Meet 2 Sponsors
Kathy and Dan Neuzil were early supporters of LELC. Dan first learned of the preschool in a Baltimore Sun story he read when it opened in September 2017. The piece highlighted Fr. Bill Watters’ commitment to providing quality education to Baltimore’s “largely low-income, minority student population.” The couple made an appointment to meet with Fr. Watters and Erica Meadows, LELC’s director.
“We immediately bought into their vision,” Dan said. “We have always supported education and have become increasingly convinced that early education is vital.”
LELC’s focus on cura personalis, caring for the whole person, was particularly appealing to these two medical doctors. LELC’s mission “to address the holistic development of children: their physical, spir- itual, emotional, cognitive, social, behavioral, and cultural growth” resonated with them. Kathy is a world leader in vaccine research and policy and directs the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; Dan is a vascular surgeon and director of vascular surgery programs at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Hanover and Memorial hospitals in southern Pennsylvania.
The two knew well the Jesuit principles and values, central to LELC, of personal care, learning and spiritual growth. Their daughter attended a Jesuit school through 8th grade and their sons attended through high school. They believe their now-grown children benefited from the holistic approaches of their Jesuit schools. After touring LELC, Kathy and Dan decided to offer a quality Jesuit pre-school education to one of Baltimore’s underserved families by sponsoring a child’s three-year full scholarship.
The Neuzils remain very pleased by their association with LELC.
“The staff are extremely dedicated, and their love and care for the children is obvious in every interaction,” Kathy said. “The parents/ caregivers of the children are full partners in the process. They need to buy into the mission and make a lot of sacrifices to gain this opportunity for their children.”
Dan said he and Kathy “feel very included at LELC.”
“We are invited to the Christmas show and are encouraged to visit when we are able,” Kathy said. In fact, she visited last year to work with the children on hand hygiene.
Kathy said that she and Dan believe that early childhood education is absolutely critical.
“We know that financially disadvantaged children are behind by the time they reach kindergarten,” she said. “We are concerned that this pandemic has further exposed the disparities in our community, and low-income children are disproportionately affected, both medically and developmentally.”
Among many other initiatives, LELC addresses students’ kindergarten readiness and holistic development in partnership with the Loyola University Clinical Centers, which sends graduate students and professors to provide hearing and speech evaluations and pre-literacy early intervention.
The Neuzils share the good work happening at LELC with family and friends.
“Our children in particular were very excited that we were supporting a child in this way,” Kathy said. “We are empty nesters now, so we have children’s artwork and pictures from LELC on our refrigerator. Those are good advertisements!”