Enjoy our annual yearbook


“I found myself whispering a silent ‘thank you’ week after week of my journey.” –Sparkle

This past summer, 33 eager and deserving students were awarded Farther Foundation scholarships that enabled them to have life-changing experiences across the country and around the world. They studied on college campuses from Stanford to Harvard and had immersive cultural experiences and provided community service in countries including Mongolia, Tanzania, Colombia and Jordan.

Upon their return, Our students share their photos and stories with us, and we share them with you in our annual publication, Reflections, 2017.

Click Here to see Reflections online – If you are on a mobile device, click on the individual photos to see enlarged words and images.

On behalf of our grateful students, thank you for making these experiences possible.

Visit www.fartherfoundation.org now to Donate Now to our annual appeal.

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2017 Travel Photo Contest Winners!

Each summer, Farther Foundation provides opportunities for deserving high school students to participate in education travel programs across the country and around the world. They return from their experiences more confident, more engaged in their education and eager to pursue a more ambitious set of opportunities in the world.

Our students document their experiences in photos and we select our favorites and award the students prizes for their achievement. Here are the prize winning photos this year!

1st Prize

Anahi traveled to the Dominican Republic on a program. She learned about and provided community service in community health clinics. Along the way she made some friends.


2nd Prize

Laura explored Tanzania and met local residents. She had the opportunity to safari, provide community service and live with Tanzanian families.


3rd Prize

Nathaniel traveled to Belize where he learned about marine ecology and became a certified scuba diver.


Congratulations to our photo contest winners!

You can help. Farther Foundation and the students we serve depend on tax-deductible donations from people like you to make these life-changing experiences possible. Visit our website to make a donation online.

Farther Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization providing scholarships to low-income students to inspire them to reach their highest aspirations through educational travel experiences.

Go Farther!

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Go Farther – Anahi abroad in the Dominican Republic

Anahi-1This past summer, Anahi took a bold step beyond the familiar and participated in a program in the Dominican Republic where she had the opportunity and responsibility to volunteer in local medical clinics.

Like most of our students, this was the first time Anahi had the opportunity to travel. In her scholarship application to Farther Foundation, Anahi told us her most defining personal characteristic was her compassion, “The act of compassion can touch souls and with this trait you have the power to turn someone’s life around and show them the beauty of love.”

While in the Dominican Republic, Anahi demonstrated compassion in her daily community service requirements. “The clinic was about to open in a minute and the madness was about to begin. There was a mixture of anxiety and thrill that rushed through my veins. Before I knew it, I had checked in 20 patients and was ready for more. We saw 50 patients a day. It was important to welcome them with open arms and make a good first impression.”

Her experience abroad had a significant impact on Anahi. “Working at the clinic highlighted the faults in the health systems in developing countries. I traveled throughout the Dominican Republic exploring the reality of their health system. I was heart-broken to find the lack of sufficient medical facilities and medical equipment that was offered. Therefore, I plan on majoring in the medical field and hopefully bringing change to everyone that is being robbed from their right.”

Farther Foundation and the students we serve depend on the tax deductible donations from people like you to make these life changing experiences possible. Visit our website to make a donation online.

Farther Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization providing scholarships to low-income students to inspire them to reach their highest aspirations through educational travel experiences.

Go Farther!

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Farther Foundation adds new board member

Maryanne Woo

Farther Foundation welcomes attorney, Maryanne Woo, to its board of directors

Farther Foundation is pleased to announce that Maryanne Woo has joined its board of directors. Farther Foundation inspires deserving, low-income Chicago area high school students to meet their highest potential by providing scholarships for participation in enrichment travel programs. Ms. Woo brings deep and diverse experiences to the board along with her passion to empower young people to meet their potential as culturally skilled, global leaders.

Ms. Woo is a partner at Reed Smith LLP focusing her practice on product liability litigation and legal project management. She is a director emeritus of the Chicago Committee on Minorities and Large Law Firms, having served as the Secretary of the organization, a member of the Executive Committee, and a member of the Talent Development Committee.  Through that organization and by being on her firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, she continues to work towards increasing the pipeline of diverse students and students from disadvantaged communities into the legal profession as well as the retention and promotion of diverse lawyers.

Ms. Woo has been committed to pro bono work throughout her legal career. She was awarded Pro Bono Associate of the Year by the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Her pro bono work includes the representation of minority- and woman- owned businesses, as well as an Afghan citizen seeking a Special Immigrant Visa. Maryanne received her Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University as well as a degree from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

Through her own experiences, Maryanne has seen the educational value of travel and experiential learning. In her travels, Maryanne has seen a volcano erupt in Costa Rica and received a marriage proposal from a Maasai chief in Kenya (who thought her short stature was a novelty).

“I am thrilled to be joining a wonderful organization devoted to making an immediate impact on the lives of incredible kids in our community. I will do as much as I can to carry on the very good work the Farther Foundation does to expand the horizons for kids to give them a broader perspective of what they can accomplish.”

Farther Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping students from economically disadvantaged circumstances explore interests, expand horizons, gain inspiration and elevate aspirations for leadership and success. We do this by providing scholarships and support for students to participate in educational travel experiences that are significant and life changing. Foundation has provided more than $450,000 in scholarships to nearly 200 deserving students to travel to 32 countries on six continents and participate in programs of cultural and language immersion, scientific exploration and service to local communities.

Go Farther!

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Mid-Year Report, 2017

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.

Go Farther!


Save the Date

Thursday, Sep. 28th
7:00 – 10:00pm
Fitzgerald’s Nightclub

 Farther Foundation’s Annual Benefit and Celebration 

  • Come hear stories of discovery, adventure and mishap told by consummate storytellers.
  • Enjoy food, drink and the company of friends.
  • Win fun and exciting raffle prizes.
  • Support our hard-working and deserving students.

Our host and featured storyteller:

Mark Caro

Mark Caro: Mark is the author of the award-winning nonfiction book The Foie Gras Wars and co-author of the new Take It to the Bridge: Unlocking the Great Songs Inside of You. After covering film, food, music and news for the Chicago Tribune over more than 26 years, he currently writes about entertainment and culture for The New York Times and other outlets, is a regular guest host on WGN Radio and created and hosts the popular “Is It Still Funny?” film series at the Music Box Theatre.

More featured storytellers to be announced soon!

Early Registration for StorySlam is open!

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

Click here to buy tickets and register online

Or contact us at:

708-497-7240 or gofarther@fartherfoundation.org

We hope to see you there!

Meet our Farther Foundation class of 2017 scholars.

This year, Farther Foundation approved nearly $100,000 in scholarships to support life-changing programs for 34 deserving students. Here are some details about our scholarship class of 2017:

Female: 26                     Male: 8
Latino: 22                      African American: 10                        Other: 2
Average Family Income: $33,800        Average Scholarship: $2,875

Our scholarship recipients this year will participate in programs that take them abroad to Nepal, Mongolia, Ghana, Brazil, China, Tanzania, Brazil and elsewhere. Others will experience college life on campuses including Brown, Harvard, Stanford and Tufts.

2017 Scholar Spotlight

Maria pre-photo

Maria is a high-achieving student at St. Ignatius High School. She was recommended to us by the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund, an organization that provides students from at-risk populations with scholarships to private college-preparatory high schools, mentoring, college counseling and other resources to support their academic aspirations.

This summer, Maria will travel to the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures where she will participate in a program focused on public health and service to the local community. Maria is eager to explore careers in the medical field and told us, “Shadowing a medical professional will help me in my future. Although a small step, it would be amazing to be experiencing this life first hand and learning from professionals themselves.”

Maria describes herself as determined, “People around me have never seen me as a person who starts something and does not finish it. Whether that be a thousand-piece puzzle or a math problem that seems unsolvable, I have always tried to stick to what I start and successfully finish it.” Her program leaders at the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund tell us that Maria’s counselors and teachers have nothing but amazing things to say about her. They expect that “Maria will be the one that changes the trajectory of her family’s economic state. Her progress as an upcoming first generation college student and high school graduate will open so many doors that her parents were unable to enjoy.”

Alumni Spotlight – Corbin Sanders

Corbin with Obama

We asked Corbin what led him to choose Morehouse College. He told us it was the school’s main mission, to mold young African-American men to become the best versions of themselves and use their gifts to change the world.   Corbin’s gift is music and he believes that will be how he positively impacts the world.  He shared a memory with us from his time at Morehouse, “A specific moment that was significant in making me the person that I am today is when I posted my first video doing a violin cover. The day after, the entire school was talking about it and told me how cool and inspiring they thought it was. It felt really good to have that type of effect on everyone.”

Corbin with Chance the Rapper

While in high school during the summers of 2011 and 2012 Corbin participated in two educational travel programs with the assistance of Farther Foundation, first to New Mexico on a team-building and leadership-training retreat and then to Costa Rica for two weeks of cultural exploration and environmental science education. Corbin said those experiences not only raised his expectations about his future, but gave him the confidence to “realize that I can go anywhere in the world and adapt.” His advice to other students, “Do it. Don’t even hesitate, just do it. You don’t want to miss out on the impact that traveling can have on your life.”

Corbin Graduating Morehouse

This May, Corbin graduated from Morehouse Cum Laude and a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honors society. His accomplishments as a musician have already provided him with opportunities to play at public events and ceremonies. What’s next for Corbin? He tells us, “I will continue to create and play the music that I like while inspiring people in the process.”

Check out some of Corbin’s performances on YouTube.
Read a profile of Corbin from Morehouse College.


Farther Foundation students graduate high school, enroll in college, and then graduate from college (college persistence) at rates that far exceed their peers.

High School Graduation Rate 5-19-17

College Enrollment Rate 5-19-17

College Persistence Rate 5-19-17

According to the To & Through Project1, 76% of Chicago Public School high school freshmen aspire to earn a four-year college degree. Yet current projections show only 18% of CPS freshmen—and only 22% of high school freshmen nationwide—will go on to earn a four-year college degree within ten years of starting high school.

Why are Farther Foundation students succeeding at a higher rate? We believe the educational experiences we provide – giving students the opportunity to travel away from home while participating in new experiences – equips them with a broader base of knowledge and the confidence to cast a wide net and gain admission to the best and most appropriate colleges for them. Attending colleges with high graduation rates and entering college with a positive learning mindset2 make a great difference in academic success. 

1) The To &Through Project is a partnership among the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute and Network for College Success that brings together expertise across the key domains of research, data, and training resources.

2) Learn more about “learning mindsets


Thank you for supporting our mission and the students we serve

David Weindling, President
Susan J. White, Vice President
Griselda Garibay, Treasurer
Ruth Masters, Director
Laura Swartzbaugh, Director
Angelicca Telles, Director
Nancy Baker, Director
Bill Kling, Director

Donate online at: www.fartherfoundation.org.

Or, send to Farther Foundation on PayPal and Venmo

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

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College persistence and graduation

Research has shown the benefits of a college education – higher income, better health, increased civic participation and greater life satisfaction. That is good news for the 95% of Farther Foundation alumni who enroll in college. But that is not where the research ends, to reap those benefits merely going to college is not enough, graduation is the key (See the article by David Leonhardt in the New York Times blog, The Upshot).

college-selectivity-chartGraduation is far from a given when a student enters college. The national graduation rate hovers around 60% but ranges widely among colleges from 20% – 95%. Furthermore, the college graduation rate for low-income, first generation and under-represented minority students lags behind the overall national average. However, a closer look at the statistics reveals an interesting outcome. When graduation rates at individual colleges are considered, the differences between the overall graduation rates and those for low-income, first generation and under-represented minority students are greatly reduced or nearly vanish (See the research by The Education Trust).

The data clearly shows that regardless of the students’ socio-economic status some schools are better at graduating their students than others. It is important therefore for students to seek admission to those schools that have the best graduation rates. Barron’s Magazine’s Profiles of American Colleges publishes a college ranking guide that sorts colleges into categories of competitiveness. While these rankings can be debated and the alignment with graduation rates is not perfect, there is fairly strong correlation that the colleges ranked as very, highly or most competitive graduate students at a higher rate than those ranked as competitive, less competitive or noncompetitive. The Upshot went even deeper; compiling an index of those colleges it ranked as the best at doing the most for low income students (see the rankings here).

How does this relate to the work of Farther Foundation? We believe that the unique educational experiences we provide to low-income high school students – giving them the opportunity to travel away from home while participating in new experiences – gives them a broader base of knowledge and the confidence to apply to and gain admission to the best and most appropriate college for them. Research from The Education Trust found that low-income students were less likely than their higher-income counterparts to enroll in colleges in the upper half of selectivity and performance. In research specifically with Chicago Public School students, The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research found that 7 of the 10 most frequently attended colleges by CPS students have graduation rates less than 50%. Additional research indicates that CPS students tend not to seek out colleges that best align with the upper range of their abilities and qualifications.

Farther Foundation students are charting a different path. Not only are 95% of our students enrolling in college directly upon graduation from high school, but 96% of those students are graduating or remain on track to graduate from college. No doubt the college persistence shown by our students is due in great measure to their own character and capacities. However, their college choices seem to reflect a boldness and confidence that exceeds even their high achieving peers. 79% of Farther Foundation students attend colleges in the top three categories of Barron’s rankings – Very Competitive, Highly Competitive and Most Competitive. Our students’ ability to be aware of their options, and their confidence to seek out the best and most appropriate college, puts them on the path to success. We believe (and they believe) that the educational travel experiences made possible by Farther Foundation contributed greatly in fostering the knowledge and confidence that influenced their college decisions and will continue to be a positive influence in all of their future achievements.

You can help. Farther Foundation and the students we serve depend on the tax deductible donations from people like you to make these life changing experiences possible. Visit our website to make a donation online.

Farther Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization providing scholarships to low-income students to inspire them to reach their highest aspirations through educational travel experiences.

Go Farther!

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Go Farther and Discover

Uriel is a standout student at De LaSalle High School. He was recommended to us by our partners at HighSight because he wanted to go abroad on a service trip last summer. Farther Foundation helped Uriel travel to Ghana on a cultural immersion and service program run by Putney Student Travel.

Uriel shared a little of his experience with us:uriel-4

“The sun is as strong as it has ever been. It was hard to breathe because of the smell that lingered around the markets because of the fish and other livestock being sold. It was definitely an uncomfortable month without having the luxury of an a/c and running water. Mornings would always be humid in the bunk house and nights would be cold at the dinner table. There was never a perfect temperature but it was just something that you would get accustomed to. The environment and the people would help you get through it. Knowing that the person right next to you has also not taken a long hot shower and is sweating as much as you can be comforting. Doing community service in Ghana, West Africa was definitely an eye opening experience.”

His trip leaders with Putney Student Travel thought highly of Uriel as well. They wrote:

“We were so proud of Uriel for coming on this journey. There were a lot of firsts for him: first time flying, leaving the USA, seeing an ocean, to name a few. Those little things really captured for us the idea of “going beyond,” which he did so well and was thrilled to have experienced.

Uriel was awarded our MVT — Most Valuable Traveler. He would constantly ask how else he could help on projects, and interacted with the local community members. He was a great ambassador for Putney and the United States of America. Each day he would blow us away with his unending work ethic, critical thinking skills, and willingness to try new things!

We both had very meaningful and long discussions with Uriel on several occasions. His love for family, devotion to education, and commitment to new experiences greatly impressed both of us. He shared his dreams and aspirations with us and we were just so honored to be part of this eye-opening adventure. Uriel is a very deep thinking person and talking to him and hearing his different stories made an impact on us both.”

You can help. Farther Foundation and the students we serve depend on the tax deductible donations from people like you to make these life changing experiences possible. Visit our website to make a donation online.

Farther Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization providing scholarships to low-income students to inspire them to reach their highest aspirations through educational travel experiences.

Go Farther!

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