Roman Catholic High School has received an EITC/OSTC commitment of $1 Million from Mr. Matt Gardner, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Patriot Growth Insurance Services, LLC, a national insurance distribution firm headquartered in Ft. Washington, PA. This is the largest EITC /OSTC gift in the school's history and will benefit as many as 400 current and future Roman students. Mr. Gardner, a 1983 graduate of the school, offered these funds in loving memory of his brother Chris Gardner '77 to provide tuition assistance to low- and moderate-income families whose school of choice for their son is RCHS.
"My four years at Roman helped make me the person I am today, and I still draw each day on what I learned there in the classroom, in Student Government, and on the football field," Gardner remarked. "Education is the key to an independent and prosperous future, and I'm pleased that these funds will help many Philadelphia-area young men enroll in a rigorous, faith-based college preparatory program."
"Matt's generosity is truly overwhelming." said Reverend Joseph W. Bongard, President/Rector of RCHS. "By his commitment, Matt is providing educational opportunities to present and future students who would otherwise be consigned to failing schools. We are honored to receive such a commitment and welcome the positive impact this gift will have on our student body."
Philanthropy and community engagement are hallmarks of Gardner's career. He previously served on the Board of John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School and served with distinction on the Board of The Philadelphia Hero Scholarship Fund, established to support the children of Philadelphia Police Officers and Firefighters disabled or killed in the line of duty; Gardner himself was a recipient of college tuition assistance from the Hero Scholarship Fund. Gardner has also served on the Board of the Philadelphia Children's Advocacy Center, providing vital services to the city's most vulnerable children. Finally, he has been active with the non-profit Bridges to Community, traveling extensively in Central America leading groups that provide economic and capacity-building support to deeply impoverished areas.
Gardner holds a B.S. in Finance from Drexel University in Philadelphia, and an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. He resides in Erdenheim, PA and Stone Harbor, NJ with his wife Kelley and their sons Reilly and Alexander.
About the EITC/OSTC program: The Educational Improvement Tax Credit and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit programs in Pennsylvania allow individuals and businesses to receive tax credits for redirecting their state tax liabilities to provide scholarship and financial assistance to students in need attending tuition-based schools.
About Roman Catholic High School: Founded by Thomas E. Cahill in 1890 as the first Diocesan Catholic high school in the nation, Roman Catholic continues its tradition of excellence as it strives to offer a comprehensive academic curriculum within a disciplined Catholic environment. Enriched by its cultural, racial, and religious diversity, Roman Catholic provides a community where each young man can learn to appreciate and respect the uniqueness of others, while becoming a man of personal integrity. Roman Catholic High School strives to bring the Gospel values of Jesus Christ to its students, while forming a Catholic community which embodies the Christian spirit of service to all.