Harrison Durfee is, to borrow a phrase, one of our kids.
He did well in high school, played sports, worked summers. His parents split up, and his brother, Hunter, has battled leukemia. His mom, Jacqueline, “is my biggest supporter.”
When it came time for college, Harrison knew that his family would need help with the bills.
Foundation donors who have established scholarship funds stepped up.
“The money they gave me really helped me take charge of opportunities,” Harrison says.
Without those scholarships, he would have had to spend more time working — and less studying. Scholarships from the Foundation and Franklin Pierce University allowed him to graduate from college with almost no debt.
Harrison made Dean’s List every semester and received his bachelor’s in Business Management. His 3.99 GPA made him class salutatorian and earned him a place in the Sigma Beta Delta and Alpha Chi honor societies.
He has lived at home in Troy all through school. He and his brother Hunter, who also received help from Foundation scholarships to attend Keene State, share space in the family’s finished basement. (Hunter majored in social science and education and works with kids at a before-and-after school program. Their sister, Sarah, went to Fitchburg State and is a social worker.)
“I really wanted to stay local, and knew that I could save money that way,” Harrison says. “College education is so expensive now.” Without the benefit of scholarships, “I wouldn’t be where I am.”
During the school year, Harrison did work-study in the library. Summers, he worked full-time doing grounds maintenance and a golf course, and completed an internship.
And Harrison has started his career — as a business analyst in C&S Wholesale Grocers’ Leadership Development Program.
He’ll stay local for now, and keep doing the things he loves — like coaching his six-year-old nephew’s street hockey team and playing in charity hockey games to raise money for children and families dealing with cancer.
He is blown away that people who have never met him set up scholarships that helped him through school.
“It says a lot about someone’s character when they donate and help someone they don’t even know,” he says.
Generous donors have established 375 separate scholarship funds at the Foundation since 1972, making it possible to award about $5 million to 1700 students each year.
Harrison wants those donors to know that he never took the scholarships for granted. And, one day, he plans to give back — and help the next generation of New Hampshire’s kids.
This story originally appeared in our 2014 Annual Report.
“It says a lot about someone’s character when they donate and help someone they don’t even know.”- Harrison DurfeeTweet This