To The Asher Family, Mission Statements Are More Than Words

‘Words are cheap.’

It’s an adage we often use when trying to discern if something meets our expectations. Or put another way: does the person, product, or program deliver on promises made? Schools — their mission statements, programs, and initiatives — have one of the weightiest obligations to make words match reality.

Tony Asher, a self-avowed skeptic who generally looks for objective evidence of performance before drawing value conclusions, admits to putting Providence Day to this specific test. His wife, Jill, takes a different approach. She prefers to evaluate the school in the context of trust and personalities. She tends to use her confidence level in the individuals entrusted to teach her children as a barometer of educational value.

In both measures, the Ashers say Providence Day lives up to its value proposition and delivers on its mission.

“What impressed me most was PD’s emphasis on helping kids appreciate that they were connected to a large and diverse society…regularly emphasizing their potential roles and responsibilities in a global community,” explained Tony.

“Providence Day was obviously intent on producing individuals with a social consciousness, and who understood they had broader obligations beyond their individual educational, and ultimately professional, aspirations. Over the years, we observed numerous, tangible examples of how that educational goal was realized and validated in everyday experiences our kids were having.”

Jill credits the faculty.

“Tony, Kyle, and Dayna have developed into passionate and inspired young adults, in large part because of the Providence Day experience that stimulated their imaginations, broadened their horizons and nurtured their capacity for critical thought.” She adds, “The impact the school has had on their lives, and my own, is remarkable. The faculty and staff have always had my utmost admiration and respect.”

It’s no surprise, then, that Tony and Jill initially considered their commitment to the CHARGING forward campaign in fashions similar to their perspectives on assessing value in education.

At the outset, Tony viewed the campaign through the lense of someone who’s “already paid a lot of money to put our kids through private school” and who wasn’t sure “how much more of an obligation we had to PD.”

“It [attending PD] was already an expensive proposition, and continues to be,” said Tony, “In that respect, I was looking for compelling reasons to justify expanding our support.”

And then he considered the situation from Jill’s point of view: appreciating the role of individuals in creating high-value educational programs.

“The kids have had amazing experiences that obviously opened their minds to new possibilities, and those experiences are going to continue to influence their lives for years to come,” he said. “The end result has, unquestionably, been pretty amazing.” He adds, “While evaluating and appreciating the end result was important for me, I ultimately had to acknowledge the role of remarkable, dedicated educators in achieving those results. They deserve our continued support.”

“I’m confident each of our children will make a unique and important impact on society. Much of that impact will be due to the foundation Providence Day gave them,” he said. “In that regard, it was easier to appreciate how a contribution to PD would not only recognize the significant value our family has experienced, but also help ensure that other families, and our society, will have a similar benefit.”

The Asher’s gift to the CHARGING forward campaign came about not only because they recognized that sending their kids to PD is a “good investment for our family and our kids,” but also because of their belief, built on concrete experience, that “investing in PD was an investment in the future of other families and the vision for a better society that PD embraces.” They said ‘yes’ to this particular fundraising appeal — among many they receive from other organizations — based on the realization that the school was true to its word and its mission.

“We have come to know Providence Day as a place that delivers on its mission statement…,” said Jill. “We give with gratitude for all that this incredibly talented, passionate, and humble group of educators and staff do each day to nurture and develop their students.”

Tony and Jill are the proud parents of Tony ‘13, Kyle ’15 and Dayna ‘18.