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Recent Grad Helping Central Development Office Through Its Next Phase

David Kesselman (272) will intern this fall at Central’s Development Office, receiving class credit at Temple University.

By Yvonne Dennis (246)

Central High School’s Development Office is getting a temporary staffing boost from a young alumnus, just as the office is making inroads into its mission.

The Developmment Office, headed by Lynn Norton Robins, is charged with building a comprehensive fundraising plan for Central, with an emphasis on major-gifts and alumni outreach.  In the office’s first year of existence, Robins reached out to parents, staff, teachers and alumni for help in developing a plan consistent with the feasibility studies for a Performing Arts Center for Central and a five-year master plan, said Richard Prinz (212), a former Alumni Board president who has worked for decades securing large gifts for the school.

Now, Temple University senior David Kesselman (272) will be interning with the office through December for college credits and an early chance to give back to his alma mater. Kesselman learned about the position from his internship coordinator at Temple. When he heard about the Development Office’s goals, he wanted in.

“A project to expand and renovate Central just seems to be something that I could be really proud of if it gets accomplished,” said the political-science major and aspiring lawyer.

Kesselman began the position in early August and Robins said he has already had great impact.

“After interviewing several other candidates, I knew David was the right choice to help in the Development Office,” she said. “Not only was he a Central alumnus himself, but he showed a keen interest in both the immediate and long-term goals of the Development Office.”

It’s no wonder she was impressed. Kesselman has a 3.65 GPA at Temple and is the kind of person who shows up sharply dressed, 30 minutes early for an interview.

“Central helped me and I’m assuming that the majority of alumni have that same feeling. It’s just a matter of being reminded and understanding that the things that Central has done for them, it is still doing for students.”

While the school’s halls are silent and most Central partners are still in vacation mode, Kesselman and Robins have been busy in their office on Central’s third floor near the cafeteria organizing the alumni database and doing research on alumni who could have the time and the means to potentially help with the renovation project. Kesselman said the work is helping him understand the need sometimes to think and plan 12 or 18 months ahead, to know how long things should take and not meander.

Future ideas to help excite alumni include a phone-athon.

“Central helped me and I’m assuming that the majority of alumni have that same feeling,” Kesselman said. “It’s just a matter of being reminded and understanding that the things that Central has done for them, it is still doing for students.”

While he’s working 15 hours a week this fall reactivating alumni fondness for Dear Old High, Kesselman will be taking four other classes and studying to take the Law School Admissions Test.

“I’m leaning toward criminal law,” Kesselman said. “I think that a lot of people who are doing public defense, court-appointed public defense, that was never their goal, and I think it’s impotant to have someone who wants to be there and knows the importance of that job.”

When the internship is over and Kesselman graduates from Temple in December, he hopes to remain involved in the Central project.

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Lynn Norton Robins is in the process of exciting as many Central alumni as she can about the enhancement efforts. If you have any questions, would like help with formulating a fund-raising effort for your class or you want to help with the performing-arts effort, please contact Lynn at 215-276-5262,  ext. 3130 or development@centralhighalumni.com. Thank you.