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Enjoying a swim program at the Boys & Girls Club of Nashua. (Photo by Paiwei Wei.)

Enjoying a swim program at the Boys & Girls Club of Nashua. (Photo by Paiwei Wei.)

Foundation launches 10-year plan to help New Hampshire kids reach their full potential

“New Hampshire Tomorrow” commits $100 million to improve social and economic outcomes

CONCORD, NH (PRESS RELEASE) – The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has announced a 10-year, $100-million plan to help thousands of children and youth achieve greater success.

“New Hampshire Tomorrow” is a comprehensive partnership bringing together hundreds of organizations and businesses toward a single goal: increasing opportunities so that young people can reach their potential and be ready to contribute to New Hampshire’s communities and workforce.

The Foundation will make high-impact strategic grants, build and support multi-sector coalitions, and advance sensible public policy to achieve the goals of New Hampshire Tomorrow. The work is guided by a leadership council of 27 prominent Granite Staters.

“New Hampshire needs all of our kids to have the chance to thrive in career and community,” said Foundation President Richard Ober. “But right now, only some get that chance. New Hampshire Tomorrow will help turn that around.”

Ober said that too many young people in New Hampshire face a stark “opportunity gap” that hinders their ability to reach their full potential. Many kids from low-income families have less access to preschool, sports and other enrichment activities, adult mentors, advanced placement courses, and affordable postsecondary education. As a result, they tend to fare worse academically, are less likely to go to college, less able to get good jobs.

“That is just unfair,” Ober said. “It also doesn’t make sense economically as our businesses struggle to find qualified young people to fill high-paying jobs. As our population ages and in-migration slows, we have to give more kids the opportunity to thrive. It is both a social obligation and an economic imperative.”

New Hampshire Tomorrow aims to narrow the opportunity gap with strategic investments in four proven focus areas: early childhood development, family and youth supports, preventing and treating alcohol and drug use, and creating affordable pathways from education to careers. Each area of investment aligns with work being done by the public sector, nonprofits, education and business. Grants made by the Charitable Foundation are made possible by the generosity of many donors. The Foundation is working to multiply funds with additional resources from local and national partners.

Dianne Mercier, president of People’s United Bank, is a member of the New Hampshire Tomorrow Leadership Council. “The New Hampshire Tomorrow initiative lays out a continuum of support that will give New Hampshire’s kids the opportunities they need to grow and learn, and eventually be able to engage in meaningful and rewarding work and contribute to New Hampshire communities,” Mercier said.

The Leadership Council also includes John Lynch, former New Hampshire Governor; Sylvia Larsen, former New Hampshire Senate president; Steve Duprey, real estate developer and Republican National Committee member; The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop of the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire; Dr. Ross Gittell, Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire;  J. Bonnie Newman, former president of the University of New Hampshire, who served as chief of staff for then-Congressman Judd Gregg; and Jeremy Hitchcock, founder and board member of Dyn.

“The ‘New Hampshire Advantage’ as we know it is dead,” Hitchcock said.  “There are new structural advantages that we must learn to harness for continued economic prosperity over the next 25-50 years. New Hampshire Tomorrow is the only comprehensive effort looking at statewide issues with a lens longer than two years.”

The Foundation has long been committed to effective action for the next generation. New Hampshire Tomorrow redoubles those efforts.

The Foundation awarded more than $11 million to New Hampshire Tomorrow-related efforts in 2015 and expects to award a similar amount in 2016. Examples of 2015/2016 investments:

  • $125,000 to family resource centers to provide parenting classes, home visiting and developmental screening for young children;
  • $90,000 to Southern New Hampshire Services to improve the quality of up to 30 early childhood development centers serving low-income kids through training and technical assistance;
  • $128,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire, which provides kids with adult mentors to help them succeed;
  • $295,000 to Families in Transition, which provides transitional housing and a range of other family support services;
  • $1.2 million to implement the evidence-based “screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment” protocol to address youth substance use in medical practices;
  • $2.8 million to youth substance use prevention programs, including Life of an Athlete, Media Power Youth, Partnership for a Drug Free NH and Youth Leadership Through Adventure;
  • $5.5 million in scholarships in 2015, including $1.2 million to students pursuing fields in high demand by New Hampshire employers;
  • $235,000 to strengthen education-to-career pathways in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from high schools to community colleges to four year colleges to high-demand careers in New Hampshire.

“New Hampshire has always enjoyed a high quality of life, but that is based on averages,” Ober said. “Too many families and young people have slipped through the cracks.”

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 11 percent of kids in New Hampshire (or 28,000) are living in poverty — up from 6 percent in 2000. (Under federal guidelines, a family of four with an income of $24,250 is considered to be in poverty.) And pockets of poverty are growing deeper. Twenty-eight percent of New Hampshire children, or 46,700, are eligible for free and reduced-price school lunch – a reliable measure of poverty. In some New Hampshire cities and districts, more than half of all kids qualify. And our kids face other challenges: New Hampshire’s young people have among the highest rates of substance use in the country and our students graduate with the highest debt load in the nation.

“New Hampshire is such a wonderful state, it is sad to see so many of our young people deprived of the opportunity to develop and utilize their God-given talents, and lead a happy and fulfilling life,” said Paul Montrone, president of Perspecta Trust,  former CEO of Wheelabrator and Fisher Scientific and a New Hampshire Tomorrow Leadership Council member. “I have no doubt that New Hampshire Tomorrow, bringing together the private sector and nonprofit sector, together with supportive government programs, can defeat this problem and bring more productive individuals into our workforce, benefiting all of our citizens.”

Amanda Grappone Osmer is owner of the Grappone Automotive Group and a New Hampshire Tomorrow Leadership Council member. “I am honored and humbled to be part of New Hampshire Tomorrow, and pledge to make whatever difference I personally can in wrapping New Hampshire’s kids in loving support,” Osmer said.  “There is a compelling business case, of course, for ensuring that our state’s children are well-fed, well-educated, and well-cared for.  So for reasons both personal and professional, I wholeheartedly support the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s efforts to make all our tomorrows more reliably safe and joyful for the kids of our beautiful state.”

More information on New Hampshire Tomorrow is available at www.nhcf.org/nhtomorrow.

New Hampshire Tomorrow Leadership Council Members:

  • Maureen Beauregard, president and founder, Families in Transition
  • Howard Brodsky, co-founder, chairman and co-chief executive officer, CCA Global Partners
  • Sister Paula Marie Buley, president, Rivier University
  • Jackie Cowell, executive director, Early Learning NH
  • Christopher Diego, managing director, Mountain View Grand Resort
  • Stephen Duprey, president, Foxfire Property Management and The Duprey Companies
  • Stephen Gehlbach, dean emeritus, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts – Amherst
  • Ross Gittell, chancellor, Community College System of New Hampshire
  • Yvonne Goldsberry, president, Endowment for Health
  • Eric Gregg, founder and principal, Four Tree Island Advisory LLC
  • Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop, The Episcopal Church of New Hampshire
  • Jeremy Hitchcock, founder, Dyn
  • Thomas Horgan, president and CEO, New Hampshire College and University Council
  • Sylvia Larsen, former Senate President, New Hampshire State Senate
  • Donnalee Lozeau, executive director, Southern New Hampshire Services
  • Kate Luczko, president and CEO, Stay Work Play
  • John Lynch, former Governor of the State of New Hampshire
  • Edward MacKay, director, Division of Higher Education, New Hampshire Department of Education
  • Latha Mangipudi, Hillsborough, New Hampshire House of Representatives
  • Dianne Mercier, president, People’s United Bank
  • Paul Montrone, founder and chair, Perspecta Trust
  • John Morison, chairman and CEO, Hitchiner Manufacturing
  • Bonnie Newman, business, education and government leader
  • Richard Ober, president and CEO, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
  • Amanda Grappone Osmer, owner, Grappone Automotive Group
  • Christine Rath, former superintendent, Concord School District
  • Jim Roche, president, Business and Industry Association

About the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is New Hampshire’s statewide community foundation, founded in 1962 by and for the people of New Hampshire. The Foundation manages a growing collection of more than 1,700 funds created by generous individuals, families and businesses, and awards more than $30 million in grants and scholarships every year. The Foundation works with generous and visionary citizens to maximize the power of their giving, supports great work happening in our communities and leads and collaborates on high-impact initiatives. For more information, please visit www.nhcf.org or call 603-225-6641.