Do you have a testimonial about any of DeBusk Foundation’s programs? Please send it to– we would be thrilled to publish it here!

To see Video Testimonials, click here.

2019 DECATS Scholar Evaluation Quote of the Year:

“Perspectives was helpful because it taught me to look at the bigger picture instead of just my picture”.

Testimonial from a Parent:

This is the Nolin family writing to say thank you so much for allowing our kids to attend Decats this summer at Saint Anne’s.  We are grateful for the scholarships that you gave us.  At the last minute we realized that we were not going to be able to attend due to financial circumstances, but y’all made it possible!!! We cannot thank you enough for the opportunity you have afforded to our three (next year hopefully four) children!!

Thank you,

Nancie Nolin

Testimonial from a Scholar:

Dear DECATS Board:

Thank you for this amazing experience.  All of my classes showed me I had a talent to use and people to share it with. I loved my time making friends and singing songs at assembly.  My DECATS experience was only possible because of you.  Thank for funding the next level of my education.

Annabel Tavarez

Testimonial from a parent:

Natalia is so grateful to have served as a Jr. Mentor.  She tells everyone about how great the kids are and about how great the program is.  Truly a positive and educational experience. Thank you for allowing her to be a part of it.

God bless,

Tish and Natalia

Testimonial from a parent:

Edward has really, really enjoyed DECATS. Our goal was for him to find inspiration, and we feel that goal was accomplished!

What am I going to do with him next summer?

Carol Ann Tisdale

“Both of my children participated in DeBusk Scholar’s Academy and absolutely loved it. They came home each day with stories of all the wonderful adventures they had and the friends they met. It’s one of the best summer programs either of my kids have attended.”  -Jennifer Verdugo

“I loved DeBusk because we got to go on cool field trips and create fun projects… and I made new friends.”  -Sabina Verdugo

“It’s a one time experience that you are sure to have fun with.”- Evelyn Wilson

“ Everything about this program- from the outside of the box lessons, to the excursions – all supported my child’s learning and understanding of the world around her. Definitely an experience not to miss”. – Jonquil Wilson

“I am thrilled with DeBusk Scholar’s Academy and recommend it every year to students who qualify. As a teacher of gifted and talented students, as well as a parent of a child who attended DeBusk Scholar’s Academy, I can only say what wonderful opportunities this program provides for the children. It is two weeks of hands on learning and exploring, and the kids go home tired and satisfied each day.  My daughter was so excited to go each morning, and didn’t want it to end. In fact, she loved it so much that she goes back each summer to volunteer with the students and help them get as much out of it as she did. She is in high school now and still talks about the positive experiences she had. This is a fantastic way to enrich your child over the summer months, and it provides experiences that will last forever. DeBusk Scholar’s Academy is both academically and socially one of the best experiences I could have ever given my child.”

Nicole Upchurch

Kelsey Upchurch was a DeBusk Scholar and now she is one of their high school helpers!

Testimonial from 11th grader:

I have been involved with DECATS for 9 years. Before even beginning Junior DECATS, I had been dreaming of my acceptance letter for two years while my older brother was in Junior DECATS. Going through the program as a student, I found so many role models in the GA’s and TA’s. I really looked up to them, and they made the DECATS experience even more memorable and impactful on my life. I want to be that role model and that impact for the upcoming students at DECATS. I have really enjoyed my past experience as a TA at DECATS, and I would love to continue this. Working in the Visual Arts program has been such a blessing to me, and had a big impact on my career path. I have loved getting to pass on my passion for art to the students, and I love the inspiration I gain from the students. All in all, I want to give back to the program that has given me so much. DECATS helped shape me into the woman I am today as it guided me through my vulnerable teenage years. The most memorable thing I take away from DECATS is that “weird is good.” I cannot count how many times I’ve used this message to help me when I was shy or afraid of expressing myself. I have also passed this message onto my friends. This year, my senior service project at Ursuline involved working with underprivileged 4 and 5 year olds, preparing them for kindergarten. I have carried this message that “weird is good” onto them when they tease each other. I hope to help others gain confidence in themselves the same way DECATS helped me. From DECATS, the most memorable thing for me has been my change of confidence in myself and the knowledge that “weird is good.”

Testimonial from a parent:

I want to thank you again for the opportunity given to Alejandro to attend Sr.  DECATS this year. He had such a great time! He made lots of new friends, his confidence grew and so his desire to come back next year! He already submitted his application for the training. Your program has been such a great experience for our son and we are sure many more kids have benefit through this program as well. We thank you for your generosity and commend you for the wonderful job you and your team are doing on enriching the lives of our children.

Testimonial from a parent:

We love the program and have found it a valuable teaching tool for more reasons then we can list.  My older daughter has had an easier time adjusting at UA because of all the friends she made from other schools at DECATS.

We have a first time DECATS scholar and we are so grateful for this program. Our child really went into this with much excitement and came out the same! As parents, we loved the focus on critical thinking, perspectives and manners for sure! There would be too many positives to list here but we’ve seen many since that first week of DECATS. I love that God and our neighbors are also a focal point and it gives our children more than just the academic perspective. The combination of all of this is what makes DECATS exceptional in every way! Thanks to the wonderful team at DECATS, you did a wonderful job!” – Parent of Scholar at DECATS at Corpus Christi School in Houston

 “My son loved his classes! The intensity and passion of everyone involved in DECATS shines through from the opening to closing ceremonies. DECATS teaches children to be passionate about learning, being confident in expressing themselves, and also to always love those around them.” – Parent of Scholar at DECATS at Northwoods Catholic School

“DECATS provided a wonderful opportunity for my child to play, learn and grow in a loving, spiritual and fun environment. We are blessed she was able to experience the program and proud that she loved and embraced the opportunity provided to her.” – Parent of Scholar at DECATS at Strake Jesuit


Alejandro has flourished through his attendance at Senior DECATS and is counting the days till he gets to go back to be with his friends and teachers at Rock Opera.  He is more confident, social and easier to approach; he accepts changes more easily, which is truly an accomplishment.  We had tried many ways during a good period of time to get through to him, to help him to change his attitude but were unsuccessful. After the first week of DECATS (It took us months to convince him to go!), he came back smiling, happy, talking about new friends and sharing his music! He looks forward attending DECATS every June and especially this last year for his plan is to continue working as a GA during high school.

We couldn’t be happier with his positive change and goals and have been pre-registering him every year to secure his spot.

Alejandro has been a Graduate Assistant and Teaching Assistant in the program for the last three years and is currently a rising senior attending Jesuit Preparatory School in Dallas.


Blake has been isolated in his home school and been the victim of numerous bully attacks.  He excels in school, but because of his quirky personality has not had much success in school. He tends to stay with activities that do not require cooperation and teamwork, opting to do things solo. I was shocked when he told us that he wanted to join a dodge ball team and that he had some “friends” who told him how much fun the dodge ball tournament was. When he came home and told us that he was the last student standing against the staff team and that the entire gym was cheering for him, it was remarkable.  His experience at Senior DECATS has been wonderful and we hope to have him return every year that he is eligible.


My daughter is happy, well mannered and disciplined.  She is popular and enjoys many activities.  She has attended DECATS since third grade and this was her first experience in the Senior DECATS program.  We loved how easy it was to choose classes. She coordinated her schedule with other friends from school, and loved her Mock Trial major.  She has made new friends from other schools and I anticipate will remain friendly with these students throughout the school year. The staff definitely accepts each student where they are and celebrates each child’s unique nature.  The sense of acceptance and appreciation for each student is evident when you walk into the building.  Although she had to ride on a bus for an hour each way (morning and afternoon), I never heard her complain about her long day. Thank you for this program, it is a great gift for our Diocesan students!

Will Ives (1)

Dear DECATS and DeBusk foundation coordinators,

My Daughter, Natalia, has gone to DECATS for 2 years and will go again this summer.  I have never seen her so excited about any educational program as she is for this one.  She loves it so much that she has told me that when she is too old to qualify to attend as a student, that she wants to be a mentor for DECATS students and volunteer and help the teachers.  Thank you for enriching her and helping her develop her skills of responsibility and knowledge of the world!


Tish Rudwick

St. Theresa Catholic School, Austin, TX

Good afternoon, Dr. Morgan!

I trust that your first day back to school has been busy and positive. No doubt great adventures lie ahead for all of the boys at The Regis School. One of James’s greatest adventures this past summer was his experience in the DECATS program at the St. Rose of Lima campus. Without your recommendation, James would not have been in the program. Thank you for recognizing his potential and recommending him!

For the three weeks that James attended DECATS, he received supportive, uplifting, Christ-centered, character building instruction. My husband and I were intrigued by how DECATS utilizes the students’ interests and stresses collaboration to convey its character lessons. James really got into the program and enjoyed it immensely.  DECATS sparked in him an interest in art which he had not heretofore explored. It was also very useful to him to be surrounded by girls and boys as smart as if not smarter than him.

One of the parts of the program that he really inspired him, and me as an observer, is that of the stones of recognition. Each day anyone in the program could recognize a person or group demonstrating a particular character trait or action worthy of recognition, by handing out red, gray and gold stones.  James both received recognition and better yet recognized others for their acts of kindness, leadership and compassion. These stones are a marvelous tool for bringing out the best and seeing the best in others.

I came away from DECATS, having attended nearly every afternoon assembly, wishing that every Catholic school student could have this experience at school every day. Thank you once again for making James’s attendance possible! He looks forward to working hard to earn the opportunity again next year. And our family wishes you the best in the 2015-2016 school year!


Stephanie L. Sullivan

 “Truthfully, in the beginning, DECATS seemed like just another conquest for Jason. Little did Glenn and I know that it would open so many doors for him, let alone open his eyes to a whole new world. Jason would always tell us, “I love school. It’s the work that comes with it that I don’t like.” DECATS to us was like school but really wasn’t because there was no work that came with it! We always looked forward to whether he qualified for the following summer program or not. He always had such wonderful experiences to share and beautiful stories to tell that it made us want to come during the “show and tell.”


Each year was something different, something exciting and Jason never got tired of it. The 3 weeks always flew by and at the end of it, I always end up crying because of joy for the happiness my son experienced in this program, looking forward to the next summer. Saying goodbye has always been so difficult for us because it just made our son shine in ways we never thought he could. He learned to be even more responsible, especially as a junior mentor which solidified his self-esteem even more to lead the scholar aides. It made him learn to put himself in the shoes of others and appreciate what they are going through. Because of this, he had learned to see through their eyes and remember that he was once where they are today. The experience he has gained through DECATS is a huge part of who he is today. For that, we are grateful.”

“For four years, my son participated as a scholar. Although he loved every course he took, he made sure not to repeat them over because if he could have experienced every one of them, he would have done so. Last year, being a scholar aide enabled him to do that while giving him a different perspective on what it takes to run the program; that’s why this year, he can’t stay away. To him, it fills him with the hope that someday, he can come back again.”

Michelle Ancheta, Parent

DECATS, St. Laurence Campus

“This is a wonderful program where a student will learn the importance of sharing their gifts. The hands-on learning is amazing. The mentors are there to guide and nurture and always do an exceptional job. Please continue doing what you are doing. Our DECATS experience has been outstanding! My scholar had a difficult time prioritizing her class choices because all the courses were interesting to her. I feel my scholar has gained much confidence and knowledge and would love to see that growth continue in her.”

Ernie Garza, Parent

DECATS, St. Laurence Campus

“DECATS is unique program because it recognizes the giftedness of our Catholic Schools students. DECATS scholars have the opportunity to grow in knowledge, grow in friendship with scholars much like themselves from all over the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, and they grow in their relationship with God through multiple opportunities to pray and different forms of service.”

Adriana Gutierrez, Parent

DECATS, St. Laurence Campus

“DECATS is the joining of gifted kids, who come together and learn about leadership and teamwork.”

Lucia, Scholar

DECATS, St. Laurence Campus

“DECATS is an experience like no other. You work on projects, explore new things, try new things I wouldn’t have necessarily done, make new friends, and get to practice our faith! I like that we pray throughout the day and you are part of a scholar community.”

Jordan, Scholar

DECATS, St. Laurence Campus