Future 5 Names New Executive Director

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.

The Writing’s on the College Wall!

The Senior Pep Rally is one of our favorite days of the year, and the College Wall is a visual reminder of the determination of our seniors to achieve their goal of earning a college degree.

Future 5 Elects Two More Board Members

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Names One to Advisory Board

Future 5, a Stamford-based nonprofit dedicated to helping low-income high school students in Stamford, CT graduate and connect to a better and sustainable education and career path, announced the addition of two new members to its board of directors and a new member to its advisory board. Michael Chambers and John Bonora joined the board of directors while Nancy Fink Benjamin joined the advisory board.

Stamford, CT resident, Michael Chambers, is executive director of the Per & Astrid Heidenreich Family Foundation based in Stamford, CT. Chambers also serves as vice president for Heidenreich Enterprises Limited Partnership. Previously, he served nearly ten years as the agency director of Inland Wetlands & Watercourses for the town of Greenwich. Chambers graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Lynchburg College.

John Bonora is a resident of North Haven, CT and a senior vice president – chief risk & chief credit officer with First County Bank based in Stamford, CT. Prior positions include vice president – regulatory risk & compliance Assurance Manager for the Royal Bank of Scotland in Stamford and a vice president – compliance officer for Fairfield County Bank in Ridgefield, CT. Bonora received his Master of Science in Financial Risk Management from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor of Science in Economics-Finance from Bentley University.

Stamford, CT resident Nancy Fink Benjamin, who is also a Future 5 college prep coach, grew up in Stamford and attended Stamford public schools. Nancy began her career on the advertising agency side in account management at Dancer, Fitzgerald, Sample and moved into advertising sales at Conde Nast where she worked for Mademoiselle, Glamour and Allure magazines. She attended Michigan State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications and English and a Masters of Arts in Advertising.

In addition to the new board members, Future 5 board includes: New Canaan residents chairman, Polly Perkins Johnson, vice chairman & secretary, Tom Turrentine, VP of RBC Wealth Management, Andrew Ashforth, co-CEO, The Ashforth Company, Thomas Beusse, CEO, F+W, Jack Loop, CEO, The Loop Company, Frank Lyon, individual philanthropy officer, AmeriCares, Jamere Jackson, CFO, The Nielsen Company, Christopher Wright, partner, Pilgrim Capital, Cindy Ziegler, director, Halo Studios, as well as Darien resident David Schirmer, VP and general manager, Hearst Corporation, Fairfield resident Jessica Lee, assurance senior manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Redding resident Kim DePra, VP, marketing & communications, The Ashforth Company.

Founded in 2009, Future 5 has served 500+ students and overall has a 98% high school graduation rate. For the 2016-2017 school year, Future 5 expects to serve approximately 160 students. The nonprofit has a staff of five. Future 5 and its board are currently focused on sustainability by expanding quality programming and infrastructure, creating a reserve fund, expanding its physical space, and strengthening general operations. Ultimately, the board hopes to expand Future 5’s model to other cities.

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Future 5’s Class of 2016 Celebrates

2016 Graduates
Future 5, a nonprofit dedicated to helping low income high school students in Stamford graduate and connect to a better and sustainable education and career path, hosted a special recognition event to celebrate the graduation of their high school seniors on June 13 at the Stamford Innovation Center.

39 Future 5 seniors graduated, representing four Stamford high schools – Westhill High School, Stamford High School, Trinity Catholic High School, and AITE. Future 5’s class of 2016 is their seventh graduating class. 27 students committed to four-year schools including Providence College, UCONN Storrs, Springfield College, Quinnipiac University, and many others. Nine plan to attend two-year colleges including Norwalk Community College. One student will enter the U.S. military and two others are undecided on their plans and will continue to work with Future 5.

Future 5 member Sebastian Neufuss, a senior at AITE, is one example of the many students who have found success through the organization. He will be attending the Miami University of Ohio on a full scholarship from the Evans Scholars Foundation which provides full, four-year tuition and housing college scholarships for deserving golf caddies across the country. Sebastian is a golf caddy at the Woodway Country Club in Darien. He will be the first in his family to receive a college degree, like many other past and present graduates of the Future 5 organization. Sebastian will double major in psychology and business.

“From athletes to engineers to artists, the Future 5 Class of 2016 has it all. Our students continue to break barriers and become productive members of communities,” said Nancy Roath, co-director, college prep at Future 5. “The Class of 2016 is filled with wonderful students who have worked hard to realize their dream of attending college. It has been such a joy to work with this great group of students on their post high school plans. We are excited to see what the Class of 2016 will accomplish over the years and the many positive ways they will change the world,” added Debbie Eagan, co-director, college prep at Future 5.

During the graduation event founder and executive director Clif McFeely and director of students Ellen Berube spoke along with distinguished Future 5 alumni and members of the graduating senior class. First County Bank and XL Catlin were the event sponsors whose donations covered event expenses and the purchase of a college T-shirt for each graduate attending college in the fall.

Founded in 2009, Future 5 has served over 450 students and has a 98% high school graduation rate. For the 2015-2016 school year, Future 5 served approximately 150 high school students. In addition to the staff, 70 plus coaches and volunteers commit to over 60,000 hours helping Stamford’s high school students.

Fifteen Future 5 Students Attend Michelle Obama’s College Signing Day

Fifteen students from Future 5, a Stamford-based nonprofit dedicated to helping low-income high school students in Stamford, CT graduate and connect to a better and sustainable education and career path, were recently invited by Stamford Dollars for Scholars to attend First Lady Michelle Obama’s College Signing Day at the Harlem Armory in New York City.

Future 5 students gather at the Stamford train station to head to Harlem for Michelle Obama's College Signing Day Event! First row L-R: Polly Perkins Johnson, Susana Cevallos, Carolina Amigo, Aracely Barreto, Emilly Hernandez, Kirsten Melgar, Gilmar Barrios, and Katherine Martinez Back row L-R: Kathleen Charles, Glendy Pinto, Ricardo Vivar, Adrian Lamothe, Nii Pobee, Oscar Morales, Samuel Saturne, Edgar Oliva

Future 5 students gather at the Stamford train station to head to Harlem for Michelle Obama’s College Signing Day Event! First row L-R: Polly Perkins Johnson, Susana Cevallos, Carolina Amigo, Aracely Barreto, Emilly Hernandez, Kirsten Melgar, Gilmar Barrios, and Katherine Martinez Back row L-R: Kathleen Charles, Glendy Pinto, Ricardo Vivar, Adrian Lamothe, Nii Pobee, Oscar Morales, Samuel Saturne, Edgar Oliva

As part of her Reach Higher Initiative, the First Lady hosted the third annual College Signing Day event to celebrate high school seniors choosing to pursue higher education at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.

“This was a life-changing event for many of our students and we could not be more excited or more proud!” said Future 5 board chairman Polly Perkins Johnson. “Future 5 has 40 seniors graduating from high school this spring and many of them will be the first in their family to attend college. We are so glad that Michelle Obama is celebrating this milestone with our students and appreciate that she has put such an emphasis on the importance of a college education,” added Ellen Berube, Future 5 director of students.

College Signing Day continues the First Lady’s efforts to inspire young people to pursue their education past high school. More than 4,000 students from across New York high schools attended the event. This event was hosted by MTV in conjunction with Viacom’s Get Schooled initiative.

Future 5 seniors wait in line to listen to First Lady Michelle Obama address 4,000 seniors during her College Signing Day event. L-R: Oscar Morales, Adrian Lamothe, Gilmar Barrios, Edgar Oliva

Future 5 seniors wait in line to listen to First Lady Michelle Obama address 4,000 seniors during her College Signing Day event. L-R: Oscar Morales, Adrian Lamothe, Gilmar Barrios, Edgar Oliva

Katherine Martinez attending Westhill High School said, “It was really cool to see all different celebrities and hear about how going to college changed their lives.” Martinez will be attending Providence College in the fall. Nii Pobee attending Stamford High School shared, “She gave genuine advice on how to be successful in college and to go after every opportunity no matter which college you attend.” Pobee will be starting at UConn Stamford this fall. And, Ricardo Vivar also attending Stamford High School added, “The event made me even more excited to attend college in the fall. We were surrounded by 4,000 other high school seniors who will be starting at new schools and it was nice to be a part of that.” Ricardo will be a part of the Honors Program at Southern Connecticut State University.

Future 5 students traveled to the New York event with Future 5’s chairman Polly Perkins Johnson, director of students Ellen Berube, student advocate & business administration assistant Raul Olivia, and co-Director of Future 5’s College Prep Debbie Eagan.

Founded in 2009, Future 5 has served over 400 students and has a 98% high school graduation rate. For the 2015-2016 school year, Future 5 expects to serve approximately 150 students. If you are interested in learning more about Future 5 or volunteering to work with their high school student members, contact at 203-358-8787.

Future 5 Honors Coaches During National Volunteer Week

First row L-R: Seth Rubinroit, Raul Oliva, Jack Donahue, Polly Perkins Johnson, Lynn Abramson, Nancy Roath, Corey Tolkin, James Grunberger; Second row L-R: Pam Patterson, Jerry Roath, Debbie Eagan, Kyle Wilcox, David Moran; Third row L-R: Ellen Berube, Deirdre Smith, Fanny Moran, Lynn Donahue, Jane Hickok, Carl Weinberg, Tom Turrentine, Peg Atchue, Jim Eagan; Back row L-R: Alec Wiggin, Lindsay Valk, Scott Fuller, Julie Horowitz, Paul Clayton, Jack Loop, Larry Wooters, Clif McFeely

First row L-R: Seth Rubinroit, Raul Oliva, Jack Donahue, Polly Perkins Johnson, Lynn Abramson, Nancy Roath, Corey Tolkin, James Grunberger; Second row L-R: Pam Patterson, Jerry Roath, Debbie Eagan, Kyle Wilcox, David Moran; Third row L-R: Ellen Berube, Deirdre Smith, Fanny Moran, Lynn Donahue, Jane Hickok, Carl Weinberg, Tom Turrentine, Peg Atchue, Jim Eagan; Back row L-R: Alec Wiggin, Lindsay Valk, Scott Fuller, Julie Horowitz, Paul Clayton, Jack Loop, Larry Wooters, Clif McFeely

Future 5, a Stamford-based nonprofit dedicated to helping low-income high school students in Stamford, CT graduate and connect to a better and sustainable education and career path, recently celebrated National Volunteer Week by honoring its 70 volunteer coaches.

David and Fanny Moran hosted a “Cocktails & Coaches” event at their home in New Canaan. Moran has been a Future 5 volunteer for three years and recently became the volunteer coordinator. Other volunteer coaches from New Canaan include Peg Atchue, Ellen Berube, Jack and Lynn Donahue, Jim and Debbie Eagan, Future 5 founder & executive director Clif McFeely, Future 5 chairman of the board Polly Perkins Johnson, Jerry and Nancy Roath, Tom Turrentine and Lindsay Valk.

Volunteer coaches assist student members through various programs such as Here To There, Job Prep, College Prep and Community Service. Each of these workshops, ranging from eight weeks long to the entire school year, are designed to equip student members with the resources needed to overcome any barriers preventing them from reaching their goals. In addition to the ongoing workshops, special events, and tutoring services available to the students, coaches help student members navigate the complexities of the college application and financial aid processes as well as attend college on-site tours with them.

Each school year 70+ devoted Future 5 volunteers commit to over 5,000 hours. Coaches typically participate in large group discussions based on a theme and facilitate breakout sessions with several students. Depending on the workshop, a Future 5 coach is needed to volunteer one to three hours per week.

If you are interested in learning more about Future 5 or volunteering to work with their high school student members, contact at 203-358-8787.

March 10th – Fairfield County’s Giving Day

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Future 5 Elects Three New Board Members

Future 5 Board Members: Sitting L-R: Future 5 Founder & Executive Director Clif McFeely, Andrew Ashforth; Front L-R: Christopher Wright, Cindy Ziegler, Tom Turrentine, Frank Lyon, Kim DePra, Board Chairman Polly Perkins Johnson, David Schirmer; Back L-R: Tom Beusse, Jamere Jackson, Jack Loop, Jessica Lee

Future 5 Board Members: Sitting L-R: Future 5 Founder & Executive Director Clif McFeely, Andrew Ashforth; Front L-R: Christopher Wright, Cindy Ziegler, Tom Turrentine, Frank Lyon, Kim DePra, Board Chairman Polly Perkins Johnson, David Schirmer; Back L-R: Tom Beusse, Jamere Jackson, Jack Loop, Jessica Lee

Future 5 announced the election of three new members to its board of directors: Jamere Jackson of Nielsen, Jessica Lee of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Christopher Wright of Pilgrim Capital.

“Jamere, Jessica and Chris have an impressive combination of experience and strong community connections. We are proud to welcome these outstanding individuals to our board and look forward to their valuable insights and contributions,” said Polly Perkins Johnson, Board Chairman of Future 5.

In addition to the three new elected board members, Future 5 board includes: New Canaan residents Chairman, Polly Perkins Johnson, Vice Chairman & Secretary, Tom Turrentine, VP of RBC Wealth Management, Andrew Ashforth, co-CEO, The Ashforth Company, Thomas Beusse, CEO, F+W, Jack Loop, CEO, The Loop Company, Frank Lyon, Individual Philanthropy Officer, AmeriCares, and Cindy Ziegler, Director, Halo Studios, as well as Darien resident David Schirmer, VP and General Manager, Hearst Corporation, and Redding resident Kim DePra, VP, Marketing & Communications, The Ashforth Company.

Stamford resident, Jamere Jackson was elected as Treasurer of the Future 5 board. Jackson serves as Chief Financial Officer of Nielsen based in Wilton. Prior to joining Nielsen in 2014, Jackson spent over nine years at GE where held CFO roles in GE Corporate, GE Aviation and GE Oil & Gas. Jackson received his undergraduate degree in Finance and Business Economics from the University of Notre Dame.

Christopher Wright is a resident of New Canaan and a Partner with Pilgrim Capital, an independent private-equity firm based in Fairfield. Prior to helping establish Pilgrim in 2007, he had over nine years of private equity experience. Wright graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and Operations Research from Princeton University and an M.B.A. in Finance from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Fairfield resident Jessica Lee is an Assurance Senior Manager with PwC. She began her career with PwC and has served a broad mix of small, mid-sized and large multinational companies, both private and public, in the consumer products, retail and industrial products industries. Lee received her undergraduate degree in Accounting from Providence College and a Master’s Degree from the University of Connecticut.

Founded in 2009, Future 5 has served 369 students and overall has a 98% high school graduation rate. For the 2015-2016 school year, Future 5 expects to serve approximately 150 students. The nonprofit has a staff of five, 60+ coaches and volunteers and an annual budget of about $600,000.

“Continuing on its success, Future 5 and its board are currently focused on sustainability by expanding quality programming and infrastructure, creating a reserve fund, expanding its physical space, and strengthening general operations. Ultimately, the board hopes to expand Future 5’s model to other cities,” explained Clif McFeely, Founder and Executive Director of Future 5 and New Canaan resident.

NCC Donates an Office to Future 5

Norwalk Community College & Future 5 Collaborate…to Increase Positive Outcomes for Students

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Front row: Ann Rogers, Executive Director of the Norwalk Community College Foundation, Future 5 student Trevon and Future 5 coach Martha Cook. Back row: F5 students Stanley and Michelle, Future 5 coach Julie Horowitz, and Future 5 Founder & Executive Director Clif McFeely

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 opening of a new space at Norwalk Community College (NCC).

Future 5 students attending NCC and seeking help with academic, financial, time-management, and other challenges are now able to meet on-site with Future 5 coaches both by appointment and by drop-in. The new space, generously donated by NCC, is located in the Lifetime Learners Suite on the first floor of the West Campus. This space is optimal for student traffic and access to other nearby services. Two Future 5 volunteer coaches, New Canaan resident Martha Cook (MBA) and Norwalk resident Julie Horowitz (MHSA, LCSW), will provide office hours two afternoons per week, Monday and Thursday from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

“Community partnerships have proven to be a key ingredient in student success. Our goal is to significantly increase the number of NCC students who earn a high quality credential or Associate Degree leading to employment, or transfer to complete their Bachelor Degree. We are thrilled that Future 5 is now one of these key community resources,” said Ann Rogers, Executive Director of the Norwalk Community College Foundation.

Future 5 students enrolled at NCC are overwhelmingly from low-income backgrounds and accordingly need ongoing guidance and support. Given their strong sense of affiliation with Future 5, it makes sense for Future 5 to leverage their student relationships as much as possible during their NCC years. Currently 45+ Future 5 students attend NCC.

“The Future 5 – NCC Stay Connected collaboration was initiated to establish an on-campus support system for Future 5 high school graduates as they pursue their college and career path,” said Clif McFeely, Founder & Executive Director of Future 5. “For a large percentage of our Stamford high school graduates, NCC represents a critical step towards this goal. Improving the NCC retention and graduation rates is key to the success of our organization and is beneficial to NCC as well. We’re grateful for the donated space and our new partnership with NCC,” added McFeely.

The goal of the Future 5 – NCC Stay Connected collaboration is to increase positive outcomes for Future 5 students. Additional objectives include increasing the credential and degree awards of Future 5 students attending NCC and helping prepare these students to move on to a four-year college and/or a sustainable career.

If you are interested in learning more about Future 5 or volunteering to work with their high school student members, call (203) 358-8787.