No culture of victimhood

What can you do to help ICS? Comment posters have been asking. There is more to ICS than a never-ending litany of "gimme-gimme-gimme." We give as good as we get. Let me explain ...[Today's blog is by ICS principal Laurent Ditmann.]

What can you do to help ICS? Comment posters have been asking. There is more to ICS than a never-ending litany of "gimme-gimme-gimme." We give as good as we get. Let me explain ...[Today's blog is by ICS principal Laurent Ditmann.] Yes, we need outside help - operational resources to support ourselves. What organization doesn't? Let me make it clear: if you want to go straight to our web page and click on that "Donate Now" button, we welcome it.

But you can also help by giving us resources that are not necessarily financial. Some of our operational and logistical needs are indeed acute. We have three or four kids to a computer - when the computers work. Strategically, more than cash, we need a plan for technology that can be developed and supported by a possible corporate partner.

But I don't want to give anyone the sense that we're desperate. Sometimes in the struggle to stay afloat financially, non-profits like ICS can develop a culture of scarcity, precariousness, and victimhood.

ICS, however, is not a flimsy utopia threatened by the outside world. Indeed, we're a microcosm of this nation's larger educational challenge with immigrants as well as native-born children. We're part of this society, a thriving institution where students flourish. We want to give back as a research institution: finding solutions that other schools and communities can use as resources; we can help train other organizations on complex cross-cultural issues; we can add value to public education at a time when cynics just believe that the whole system is fit to be scrapped.

With more resources, we could do even better at showing the world how the game is played. We need not only financial donations, but also the recognition that we have a viable, productive, and sustainable community-building model to share with the rest of the world. We need to go past the "handout-and-hand-me-down" stage because our kids, your kids, all kids deserve the best there is.

If you give to us, don't think of it simply as a tax-deductible donation. Think of it as an investment in the future of this nation. Come build with us.

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