The DeMayo Family Contributes to Further School Goals
Michael A. DeMayo is a big believer in the power of education. He believes by investing in education, the course of lives can be significantly altered first and foremost individually. The impact is then felt in the immediate family unit, and ultimately, on generations that follow.
Michael also loves the dynamic of a good challenge. Finally, he’s inspired by the powerful commitment and contribution that the Providence Day community has made to his family and the greater Charlotte area.
Those three primary factors combined, motivated him to make a $1 million commitment to the school’s CHARGING forward comprehensive campaign.
“Education is the only reason we were even financially able to give this sizable gift,” explained Michael.
“We didn’t have a lot of money growing up. My dad was a teacher and my mom was a social worker and I was raised in a single parent household. I worked and paid my way through college and law school but I credit my opportunity to get a great education and subsequently hard work as the primary factors that both motivated and inspired this contribution. It’s a pleasure and an honor to be able to be a part of this significant campaign.”
Just as the campaign aligned with his passion for education, Providence Day’s mission aligned with his goals for his children.
Michael started searching for an independent school while he was still living abroad in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico for one year. He wanted an academically-challenging environment where students were guided to become “well-rounded, grounded, focused, progressive individuals who are prepared to face and conquer challenges.” An emphasis on social responsibility and service in local and global communities was also part of his criteria. Lastly, he wanted a high-performing school that met his expectations in every area. “Providence Day School has measured up – with one exception,” he said.
While he acknowledges that Providence Day has “phenomenal leadership, energy, and educators,” he has always felt that the teachers and students, as well as the school’s stature and reputation, were constrained by the physical plant. “When you have temporary trailers that have served as classrooms for as long as anyone can remember, you have an issue!” explained Michael. His significant financial pledge to CHARGING forward was his way of helping get the school’s physical plant to match the caliber of the “intellectual gravitas” that defines the Providence Day experience.
He praises the focus on teaching students to think globally, to develop leadership skills, and to think critically. And he knows these factors will prepare all of the graduates for college and a lifetime of learning, both in and out of the classroom.
His extraordinary gesture in March 2015 provided the campaign initiative with strong momentum and helped set an exciting pace for the year. Michael hopes his philanthropic leadership will motivate and inspire others to give. Perhaps, it might even serve as a challenge to other families to give more than they originally thought they were capable of donating, since he believes children are our most valuable investment.
“We’re giving this significant gift because we believe in the academic focus and the goals of the school, and we’ve seen a tremendous direct benefit to our family,” said Michael. “We have literally seen our children develop, and grow, and flourish under the structure of PDS. It would be a tremendous extension of this gift if its legacy would be that future families would experience the same benefit for their children because of the continued flourishing of Providence Day.”
Michael’s $1 million commitment is the third seven-figure gift to the $27 million, five-year CHARGING forward comprehensive campaign.
Michael is the proud parent of Cole ’18, Blake ’20, Sophia ’20, and Olivia ’23.