Future 5, a nonprofit that helps motivated, low-income high school students in Stamford, CT graduate and connect to a better and sustainable education and career path, held their annual graduation and celebration Thursday, June 11, at the Innovation Center in Old Town Hall.
51 seniors, who are members of Future 5, representing all four local Stamford high schools, AITE, Trinity Catholic, Stamford and Westhill, celebrated their achievement at this special recognition event. The class of 2015 is Future 5’s sixth graduating class and many students have been members of the organization since their freshman year. 27 have committed to attend four-year schools including Princeton University, University of San Francisco, Rochester Institute of Technology, UConn, and Southern CT University. 19 students will attend Norwalk Community College or another community college in the fall. One student is enlisting in the Army; one attending a summer program at Pratt; one will become a firefighter; and two are undecided at this time.
“The future of our young generation is critical to the Stamford community. We are proud that Future 5 has a proven model to connect each of our students to a game plan for success, supported by an unparalleled community network of support,” said Clif McFeely, founder and director of Future 5. Currently serving 130 members, Future 5 works to instill a can-do attitude by teaching the importance of resilience, grit, optimism, follow-through, and integrity. The organization’s philosophy and community strengthens a student’s self-esteem through character building workshops, job and college preparation programs and one-on-one coaching.
Featured senior graduation speakers, Ariel Mendoza, who will attend Pace University in NY; Alexa Gumbus, who will attend Norwalk Community College; Sachi Perera who will attend UConn Stamford; and Jennifer Midy, who will attend Nyack College in NY, shared their high school challenges and what their Future 5 experience has meant to them.
“Future 5 believes in the power of connection,” said chairman Polly Perkins Johnson. “We know that if we support and connect our kids to the Stamford community in a meaningful way, they will pay it forward. Our student members are given every opportunity to become productive citizens and with a good education and career plan they will want to live, work, and raise their families in Stamford,” Perkins Johnson added.
Since its founding in 2009, Future 5 has served 369 students and 98% of the students have graduated from high school. 92% have commitments to two- or four-year colleges, certifications programs or the military. In addition to the staff, 60+ volunteer coaches commit to over 5000 hours providing more than $300,000 worth of guidance, coaching and tutoring each school year.