The College Graduation Challenge

This New York Times piece below describes the challenge, Farther Foundation is addressing it. Our students are attending college at a 99% rate and persisting and eventually graduating from college at a 96% rate.

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Annual Report, 2017

Farther Foundation  Annual Report 2017


Mission & Vision

Salma studied marine biology in Mexico

Farther Foundation inspires greater motivation and achievement for students from at-risk populations through participation in unique educational travel experiences. Inspired by experience, students become active and engaged learners, full of potential and more fully aware of the world and its opportunities. Continue reading

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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 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

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:

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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