PLS Helps Send Eighth Grade Class to Italy

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A longtime dream is finally coming true for the eighth-grade world history class at Francisco J. Madero Middle School in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. PLS is donating $5,000 to help the class reach its fundraising goal of $25,000—which will allow the class to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy.

Madero School check presentation.

This is an outstanding opportunity for these students to see another part of the world and expand their horizons. We are very pleased to help them reach their goal and reward them for their amazing effort.

A longtime dream is finally coming true for the eighth-grade world history class at Francisco J. Madero Middle School in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. PLS is donating $5,000 to help the class reach its fundraising goal of $25,000—which will allow the class to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy.

“The idea took root two years ago,” recalls Virginia Kogen, who has taught language arts and social studies at Madero for 11 years. “My sixth-grade world history class had studied different countries and cultures. At the end of the year, once we’d ‘traveled around the world,’ one of my students asked, ‘Mrs. Kogen, can’t you take us to one of these places?’

“That got the process started. Our principal supported the idea, and the school board agreed as well. The students chose the Italian city of Rome because of the beauty and history they’d encountered when they studied the Roman Empire. All that was left was the considerable process of raising the funds to make the trip.”

Over the past two years the students have worked tirelessly to raise more than $20,000. According to Kogen, the former sixth graders, who are now eighth graders, “have learned about establishing community ties, speaking persuasively and not ever giving up.”

PLS was alerted about the class’s fundraising efforts and quickly moved to help the class reach its goal. “This is an outstanding opportunity for these students to see another part of the world and expand their horizons,” said Bob Wolfberg, President, PLS. “We are very pleased to help them reach their goal and reward them for their amazing effort.”

Wolfberg visited Madero Middle School this week to present a check to the class for “Italy 2011” and to meet members of the class. “The determination and enthusiasm of these students is exceptional,” noted Wolfberg. “It’s clear that they’ve learned and grown through their fundraising efforts and the planning they’ve done for this trip. They’re going to be terrific ambassadors for their school and their community when they visit Italy.”

Eight students and two adult chaperones will be making the trip, which is scheduled for April 2011.

About PLS: People. Location. Service.
Chicago-based PLS Financial Services, Inc., manages more than 300 financial service centers in Alabama, Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, New York, Texas and Wisconsin, with more than 3,100 employees. PLS is one of the largest, fastest growing and most distinguished organizations in the check cashing industry, and is a Western Union money transfer network.

PLS is listed on Inc. magazine’s “5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America,” and for the past two years has been named one of Chicago’s “101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” by the National Association of Business Resources. For the past three years, PLS was named one of Chicago’s Largest Privately Held Companies by Crain’s Chicago Business®, and was a member of Crain’s “Fast 50” (Fastest Growing Companies). Bob and Dan Wolfberg, PLS Presidents, have been named finalists for Ernst & Young’s 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year award. The company has also been honored with the Activa Award from the Financial Service Centers of American (FiSCA) in recognition of its charitable efforts.

The PLS brands include PLS Check Cashers, which offers check cashing, money transfer services, money orders and bill payments; PLS Loan Store, which provides consumer micro-loans and tax-preparation services; and PLS Motor Vehicle Services.

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Barb Wolf
PLS
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