Reach for the Future!

"Life at Reach for the Future! would come to a stand-still if we did not have our Office [software]. Thank you Microsoft for making such a useful software program that provides us with everything and more of what we need to help 47 high-needs kids get to college."

Spokesperson for Reach for the Future!

Donated Technology Helps Spokane Students Reach for the Future

In 2008, the newly launched Reach for the Future! made 47 second-graders from a high-needs neighborhood in Spokane a big and perhaps audacious promise. The organization pledged to pay for the children's post-secondary or vocational education, provided they graduate from high school. The big promise has been met with even greater community support through community partnerships and generous donations.

Reach for the Future! provides regular after-school tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment activities. It focuses on mitigating barriers to social and academic success and instilling pride in each student's own competence. Those second-graders are now on the verge of middle school and still have a way to go until high-school graduation.

As the kids grow, so does the organization, which has come to rely on TechSoup to help it avoid the typical nonprofit growing pains. For example, the organization has made good use of a donation of the Microsoft Office suite software. Donations and budgets are organized via Excel. Publisher is used for materials designed to bring in new donors. Outlook maintains a schedule of 40 volunteer tutors and 40 lunch buddies, and Microsoft Word is used for letters of all types, including letters to parents, letting them know how wonderfully their kids are progressing.