Brighter Horizon Foundation

Educating the First Generation

aka Brighter Horizon Foundation   |   Bala Cynwyd, PA   |  https://brighterhorizonfoundation.org/

Mission

Brighter Horizon’s mission is to support high school students in becoming the first in their family to pursue a four-year college education. With a focus on academic achievement, mentoring, and financial need, the Organization seeks to open opportunities for underserved youth to whom a four-year degree would otherwise be inaccessible. Our Organization fulfills this mission through a hands-on approach to college preparation, entrance testing, application processes, financial aid, and mentoring, in addition to internship and full-time employment assistance for first-generation students throughout their education.

Ruling year info

2019

President

Ms. Yvette Bright

Main address

P.O. Box 2838

Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

83-0995509

NTEE code info

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Philadelphia has the greatest proportion of adults who have never attend college among the 15 largest cities in the nation. Twenty-six percent (26%) of Philadelphia’s population lives in poverty, the highest poverty rate for America’s big cities. With an unemployment rate of 4.9% (February 2019), compared to 3.9% nationwide, many Philadelphians are not in the workforce and do not have adequate education or skills to secure living wage jobs. Philadelphia has long been ranked the poorest metropolitan area of the country’s biggest cities. Decades of research studies demonstrate that poverty and inadequate schools make it difficult to climb the economic ladder. As of 2015 12 % of low-income youth in the United States completed bachelor degrees by age 24, compared to 58% of youth from the highest income quartile. Many students, especially low-income students and those who will be the first in their families to attend college, face multiple barriers to college access.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Educating the first generation

Our Organization serves as a critical resource to first-generation students and their families throughout the various stages of the high school-to-college transition process and beyond.
Most of these families are unfamiliar with the requirements and expectations of the college admission process, so in today’s institutional rhetoric and procedure-based system, these students are at a significant disadvantage—often compounded by racial and socioeconomic challenges. Brighter Horizon is breaking the cycle of exclusion that these barriers create by supporting and empowering students throughout the college application process.
Through a pragmatic approach, Brighter Horizon constructively counters the anxieties and stresses often experienced by first-generation students to make a four-year college education possible.
What We Do:
 Introduce students to the college search and transition process.
 Provide training for college admissions criteria and planning for deadlines and required fees.
 Offer guidance with college applications, testing and personal essay writing, including completing the Common Application.
 Assist with financial documentation and completing the FAFSA forms.
 Connect students with a larger network of successful first-generation individuals in four-year degree programs, helping foster mentorships and new relationships.
 Grant scholarships for qualified students.
 Offer mentorship throughout their college career and assistance with internships and full-time job searches.

Brighter Horizon is redefining today’s empowerment services for underserved, first-generation youth in the Greater Philadelphia area and beyond.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total funds raised from individual donors, corporations and foundations.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Educating the first generation

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of graduates enrolled in higher learning, university, or technical/vocational training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Educating the first generation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Brighter Horizon began enrolling students in early 2019 and currently has five students attending college supported by our programs.

Total dollar amount of scholarship awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Educating the first generation

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Brighter Horizon began supporting students through college scholarships in the Fall of 2019 provided $42,500 in scholarships as of December 2019.

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Educating the first generation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Brighter Horizon began providing college scholarships in Fall of 2019 and as of December 2019 has provided scholarships to five new college scholars.

Number of students who demonstrate the desire to succeed in the academic setting

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Educating the first generation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Beginning operations in Jan 2019, Brighter Horizon is now sponsoring thirteen scholars, 5 now attending college and 8 in high school and receiving support for 2020/2021 college admission.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Located in and focusing mainly on the Philadelphia metropolitan area, the Brighter Horizon Foundation supports high school students in becoming the first in their family to pursue a four-year college education. With a focus on academic achievement, mentoring, and financial need, the Organization seeks to open opportunities for underserved youth to whom a four-year degree would otherwise be inaccessible.

Brighter Horizon fulfills this mission through a hands-on approach to college preparation, entrance testing, application processes, financial aid, and mentoring, in addition to internships and full-time employment assistance for first-generation students throughout their education.

Brighter Horizon serves as a critical resource to first-generation students and their families throughout the various stages of the high school-to-college-to employment transitions. Most of these families are unfamiliar with the requirements and expectations of the college admission process, so in today’s institutional rhetoric and procedure-based system, these students are at a significant disadvantage—often compounded by racial and socioeconomic challenges. Brighter Horizon is breaking the cycle of exclusion that these barriers create by supporting and empowering students throughout the college application process.

Through a pragmatic approach, Brighter Horizon constructively counters the anxieties and stresses often experienced by first-generation students to make a four-year college education possible.

What We Do:

• Introduce students to the college search and transition process.
• Provide training for college admissions criteria and planning for deadlines and required fees.
• Offer guidance with college applications, testing and personal essay writing, including completing the Common Application.
• Assist with financial documentation and completing the FAFSA forms.
• Connect students with a larger network of successful first-generation individuals in four-year degree programs, helping foster
mentorships and new relationships.
• Grant scholarships for qualified students.
• Offer mentorship throughout their college career and assistance with internships and full-time job searches.

When financial limitations are preventing a student from pursuing a four-year college degree, Brighter Horizon grants scholarships to assist in the cost of his or her education.

Brighter Horizon partners with school counselors and area organizations working with youth to support pathways to college, including Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia; Providence Center; Girls, Inc. and Cristo Rey High School, with discussions underway to partner with Education Works, Roman Catholic High School, and Jules E. Mastbaum. Our partners refer students and help to accelerate our ability to get to know them, assign appropriate mentors, and assist with college search, preparation and admission. Regular contact with partners provides progress reports to intervene when needed to support students.

We partner with colleges to support the needs of first-generation students and expand their offerings. Our 11 college partners are: Robert Morris, University of Pittsburgh, Bucknell, Carnegie Mellon, Drexel, LaSalle, Lehigh, Johnson C. Smith, University of Maryland, University of Delaware and Rensselaer Polytechnic. We are pursuing Temple, Howard, Spellman, St. Joseph's, Gwynedd Mercy, Elizabethtown, and others in order to expand this resource.

Brighter Horizon believes that internships are a beneficial part of the work force development process. They help develop professional aptitude, strengthen personal character, and provide a greater door to opportunity. Internships provide a broad spectrum of opportunity when seeking and applying for a job after college. The overarching goal of higher education is to adequately prepare for success in future careers. While facing a certain level of academic rigor and gaining important life skills are crucial aspects of career preparedness received while in college, more and more importance is being placed on the value of experiential learning.
In the words of some of Brighter Horizon's Scholar-interns:

 "I learned to look at data, formulate a story and give recommendations";

 "My Quality Assurance internship introduced me to how rates are developed in healthcare financing and enhanced my Excel skills";

 "I was introduced to all aspects of auditing and did a site visit to see construction first-hand -- invaluable since I want to leverage my civil engineering degree in construction management."

Learning doesn't just take place in the classroom -- internships provide students with a wealth of other benefits.

Brighter Horizon has assembled a Board that collectively has on average 10+ years’ experience working together in business successfully executing on major programs and transformation initiatives. Together we have achieved positive measurable results. This allows us to work more effectively as a team, leveraging each other’s strengths. Additionally, more than half the Board are first generation students themselves, and all have a passion for our mission.

The mentor group are individuals that all have a connection to a Brighter Horizon board member or another mentor. They are individuals that one of us have personally helped along the way, worked under our leadership in our professional careers, are friends with another mentor, or are the children of individuals we have supported in their professional journey.

At Brighter Horizon, we believe this is our ‘secret sauce’, and we have every confidence we can retain this ‘culture’ of team and family as we pursue our mission to lift these students to higher levels of achievement, and provide economic opportunity for them and their families.

Brighter Horizon was intentional in developing a model that partners with community organizations and local high schools to further our mission.

Why?

The population of students we are seeking to assist face many challenges, and in many cases academics and admission to college is the least of them. It’s our goal to support our students academically, but also help them manage through cultural barriers, family issues and other hurdles that could stand in the way of them staying on track to achieve their goal of a four-year college degree. We want to ensure a 100% college graduation rate, zero or minimal debt, and post-graduation employment to improve the economic mobility for the student and by extension, their family.

Our partners generally have had a relationship with the student and in most cases, a family member well before we meet them. The knowledge they bring is critical to help us assign the right mentor, accelerate getting to know the Scholar through someone they trust, and gives us data as we guide them through college selection.

We maintain regular contact with our partners as to the progress of the student, and if necessary can both intervene if needed to help a student over a hump.

Over the next 5 years, we will be seeking to double our partnerships focusing on additional high schools and community organizations.

Brighter Horizon has stepped up to provide the needed support, not only financial, but equally important, the
one-on-one mentoring that is demonstrated to result in successful achievement of college enrollment and
college graduation for first generation college scholars.

Short-term: Brighter Horizon’s 21 current Scholars will graduate college & attain a living wage job by 2026, effectively ending the cycle of generational poverty for them and their family within the next five years.
 3 will graduate in 2021,
 3 will graduate in 2023,
 5 will graduate in 2024,
 5 will graduate in 2025, and
 5 will graduate in 2026.

Medium-term: Brighter Horizon’s annual growth plan, toward which this grant will be applied, adds a minimum of 10-15 new students every year, insuring that at least 110 students will graduate between now and 2030. Studies show that families with a college graduate are much more likely to send other family members to college, multiplying the impact of our efforts to impact generational poverty in our community.

And, our graduates commit to “pay it forward” by mentoring other, non-family Brighter Horizon Scholars into and throughout their college careers. Therefore, indirectly, the impact of Brighter Horizon’s college support will expand to a much larger pool of recipients for whom college will be made possible, and supported through academic, psycho-social, and financial assistance.

Long-term: The long-term impact of our model for supporting college success will be an ever-widening, expansive and profound community-wide impact, ending generational poverty in the broader community by growing exponentially overtime.

Financials

Brighter Horizon Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Brighter Horizon Foundation

Board of directors
as of 10/8/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Alana Robinson

CEO, Robinson Group

Term: 2018 -

Alan Krigstein

Retired Chief Financial Executive

Richard Lauro

Vice President, Global FP&A, Chubb LImited

E. Terry Booker

Vice President, Business Development, Independence Blue Cross

Michele Miller

Heathcare Transformation Executive

Lisa Santare

Communications Director, United Methodist Church of Newark

Dr. Robbin Smart

Executive Director, Breakthrough Philadelphia

Stephan Roker

Vice President, Amerihealth Caritas

Michael Vennera

Sr. Vice President and CIO, Independence Blue Cross

Alison Woods

Retired Technology Executive

William Haggett

Retired Healthcare Executive

Alana Robinson

CEO, Robinson Group Consulting

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/07/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/07/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.