Stephen Zadravec, Superintendent
1 Junkins Avenue, Suite 402., Portsmouth, NH 038017
For Immediate Release
Monday, Nov. 6, 2017
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Nonprofit Receives Over $900,000 to Help Portsmouth Students Achieve College Dreams
PORTSMOUTH — Superintendent Stephen Zadravec announces that more than $900,000 has been donated this year to one of the city’s well-known nonprofits, which will be used to help disadvantaged Portsmouth High School students attend college.
Within the last year, Futures — a nonprofit focused on providing mentoring, encouragement and financial assistance to selected students — received a record total donation amount that will directly benefit Portsmouth students.
Futures was founded by visionary and generous local philanthropist, the late Joseph Sawtelle, to help students who show the ability, desire and motivation to attend college, but lack the necessary resources.
“This is, by far, the largest amount of money that has been donated to the program in a single year, since its inception in the mid-1980s,” Superintendent Zadravec said. “These generous donations will be used to help our students along their path toward getting accepted into college and assist with certain expenses once they do. Attending college isn’t cheap, and for decades Futures has been there to help Portsmouth High students take that next step.”
A large gift of over $700,000 from Sawtelle’s estate was made to the organization over the summer, helping his legacy live on after his death in 2000. In addition, the estates of Portsmouth natives Claire Rangnow and Dr. Peter Beck, both made significant donations earlier this year.
“It is wonderful and strangely coincidental to see such a large planned gift from Joe’s estate show up this year,” Superintendent Zadravec said. “The School Board has stated an explicit goal this year to expand our efforts to close opportunity gaps for students in need. These donations will help the Futures Program in meeting that goal for graduating students. At the same time the School Board has created an Educational Opportunity Fund for other student needs K-12. We have already received some donations to that fund, which is a testament to the continued generosity in this community.”
Futures Program Coordinator Amy Brnger said, “To be left this amount of money by three donors in such large amounts, was really thrilling to see. We at Futures have been contemplating doing more active fundraising. These generous gifts may be the springboard that we need to accomplish that, so we can continue to reach more students and award more money annually.”
Students eligible for assistance are guided by the program coordinator in a wide range of areas, including considering careers and majors, studying for PSATs and SATs, selecting colleges, completing applications and filling out financial aid forms.
Tuition assistance is awarded annually and is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Applications for eighth grade students will begin in January 2018. For more information about Futures, how to give and how to apply, please visit the website portsmouthfutures.org.