Rubin for Kids is a nonprofit devoted to recognizing and rewarding the achievement of personal goals at school, at home, or in the community. In this sense, the program is both achievement-centered, and need-based. We distribute Post High School Scholarships and Youth Achievement Awards to youth and young adults in Dane County, WI. Not only are we a 100% volunteer based organization but since there are almost no administrative costs, every dollar contributed goes to help a deserving area youth.


This Month's Spotlight - Nominator

  Vera Naputi -  The picture is her on the left and her teaching partners Chauncey Haste and Justine Page.

Vera Naputi - The picture is her on the left and her teaching partners Chauncey Haste and Justine Page.

Vera Naputi

What is your current occupation?

I teach 6th and 7th grade at Sherman Middle School. I teach English/language arts, social studies, and special education.

How did you learn about Rubin for Kids?

I have been nominating students for a long time. In 2008 or 2009, my students and I were looking for ways to fund a student service trip to New Orleans. One of the staff members mentioned RFKs to me. My students and I filled out the applications together. RFK helped fund around 30 students to go on the weeklong trip. Ever since, I have been nominating students.

Why did you choose to nominate the student(s) that you nominated?

 Many of the students at Sherman Middle school are on free and reduced lunch and come from low socioeconomic backgrounds. I pick students from this population who have shown that they want to pursue an activity, and who I believe will be dedicated to learning from the experience. Many of the students actually work with me to fill out the nominations.

How has/have the Rubin for Kids award affected the student(s) you nominated?  How has/have the nomination(s) you’ve made to Rubin for Kids affected you?

 RFKs has helped many of my students. I have nominated students who received scholarships for art classes, rock climbing club, and field trips. We went on class field trips to the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Shed Aquarium, and the Planetarium. For many of the students this was their first time traveling out of Madison. The students were very appreciative for the learning experiences and grew not only as students, but as members of the community.

One student in particular comes to mind. I nominated an 8th grade girl for an art class. RFKs awarded her a scholarship. The artist of the studio liked her energy and work ethic and decided to allow her to volunteer in the studio after her scholarship expired so she could continue to take art classes. She continued taking classes for over a year. The classes were very expensive, and her family would not have been able to afford them.

I am very grateful to RFKs for helping my students. Many of the students live lives full of instability and have to overcome numerous struggles at home. The RFK awards give them the ability to participate in something and feel included in the community. This helps the students both academically and socially and helps them to grow as young adults.

Would you encourage others to nominate students for Rubin for Kids awards?  Why or Why not?

 I have told several other staff members about RFKs. As I am filing out nominations, I always think about other students who would benefit from the RFKs scholarships. The scholarships really make a difference in students’ lives.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my family and being outdoors. One of my hobbies is rock climbing.