Legacy Children’s Foundation
Who we are
Educational support and Opportunities for Teens
We are a private, 501(c)3 nonprofit developed by Fargo teenagers in 2011 to provide educational support and opportunities for impoverished teens hungry for resources and relationships to fully develop their innate talents.
Educating vulnerable youth today to be successful leaders tomorrow.
Advancing the full potential of students through personal care, relationships, and discovery!
The core values that drive the Legacy Children’s Foundation are education, people, leadership, curiosity and integrity. We strive to uphold these values in every aspect of our foundation.
Care & Concern
Find ways to help support us!
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Mary Jean Dehne
PRESIDENT: Joe Dobbs (mentor) and Puja Chhetri (mentee)
SECRETARY: Kristi Johnson (mentor) and Brooke Qualley (mentee)
TREASURER: Markus Dahl (mentor) and Jeremy Ajeo (mentee)
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Dianne Connelly, Faith Isaac, Emilee Miller
ADVISORS: Steve D. Scheel – CEO Scheels All Sports, Richard Solberg – CEO Bell State Bank, Erv Inniger
education, faith, honesty and perseverance
Jeff and Mary Jean (Liffrig) Dehne have been raised by incredibly dedicated and unselfish parents. Don and Kathy Dehne along with Duane and Doris Liffrig have been role models of living a good life in faithful service to others. Jeff and Mary Jean were raised to value the many freedoms our great nation provides, but especially education and faith. Faith is defined as, “belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof.” Our parents’ faith, perseverance and honesty taught us that in this country, anything is possible! They expect us to respect and carry this American Spirit into the communities in which we live, especially children!
“A positive mental attitude helps people become excellent in whatever it is they love to do. Jeff, never forget P.M.A.” the late Fargo North Principal, Don Dehne told his son.
While planting tomatoes and discussing the ideas of L.C.F. with Mary Jean, Duane told his daughter, “Educating all of our children is the most important work for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Just do what you can to help the children around you.”
Jeff and Mary Jean completed education degrees at Minnesota State University, Moorhead in 1984. They have been active coaches and educators in Boardman Oregon, Lisbon, North Dakota and Fargo for over 30 years. Their four children have provided a harvest of blessings and learning opportunities to better understand the challenges of young people today.
L.C.F. was developed by Fargo teenagers in 2011 to bring hope and encouragement to young people who feel discouraged and uninspired to complete high school. Mary Jean resigned her teaching position and became the Executive Director the fall of 2011.
Jeff and Mary Jean live inspired by the courage of Fargo teenagers to assist in developing the Legacy Children’s Foundation so other teens can learn the value of education, faith, honesty and perseverance while earning opportunities to experience the world around them.
education, personal development, and community engagement
The impact of LCF resources for students in the focus areas of education, personal development, and community engagement will last a lifetime. In 2011, seventeen students enrolled as the first class of LCF. 187 students have enrolled in LCF. 100% of students who stayed active in LCF graduated with their peers. 92% of students who were enrolled in LCF at one time during their secondary education program graduated on time with their peers.
Seventy-eight students are currently active in LCF. Ninety-six percent are returning students from the previous school year. Seventy-eight percent are black, fifteen percent are white, and seven percent are Asian. Eighty-six percent of the Legacy families have fled civil war or ethnic cleansing in their homeland.
Established homework rooms are set up in all Fargo middle schools, a public library and LCF headquarters. Academic Coaches are aspiring educators from local universities who provide academic assistance and positive encouragement four days a week after school.
Legacy is a marathon journey of combined resources between parents, community, schools, and students. We work together to provide top quality, easy access, after-school resources to make sure each student has the opportunity to free resources to develop and thrive.
The impact of LCF may never be fully known or adequately measured. Student and parent reflections offer the most reliable metric of this collaborative effort to educate and engage at-risk teens to be successful, contributing citizens.
A current Legacy parent expressed her gratitude with the following statement.
“I have been amazed at the conversations I have had in the past week with my son. He has left his Legacy homework sessions at night with as he says weight lifted off of his shoulders. He is so positive unlike I have ever seen him about school and homework. He said to me tonight that he doesn’t know what he would have done without their help in English. That it’s so hard and they really help me mom. He continued to say that he wished he would have known it would be like this. That he had no idea he would receive this much help and benefit. Totally different outlook than before Thanksgiving. He said he is working to play basketball. I’ll take whatever driving force I can.
I told him how proud of him I am and how it says so much about his character that he is trying and not giving up. He truly makes my heart smile.
Thank you to all of you for your time and efforts. You are all truly a gift that has touched me. You are inspiring a boy that is going to be AMAZING!!!!
I just cannot express my gratitude to you, your staff and your foundation!!! When he started with LCF his GPA was a 0.88 it is now a 2.5! He was all smiles this morning! He is as proud as I am. Thank you millions!!!!”
teaching proper care, respect and appreciation
We strive to be frugal recipients of your hard earned donations. 85% or more of what we receive is used directly on programming for our students.
We teach and live proper care, respect and appreciation of every gift we receive to impact the education and future dreams of our students. We have been blessed to receive very generous gifts of time, passion, resources and money from little children to wise elders. Every gift makes a difference in fulfilling the mission of our work and we thank you!
Financial statements are available upon your request. We have an annual audit completed by Widmer Roel in Fargo. Their report is also available from us at any time.