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12 Who Care -- Jim Selzer

6:15 PM, Sep 11, 2007   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Jim Selzer greets students at Holy Rosary Catholic School with a hearty good morning and a good breakfast. "It's the best breakfast in Jacksonville," says Selzer, as he serves up a big portion of scrambled eggs to one of the students. As volunteer executive director for the Guardian of Dreams, Selzer and the "Breakfast Club" volunteers serve the morning meal to students who otherwise may go to school hungry. But it doesn't stop there. The group is the lifeline to both Holy Rosary and its sister school St. Pius, both of which serve inner-city students. Years ago, the schools were in danger of closing due to lack of funding. That's when Guardian of Dreams stepped in. "The people who rallied around that cause believed in education, believed in Catholic education, and really wanted to be here with these two schools, which are kind of like anchors in the neighborhood," says Sister Dianne Rumschlag, principal of Holy Rosary Catholic School. Jim Selzer has been the anchor too. He has brought his experience as a former AT&T executive to lead Guardian of Dreams for the past six years. "It made me comfortable in terms of talking to people about a vision because businesses many times are not looking at this year but 18 months or two years out," says Selzer. "I had that opportunity to learn how to present a vision to people. These schools are about a vision and a future." That vision has translated into dollars. "They have grown in a phenomenal way from contributions that were $12,000 the first year to over $400,000 annually," says Sister Dianne. Just recently, a new Resource Center at Holy Rosary was built for kids who need extra help in reading and computer skills. Not only kids enjoy Selzer's lovable personality, but so do the top local leaders of the Catholic Church, including Bishop Victor Galeone. "Jim has a very deep love for children who are in need. A love that's infectious. When Jim approaches you and says, `Can you give a hand to our kids in need?' How can you say no?" says Bishop Galeone. Led by Jim Selzer, all the volunteers at the Guardian of Dreams help make these children's dreams come true. "These are oasis of excellence in this city that we would be poorer without," says Selzer. For the richness that Jim Selzer brings to Holy Rosary and St. Pius, we honor him as one of 12 Who Care.

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