges they attempted! With 5 as a perfect score, Marian Girls averaged a 4.7 overall on the challenges.
With credit to our new science teacher and a boost from our new innovation center, we are proud to say that the standardized test score averages of our student body recently increased in five of the six science fields tested yearly.
Student averages in four of the six fields are now above the national average. Last year, student averages in only one of the fields was above the national average. Our STEM Program and the new innovation center are allowing students to become critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, and bold innovators. We are preparing Marian Girls to be workforce ready critical thinkers and creative problem solvers with the skills to be highly employable in STEM-related careers.
Seventh-grader, Dyawna, is one of the students who switched career interests since the Berges Family Foundation Innovation Center opened in April. Prior to the Center opening, her career aspirations included becoming a hair stylist, professional track star, or basketball player. Now she says, “I want to be the first radiologist in my family.”
Her science teacher, Brittany Daugs, has seen her blossom: “Dyawna started at Marian knowing that she already has a gift for leadership and public speaking but had never really thought about how she wanted to use these skills in the future. After the Innovation Center opened last year, she was inspired to think of STEM as a career option. As a young woman of color, she knows that society does not always persuade girls into a STEM career but she is ready to break down barriers and is excited to reach her full potential.”
“Our new Innovation Center has directly impacted the daily lives of our Marian Girls. We went from a STEM room that was outdated, with one outlet and no sinks, to a truly revolutionary space. With the support of our community, we now have a room and area that is fully equipped to meet and exceed the needs of our girls! The new center opens doors, inspires creativity, and sparks ingenuity,” says science teacher, Brittany Daugs.
“The Berges Family Innovation Center is important because it helps us accomplish the things we want to do in order to be successful in life. Thank you!” CarlyRae Lewis, MMS Class of 2018
How You Can Get Involved
Aside from monetary donations in a variety of different ways, such a planned giving, matching gifts, recurring gifts, pledges, stocks, single donations by check, and online, you can also help by:
- Collecting box tops
- Using your Schnucks eScrip card when shopping
- Shopping Amazon Smile
- Shopping popular retailers online through Giving Assistant; get cash back which you can then donate
- Walter Knoll Florist will donate $2 when you choose Marian from the Lend-a-Hand pulldown at checkout
- Review us and spread the word to help stop the cycle of poverty through education
Enjoy some of our photos… more to come!