Words of Hope

By James Ventre posted 11-16-2020 14:03


In these troubled times, I want to take a moment to share a few words of hope with you. My hope for you is that you are well, safe and healthy. If you are like most of us in admissions and financial aid, you are working differently than you ever have, and working harder than you ever have. In admissions and financial aid, while we all live with some degree of uncertainty, most of us find it challenging to do our best work, when our work environment feels unstable. My hope is that you are secure in your psychological safety and that your psychological resources — like the essence of your resilience and your storage tank of optimism — are not stretched to the limit. 

Most importantly, my hope for you is in the lessons we are learning during this extraordinary time about ourselves, about our schools, and about our students and their families, we are elevated by further insight into our sense of humanity and invited to explore a deeper loyalty to our sense of purpose in our professional capacity.  

My hope is families seeking secure footing, and our financial aid support, will discover in our schools, the way forward, with access to the strength of our resources.  

My hope for you is you have opportunities to connect with one another and locate sources of inspiration to go out and make a difference in the culture of financial aid at your school. 

My hope for you is we continue to cultivate, a tradition in financial aid at our schools which is founded on support for students in all areas of their lives. I believe that our school’s most important asset, our true endowment, is our current and future student body. By consistently delivering on the promise of financial aid support at the most comprehensive level, we are uniquely positioned to create a legacy of access to the educational experience at our schools. 

My hope is you indulge in the work ahead with the earnest belief that there is no deeper purpose to your school’s mission than a thriving financial aid program.  

My hope for you is you are submerged in a culture of understanding that, as written in many reports to the boards of trustees at our schools, financial aid holds the keys to unlock the passion of our alumni to give back to our institutions. 

My hope for you is you will be reminded of the inspiration you feel when a family sincerely and honestly opens up to you about their story—and in that moment you will see the opportunity that it doesn’t take many scholarships, it just takes one scholarship to make a difference.  

My hope for you is you see the opportunity before you. When we hope to affect change, we often look to factors outside of our schools. My hope for you is that you look inward, at this pivotal time, and consider the psychological constructs that contribute to stability within your school environment. Identifying the issues that are preventing our students and our families from feeling psychologically supported will go a long way toward helping our worthy students move forward confidently and do their best work. It starts with our own accountability.  

My hope for you is among your colleagues, you are recognized as a hero, bringing stability to an otherwise uncertain environment for families considering our schools. I hope you are known for saying, “I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves,” or that you identify with other legendary heroes who say, ”An attack against one, is an attack against all.” Or more profoundly, “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”  

My hope is you recognize that the culture of your school begins with you.

Jim Ventre
Jim Ventre
Assistant Head of School for Admission and Financial Aid
Phillips Andover