Giving back in a big way

Domenic Colasante remembers the stress and the anxiety when his high school tuition bill came due.

Colasante was a high school sophomore at the time, waking up on the 2500 block of S. Chadwick Street, and taking the Broad Street Line every day up to Vine Street to attend classes at Roman Catholic High School.

Colasante, a St. Monica’s product, was a standout student in high school, but his family had fallen on hard times.

“My mom normally worked two jobs,” said Colasante (previously Corsey). “She was in between one of her two jobs and not in a great financial position. You start to get the bills and the late notices. At one point she said she couldn’t pay to keep me in that school. She told me to clean out my locker.”

With his nerves in his throat, Colasante went to school that day to say his goodbyes.

“That day, I went into the rector’s office and said I need to clean out my stuff because unfortunately we can’t afford to keep me here,” he said. “I remember it being incredibly stressful. I knew I was going to lose my friends and I had no idea where I was going to go. I didn’t even know how I was going to carry all my books home.”

He got a response he didn’t anticipate.

“They told me, don’t worry about it,” Colasante recalled. “I was, like, what do you mean? They said they would find a way to keep me enrolled. I don’t know if it was an individual donor or Roman just paid it, but I remember it was incredibly calming and they just took that stress out. And in another year, I was able to pay again.”

Colasante is now the owner and CEO of 2X Marketing with more than 1,000 employees and locations outside Philadelphia and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And the 2006 Roman grad wanted to pay forward the gift he received by helping a few students who might find themselves in a similar spot.

On Feb. 27, Colasante donated a $525,000 check to Roman Catholic through Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools, better known as BLOCS.

BLOCS partners with more than 100 Archdiocesan and more than 300 private Catholic and non-Catholic schools to provide over 16,000 need-based scholarships each year. Through partnership with Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development’s Educational Improvement and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Programs, it offer donors up to 90% credits on their Pennsylvania taxes when redirecting their personal or corporate tax liability as scholarship donations through BLOCS. 

Colasante’s business had a great year in capital gains and had a hefty state tax to pay as a result. He learned there was a way for him to deploy that differently, through an Educational Improvement Tax Credit and BLOCS. Colasante saw it as a way to help out his alma mater, which believed in him during a time of need.

“I could send it to a place that was special to me,” he said. “The chance to make a gift of that size in connection with a tax event was exciting, frankly. No one likes paying taxes but it was a moment where I could pay it very differently and I was happy to be able to do that.”

After Roman Catholic, Colasante attended and graduated from Widener University and has served on the Board of Trustees since 2019. Around that time, he started the Colasante Emergency Fund to support students in danger of dropping out due to financial hardships. 

He’s helped several students at the college level, and now he’s helping greatly at the high school level. Colasante hopes it helps ease the nerves of a Roman Catholic student in the future, who might experience the same anxiety of needing to pay a tuition bill.

“Thinking back on it, I was two or three thousand dollars away from being on a totally different path,” Colasante said. “That’s maybe 200 people that we could put on a different path. Quite frankly, it feels pretty great to help.”