Tag Archives: Summer Learning

Why we do what we do

Farther Foundation’s annual event, StorySlam: A Benefit for Farther Foundation, is coming up on Thursday, October 6. You can learn more about the event and get tickets here. But sometimes amidst all the excitement and promotion of the event we forget to talk about why we do what we do.

Here is an example.

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Cherese earned a scholarship from Farther Foundation in 2010, the summer after her freshman year of high school. She had the opportunity to join a program with a group of other students from isolated and low-income communities where they would spend days living and working on a tall sailing ship. The program provided opportunities for self-exploration, team building and leadership training. As you can see from the photo (our apologies to Cherese) the days could be draining.

But providing opportunities to take on the challenges of new environments and experiences is what Farther Foundation is all about. Our students become inspired by what the world has to offer, they gain the confidence to succeed in new and diverse situations and they have the determination to reach their highest potential.

We just heard from Cherese a couple of weeks ago. It’s been six years since she got off that sail boat. Cherese let us know that she went on to graduate from Simeon Career Academy High School as Valedictorian and won a Gates Millennium Scholarship. She then enrolled at Millikin University where she is now a senior with a chemistry research major. She spent the past summer finishing her research with the American Chemical Society while also helping to teach STEM subjects to high school students. In addition, Cherese is the vice president of her sorority, the president of the Multicultural Student Council, the vice president for the Multicultural Greek Council and a mentor to first year students.

Cherese has proven to be exceptional, but not altogether atypical for a Farther Foundation student. There are exceptional students everywhere who lack only the opportunities and resources to inform and elevate their aspirations and give them the confidence and inspiration to reach their highest potential.

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.

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Summer Learning Matters

National Summer Learning Day is Thursday, July 14. According to the National Summer Learning Association:

SLD-logo-500px“Summer learning loss, the phenomenon where young people lose academic skills over the summer, is one of the most significant causes of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth and one of the strongest contributors to the high school dropout rate. For many young people, the summer “opportunity gap” contributes to gaps in achievement, employment and college and career success.”

Farther Foundation provides resources and opportunities for students from low-income families to participate in educational travel programs across the country and around the world.

Right now, with the aid of Farther Foundation scholarships, 27 students are fanned out across the globe. Christopher is in Tanzania exploring the natural environment and learning about the native culture. Gabriella is providing community service in India. Enrique is studying with top students at Princeton, and Adrian attends a pre-college law program at Brown University.

The students we work with do not lack intelligence, ambition or motivation. What they lack are opportunities and resources. Given the opportunities, Farther Foundation students are achieving academically at far greater rates than their peers, and they are coming home to be role models and inspirations for their families, friends and classmates.

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.

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Student Travelogue

Reflections_2015_CoverphotoReflections 2015 Now Available 

Each summer, eager and deserving students travel across the country and around the world with the support of Farther Foundation scholarships. 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.

Each fall, Farther Foundation gathers photos and stories from our students and publishes them in a yearbook we call, Reflections. We invite you to share our students’ journeys in Reflections 2015.

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.

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Low-income kids soar on summer trips abroad

Students studying abroad“Low-income kids soar on summer trips abroad” read the headline in a recent Chicago Tribune article. This is not news at Farther Foundation where we have been making life-changing summer travel experiences possible for deserving high school students for seven years now.

The article goes on to say that, “Across the country, schools, nonprofits and scholarship programs are increasingly offering low-income students a chance to travel internationally as part of a broader attempt to narrow opportunity and achievement gaps in a more globalized economy.”

Our Farther Foundation students have been a shining example of what all students can achieve when given the opportunities and resources that enable them to reach their potential. Farther Foundation students are drawn from some of the most isolated and impoverished neighborhoods in and around Chicago. The typical high school graduation rate for low-income students is less than 70%, less than half of those graduates tend to enroll directly into college and just a fraction of those go on to earn a college degree.

On the other hand, 100% of Farther Foundation students have graduated high school, 95% have gone directly on to college and almost all of those have either earned a four-year college degree or remain on track to do so.

We are proud to have been on the leading edge of this movement in Chicago and around the country and we are excited to see opportunities being afforded to more eager and deserving students.

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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National Summer Learning Day

summerFriday, June 19th is National Summer Learning Day, a day of advocacy sponsored by The National Summer Learning Association dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of year round learning opportunities to the healthy development and academic success of all youth.

Summertime is a crossroads for students, and an ideal time for personal growth.  Without proper opportunities however, summer all too often becomes a period of stagnation or backsliding.  Farther Foundation provides opportunities for students to travel worldwide and interact with individuals who have diverse backgrounds and experiences. They participate in programs which enable them to become immersed in new cultures and experiences, learn and develop skills, provide service, cultivate leadership potential and attain personal growth.

Research reports from the National Summer Learning Association indicate that:

  • All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.
  • Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains.
  • More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.
  • Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do.

Alumni from Farther Foundation programs who have participated in cultural and language immersion programs abroad or spent the summer studying on college campuses across the country have benefited greatly. Our students graduate high school, attend college and continue on to achieve a degree at rates that far exceed their peers. Visit our website to learn more about our students, our programs and our mission.

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.

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Summer Learning Your Way

Dolores in ArgentinaTo succeed in school and life, children and young adults need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills. This is especially true during the summer months.

Unfortunately, some youth face anything but idyllic summer months. When the school doors close, many children struggle to access educational opportunities.

More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.   — National Summer Learning Association

Summertime is a crossroads for students, and an ideal time for personal growth.  Without proper opportunities however, summer all too often becomes a period of stagnation or backsliding.  Farther Foundation is a charitable organization providing scholarships to low-income students to inspire them to reach their highest aspirations through educational travel experiences.

Our scholarship application deadline is March 31st and the applications have been pouring in. There is a whole world waiting for eager students to discover and a wide variety of programs to take them there. Here are a few examples of programs that our applicants are exploring:

Community Service and Spanish Immersion in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (The Road Less Traveled): Includes community service projects in a small Andean community, practicing and improving Spanish, exploring Quito and the Otavalo Market, whitewater rafting and hiking to hidden waterfalls in the Amazon Rainforest.

Mini Medical School (University of Rochester): This rigorous program offers research labs, rotations, and service learning at local clinics. Students will have hands-on exposure to the clinical, community service, and public health aspects of medicine, providing a real taste of the medical school experience.

Exploring Israel while working and interacting with people with special needs (Yachad): Yad B’Yad is a uniquely inclusive touring program that takes mainstream high school students together with young adults with special needs on a tour of Israel.

The Farther Foundation website maintains a searchable directory of educational travel programs designed to help students make the most of their summer.

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.

Go Farther!

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