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Alumni-led organization vying to keep Rosati-Kain open through nonprofit status

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) — A month after college students, employees, college and alumnae have been rocked by the Archdiocese of St. Louis plans to shut Rosati-Kain High School, members of the college neighborhood have mobilized for change.

“It took us all a minute to be shocked, but in true Rosati Girl fashion, we got up, dusted off and got to work,” stated Cynthia Goudy.

Goudy is the Chair of the RK Forever Steering Committee. RK Forever is an organization of 500 alumni, mother and father and neighborhood leaders fashioned within the days following the Archdiocese’s announcement.

The group has since labored to develop a number of situations and options for retaining Rosati-Cain open whatever the Archdiocese. The organization is split into seven working teams that cope with issues like finance, fundraising and the institution of a brand new board.

“We’re in the process of filing our 501(c)(3) status, we’ve filed the charter, we’ve drafted a tentative charter. We have developed financial models for five years. We made strategic five-year, one-year, three-year plans. We have outlined and accomplished so much,” Goudy said.

By filing 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, the organization will be able to accept donations to establish Rosati-Kain Academy, an independent Catholic girls’ school.

“Last week we submitted our application to the Archdiocese for the Archbishop’s Blessing. That was sort of the first step. We already had some ongoing conversations with them yesterday and we’re both encouraged by the way it looks,” Goudy said. “Every school in the St. Louis area under his jurisdiction must ask for his blessing to open a new school. It doesn’t matter if you’re archdiocesan. It doesn’t matter if you are a school of another organization, a brother organization, a sister organization, you still have to ask for his blessing to operate.”

Goudy says she can not go into element about what was mentioned in these calls, however she tells News 4 if the archdiocese doesn’t give the college its blessing to proceed working as a non-profit organization at its Central West End constructing, it’s RK Forever Advance planning of different options that will contain off-site operations.

Goudy says they’re giving the archdiocese till November 15 to resolve.

“Our students must list Rosati-Kain in their application by November 13th. In fact, we have contacted and are in communication with all other girls’ schools to not penalize the girls who put Rosati-Cain first and to ensure that we have room for them when Rosati-Cain no longer exists.” said Goudy. “We are prepared for any scenario they might say.”

However, they are confident that RK Forever will achieve its goal of keeping the school’s legacy going.

“This school is not going anywhere,” said Michelle Martin Bonner, who is a member of the RK Forever Committee and an alumni of the institution. “And what Rosati-Cain women do is we go out into the world to make a difference, and that’s what Rosati-Cain did for all of us.”

RK Forever is also working to establish a board of up to 15 people for the opening of the Rosati-Kain Academy.

“Not just alumni, but people in the community who will help us run an effective and high-performing school. We’ll have four members on our Executive Committee, we’ll have a CEO, just like any nonprofit organization,” said Melissa Brickey, alumna and member of the Rosati-Kain Forever Committee.

As their work continues, they also plan to host potential students at this weekend’s open house.

“Our number is increasing every day. I think right now we have about 70 prospective students,” Goudy said.

The school also continues to raise funds in the event that Rosati-Cain reopens as an independent institution.

“We know we need to raise funds for college grants because at this point in school, the average financial aid is $6,000 for the current approximately 200 students and 74 percent of our students receive financial aid. So that number alone has to come from donations,” Brickey said, “in addition to everything else you need to run a school that needs funding. Buildings, building maintenance, faculty and staff of course, and the overheads. All the things necessary to run a school.”

The school’s open house will be held on Sunday, October 30 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visit the RK Forever website for more information about this event and how people in the community can help keep Rosati-Cain open.

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