Farther Foundation Mid-year Report, 2019


Mission & Vision

Farther Foundation helps students break free from the constraints of poverty and isolation and propels them toward their highest aspirations. We provide opportunities for eager and deserving students to participate in educational programs across the country and around the world. They participate in programs where they are immersed in new cultures, learn and develop skills, provide community service, cultivate leadership potential and attain personal growth.

Save the Date


Thursday, Oct. 10  
7:00 – 10:00 pm
Fitzgerald’s Nightclub


Farther Foundation’s Annual Benefit and Celebration

  • Come hear stories of discovery, adventure and mishap.

  • Enjoy food, drink and the company of friends.

  • Win fun and exciting raffle prizes.

  • Support our hard-working and deserving students.

  • Meet some of our alumni.

Our featured storytellers:

Jeopardy champion, Colby Burnett, Comedian, Dani Sher, Musician/performer, Gerald Dowd and artistic director/activist, Maui Jones.

Tickets are available now for StorySlam 2019!

Tickets start at $60 and include admission, food and entertainment.

Purchase a $100 premium ticket and a generous Farther Foundation supporter will make a matching donation of $100.

Click here to buy tickets and register online

Meet our Farther Foundation class of 2019 scholars

This year, Farther Foundation approved more than $100,000 in scholarships to support life-changing programs for 31 deserving students. Our students come from some of the most isolated and under-resourced communities in the area, but their hard work and dedication to personal and educational achievement has merited our investment in their future. Our scholarship recipients this year will participate in programs that take them abroad to Tanzania, Ecuador, Morocco, Jordan, Japan, and elsewhere. Others will experience college life on campuses including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale. We are pleased to introduce you to Bennie, Hannia and all of our 2019 scholars.

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Bennie is a high-achieving student at Kenwood Academy High School. He is the oldest of five siblings being raised by a hard-working single mother. Bennie was referred to us by his sponsors at the Kappa League Institute where he engages in college readiness programs. They recommend Bennie as an ambitious and zestful student. He is also active in his school’s Best Buddies program.

Bennie has chosen to participate in a cultural immersion program in Finland. Finland is a unique destination for Farther Foundation scholars, but Bennie says spending the summer in the happiest country in the world might provide a respite from the “caution” he has to employ living in his Chicago neighborhood.

Bennie described his participation in his high school Best Buddies program to us,

“I am a buddy with the Best Buddies International program, where I serve as a buddy to a peer with an intellectual or developmental disability. We enjoy lunches together, walks, and social events. I believe everyone should have the same school experience as others and enjoy friendships and clubs just like all students.”

Meet the rest of our scholars.

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Hannia is an excellent student who already in her sophomore year is taking on AP classes – her favorite being psychology. In addition to her schoolwork and participation in extra-curricular activities like the National Honors Society and the Student Voice Committee, Hannah often is asked to care for her younger cousins. Hannia’s sponsors at Minds Matter praise her determination and devotion to her interests which is reflected in her choice of summer programs.

Hannia will travel to Brown University this summer to join other high-achieving students from all over the world to experience life on a college campus and to delve more deeply into academic topics of interest – including psychology.

 In her application, Hannia told us,

“Growing up, I saw how many of my older cousins got very close to going to college, but many factors prevented them from achieving their dream. My mother did not have the opportunity to complete middle school because she had to take care of her of her siblings in Mexico. I have also seen how hard they struggle and how hard my mother works. For this reason, I want to serve as an example to my little cousins that completing an education is possible.”

Meet the rest of our scholars.

ALumni News

Transitions can be difficult, especially if you are first among your family and friends to venture into a new environment. Farther Foundation students have the advantage of having participated in life-changing experiences that make lasting impacts on their preparedness and confidence to face the challenges ahead.

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In 2018, during the summer between her sophomore and juniors years of high school, Aude used her Farther Foundation scholarship to travel to Thailand on a program of cultural immersion and discovery.

FF: Did your summer experience in Thailand effect how you interact with others?

Aude: “I went to Thailand with a mission to enjoy my experience to the fullest; this included getting out of my comfort zone. I pushed myself to continuously interact with people to the point where it became a habit that continues to this day.”

FF: Did your summer experience in Thailand effect how you are approaching your senior year of high school and college planning?

Aude: ”My dream has always been to go into the medical field, but I never thought of a specific branch. My experience in Thailand changed this perspective. When applying to colleges this fall, I will be more inclined toward a school with a good “Cultural Studies” program along with a good medical one. From the limited planning I have done so far, doing the pre-med and cultural studies major could help me build a career in which I would be able to travel in under-served communities abroad while still practicing -- like a medical ministry or the Peace Corps.”

FF: What was the most important thing you feel came out of your experience in Thailand?

Aude: “One of the most important things was learning that I love adventure despite how it might hurt to be out of my comfort zone. Before going there, I was only exposed to activities such as going to the movies, restaurants, game arcades, and pools. There, I hiked, “ziplined”, did silent meditation, sang at a concert, and learned how to dive into the streets of Chiang Mai. I felt so empowered, like I could do anything in the world. Feelings like this are so important, especially for a teenage girl living in a world where, most of the time, our voices are disregarded which mentally molds us into limiting our capacities. When my self-esteem sags, I think about the empowerment I felt during those days.”

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#FirstGeneration. That’s how Froilan tagged his recent post on LinkedIn where he shared, “This week I achieved a great milestone! I received my bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Being the first in my family to graduate from college made this journey unforgettable. My years of hard work and dedication have all paid off.”

In 2013, Froilan used his Farther Foundation scholarship to venture into the Oregon wilderness with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). We talked with Froilan to find out how that experience has impacted his life then and now.

FF: Did your NOLS summer experience effect how you approached the rest of your time in school?

Froilan: My experience at NOLS helped me become the person I am today. NOLS helped me take on leadership roles in high school and college clubs including the JROTC rifle team as captain, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers as president, and lastly my final senior design project as captain. 

FF: Did your summer experience effect how you interacted with family and friends?

Froilan: I used to be very shy and anti-social in high school and NOLS helped me change this. On the trip, I met students from all over the world and worked alongside of them for 26 days. This helped me gain my confidence and become more sociable.

FF: Do you think that experience will effect your ability to transition from college to work?

Froilan: Absolutely, the leadership skills and confidence built from NOLS would work perfectly in leadership positions in my career. In the future I might not be on the perfect team; I learned at NOLS how to work around this and make any team achieve one’s goals.

FF: What are your next steps in life?

Froilan: I’m currently in the job market seeking a Mechanical Engineering position. In the future I see myself going back to school and getting my master’s degree.

Without Father Foundation, I don’t think my NOLS experience would have been possible. I’m grateful that my mentors showed me this awesome organization and I’m grateful Father Foundation was able to help me become the person I am today.


Malcolm Gladwell has described a “tipping point” as a moment of critical mass where dramatic change can take place. Farther Foundation makes it possible for students to participate in “tipping point” experiences. The data bears out the life-changing impact reflected in our students’ performance.

Later this year, Farther Foundation will release a 10-year impact report in which we take a deep look at our data and report our performance to you. Preliminary and summary data is available on our website’s “Impacts” page.

Thank you for supporting our mission and the students we serve!

In 2016, Christopher traveled to Tanzania to participate in a cultural immersion and service program. This photo of Christopher was a finalist in our 2016 photo contest. Christopher currently attends Denison College.

In 2016, Christopher traveled to Tanzania to participate in a cultural immersion and service program. This photo of Christopher was a finalist in our 2016 photo contest. Christopher currently attends Denison College.

Board of Directors

David Weindling, President                  
Susan J. White, Vice President                            
Griselda Garibay, Treasurer                  
Melissa Coughlin, Director                   
Laura Swartzbaugh, Director                
Paula Rusca, Director               
Zel Peterson, Director                           
Bill Kling, Director
Maryanne Woo, Director                     
Nicky Fish, Director

Donate online


Via PayPal and Venmo, direct donations to: “Farther Foundation”

Via banking apps, send to info@fartherfoundation.org

Farther Foundation is a 501(C)(3) charitable organization. All donations are tax deductible.