Divine Savior Holy Angels (DSHA) High School has received a $2 million gift aimed at expanding an existing scholarship program for high-achieving students of color who would like to attend DSHA and would not be able to do so without significant financial support.

“This extremely generous, $2 million donation is the largest endowed scholarship gift in the 129-year history of DSHA,” said Board Chair Andy Lampereur. “It comes from a family whose daughter is an alumna of DSHA. They have asked to remain anonymous, and we will, of course, respect their request.”

Lampereur said the gift will be used to expand DSHA’s Beacon Scholarship program, which provides full, four-year financial support to recipients and combines mandatory academic achievement standards with requirements for co-curricular involvement for program participants. The goal of this program is for these talented young women to serve as beacons for their peers in high school, as esteemed, successful graduates of their elementary schools, and as leaders in their communities, he added.

“We are overwhelmed by the philanthropy and generosity of this wonderful family. This extraordinary gift will allow us to significantly increase the support we offer to both incoming and current students of color,” said Katie Konieczny, president of DSHA. “We are most grateful for this incredible support of DSHA and our efforts to offer a DSHA education to more young women in Milwaukee as we continue on our journey to create an environment where each and every student feels a full sense of belonging.”

Dan Quesnell, principal of the school, said that while the Beacon Scholarship Program is relatively new, it already has started to show positive results. Quesnell noted that one of the DSHA’s first Beacon Scholar graduates, Laetitia Faye, is headed to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in the fall to study human development, public health sciences and pre-med.

“Being a Beacon Scholar has meant being a role model for other girls in my community; to show what it means to go to a college-prep school and thrive – to be leaders in the classroom and in clubs and on teams; to help others find something they are passionate about,” Faye said. “This gift is going to do so much – it is even bigger than what we can see right now. This incredible gift will give young women at DSHA a passion and a purpose even beyond high school. I’m so appreciative that other girls will have the same experience I have had to take advantage of every opportunity in such a supportive environment.”

“In fall, when the girls return, nearly 40 percent of the incoming freshman class will be made up of students of color,” said Quesnell, “and the expanded Beacon Scholarship program comes at a perfect time. This is an incredibly generous gift, and on behalf of the entire DSHA leadership and board, we are most grateful for this blessing.”

“The past school year was like no other, and after catching our breath, the Divine Savior Holy Angels leadership team, Board, and staff are already starting to prepare for the fall semester,” said Konieczny. “While the early work has begun, this remarkable development will have a major and long-lasting impact on Divine Savior Holy Angels as the leading, all-girls, Catholic high school in the metro Milwaukee, and we are most grateful that this family has shared its treasure with the school. It’s a blessing, indeed.”