Steve Larson Project YESS
Steve Larson joined the ranks of ICSF's Project YESS Leadership Committee in 1998
just after it was founded to help fund capital improvements in inner-city schools. Ten
years later, Steve still remains dedicated and loyal to the initiative. He remembers his
introduction to the program as being the "perfect convergence of events." He was
seeking a philanthropic and volunteer opportunity in New York focused on providing
educational opportunities for children; he is the product of the Catholic school system in
Chicago; and his colleague, Mark Rossi, ICSF Board Member, asked if he would be
interested in joining the group. With Steve's help and guidance, the YESS Group has
since raised over $2.8 million, of which 100% has gone to support capital improvements
in over 110 schools.
Steve enjoys putting his efforts towards ICSF schools because he explains, "It is a great
formula. At ICSF schools, the parents and the teachers are on the same side. It is about
the overall success of the student and there is an agreement that hard work and structure
encourages success." Steve recently visited Immaculate Conception school on 151st
street in the Bronx to evaluate a proposed project that the school had applied to Project
YESS to fund. During the visit, Steve had the opportunity to witness the profound
impact an ICSF school can have on the communities and the families that reside in them.
The public school next store was behind barbed wire, and had a criminal incident where a
student was hurt not even a month before the visit. "These are the same students from the
same poor communities. Our students are sitting at their desks dreaming about what they
will become when they grow up. It is important to me that I am supporting this project in
every way I can," Steve explains.
Steve is always thinking of ways to enhance the lives of our students. He provides
sporting tickets to the high schools constantly, sending students to see the Yankees, Mets
and the Knicks. Last spring, Steve sent a group from Cardinal Hayes High School in the
Bronx to see the Mets play the Yankees at Shea Stadium. Father Joseph Tierney,
President of Cardinal Hayes High School explains, "Our boys truly appreciate anyone
that extends his or her generosity. We are blessed to have Steve Larson in our corner."
ICSF would like to thank Steve Larson for his longstanding and dedicated support to our
inner-city schools and the students who attend them.