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Meet Nick Burchfield of Carlsbad Educational Foundation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Burchfield.

Nick, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
The Carlsbad Educational Foundation: Supporting Carlsbad Students for over 30 Years.

With 33 years of history and a record of fiscal stability, Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF) has strengthened our community by investing over $8 million in programs and resources for Carlsbad students. The Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD) enrolls 11,000 students in fourteen K-12 schools in Carlsbad, California. Despite recently publicized changes to state funding for schools in California, CUSD remains in the bottom five school districts (of 42) for per pupil funding in San Diego County. Our students need more than pubic funding can provide.

Guided by our strategic plan, CEF focuses its efforts in three primary impact areas: hands-on science, district-wide music, and educational innovation. Research, local teachers, administrators, parents and the community support these impact areas as enhancements that can make life-changing differences for our students. In 2016-2017, with a board of directors of 16 local business leaders, academic professionals and community members leading the way, CEF:

*Funded weekly core music classes for 5,000 CUSD elementary students;
*Supported the development of Project Lead the Way “STEM Street” for 1,200 students in grades K-12 — a comprehensive science, technology, engineering and math curriculum;
* Supported FIRST Robotics Programs for students in grades 4-12;
* Funded Science Olympiad programs for middle and high school students;
* Provided science lab equipment and consumables for 6,100 students in grades 6-12 through our Supercharge Program; and
* Supported district-wide student participation in a variety of outstanding local programs including Junior Achievement’s BizTown (for fifth graders), the LUX Art Institute’s Valise Project (for sixth graders), and the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation’s Academy for Environmental Stewardship (for third graders).

CEF’s overarching goal is to promote student achievement of educational excellence in the CUSD, which includes graduating students who can thrive in a high-tech environment, think critically and communicate and collaborate effectively. In order to achieve these goals, CEF:

  • Funds, develops and evaluates impact-oriented, well-defined, and district-wide programs that enhance the overall educational achievement of all CUSD students;
  • Develops and maintains resources with an emphasis on diverse and sustainable revenue;
  • Strives to promote broader awareness and recognition of CEF as a leader in Carlsbad through targeted branding and marketing efforts; and
  • Upholds a highly accountable and efficient set of business operations.

CEF is fortunate to have a stable, growing and diverse set of revenue sources – both earned and contributed, which support a variety of programs. CEF operates a number of fee-based programs for CUSD students, including Kids’ Care (before- and after-school care for K-5 students), after-school Enrichment (for K-5 students), S.O.A.R. (after school leadership program for middle school) CEF Summer Enrichment (for K-8 students), and CEF High School Summer Academy. With the base of funds provided by these earned income programs, CEF is able to direct 100% of the donations raised through foundation and corporate support to the various programs we know make a difference in Carlsbad students’ education.

On an ongoing basis, CEF is also working to cultivate new major donors, expand our annual campaign, grow event revenue and continue to develop new relationships with institutional donors.

Has it been a smooth road?
CEF has been through various stages of growth in our 33 year history. Starting as a volunteer organization and building over the years into a more fully staffed non-profit organization with a CEO, a team of Board Members, fundraising staff and other key employees. This type of consistent growth comes with a variety of complications, but nothing too difficult has occurred over our history that would constitute a “struggle”.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Carlsbad Educational Foundation – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides private support for public education programs throughout the Carlsbad Unified School District. Since its founding in 1983, CEF has invested over $6 million in programs for CUSD students.

CEF is the only organization in Carlsbad charged with raising district-wide support for every school and student in our elementary, middle and high schools.

CEF’s impact on CUSD students and our community is unmistakable.

Every day, thousands of students are participating in CEF-funded programs. Every week, individual, corporate and foundation contributors are supporting CEF’s mission. Every month, CEF is engaged in activities at our schools and events throughout the community to raise support for vital programs. And every year, CEF continues to grow with new and expanded educational programs that impact and empower local student

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
The City of Carlsbad is a wonderful place to do business. Our supporters are incredible, and there is a true sense of community here. Because we advocate for all Carlsbad Unified Public School District students, our city is incredibly giving and supportive of our mission.

At the same time, in such a wonderful community such as Carlsbad, there is a bit of a misconception that Carlsbad is full of wealth families. This is simply not true and the programs we offer benefit many underprivileged children in our town. Several of our schools receive Title 1 funds from the government, because of the demographics of the students.

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