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, announced the appointment of Kathryn McManus as its new executive director.
McManus, a New Canaan, CT resident, has served as Future 5’s interim executive director for the past six months. Among her career accomplishments, McManus launched CNN Japan and was the founder and CEO of NewsCertified Exchange (NCE), a Silicon Valley backed startup utilized by 250 global media networks. She is the strategic advisor to Women in Cable and Telecommunications (WICT) and twice a year teaches leadership and entrepreneurship workshops for the Fulbright Foundation in partnership with the Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communication and the University of Maryland. McManus holds a BA in Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii.
“Kathryn McManus’ hire marks the next chapter for us and the beginning of Future 5’s second story,” said Polly Perkins Johnson, Future 5 board chairman.
In June Future 5 will graduate 52 high school seniors. Collectively the class of 2017, 89% of whom will be the first in their families to attend college, has received college acceptances from more than 60 colleges and universities.
“It is an incredibly exciting time for our organization,” said Clif McFeely, founder of Future 5 and past executive director. “We are doubling our physical space in Stamford to accommodate the rapid increase in student membership at Future 5. We hired Kathryn to lead Future 5’s “second story” as a sustainable organization that will be here for many years to come. With community support, we will be able to assist additional members, offer more workshops, provide extended tutoring, and expand community service.”
“Having worked with many non-profit organizations I feel fortunate to build on Future 5’s foundation. It has taken tremendous talent, community and corporate support to create the organization and I am proud of what they have built,” said McManus. “Every day I’m inspired as I watch our students climb Future 5’s stairs, driven by their desire to make a better life for themselves. Given the momentum and the culture of Future 5, I feel grateful to be able to expand the organization and strengthen Future 5’s community.”
Founded in 2009 with one workshop and 15 students, Future 5 has since served over 500 low-income high school students in Stamford and has a 98% high school graduation rate. The organization now has over 80 volunteers, a gold star rating on GuideStar, and daily workshops focused on character building, college prep, job prep, academic tutoring, and community service.
McFeely founded Future 5 along with a handful of New Canaan residents: Noreen Poulson, Tom Turrentine, Nancy Roath, Frank Lyon, Andy Ashforth, Deb Eagan, Brian West and Polly Perkins Johnson. Their focus was to serve motivated low-income high school students in Stamford beginning with a simple character-building workshop McFeely created called “Here to There.” The objective was to help high school graduates connect to people, resources, and experiences and create an actionable plan ultimately leading to financial independence and productive citizenship.