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Stamford's Future 5 Celebrates The Class Of 2017

Future 5 Class of 2017 Photo Credit: Contributed
Smelanda Jean Baptiste seated with her mother Photo Credit: Contributed
Daniella Exantus, Clif McFeely, and Rebecca Exantus Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. – Future 5, a nonprofit dedicated to helping low income high school students in Stamford graduate and connect to a better and sustainable education and career path, hosted a special recognition event to celebrate the graduation of their high school seniors at the Ferguson Library.

A total of 53 Future 5 seniors graduated, representing all three Stamford high schools – Westhill High School, Stamford High School, and AITE. Future 5’s class of 2017 is their eighth graduating class and includes 29 students committed to four-year schools including Denison University, Fairfield University, UCONN Storrs, Southern CT State University, Central CT State University, Tuskegee University, Virginia State University, and many others.

 Seventeen plan to attend two-year colleges including Norwalk Community College. One student will enter the U.S. Marine Corps.

Future 5 member Smelanda Jean Baptiste, a senior at Stamford High School, is one example of the many students who have found success through the organization. She will be attending Denison University in Granville, Ohio on a full scholarship and intends to major in Anthropology/Sociology and Computer Science. She will be the first in her family to receive a college degree, like many other past and present graduates of the Future 5 organization.

“From athletes to engineers to artists, the Future 5 Class of 2017 has it all. Our students continue to break barriers and become productive members of communities,” said Nancy Roath, co-director, college prep at Future 5. 

“The Class of 2017 is filled with wonderful students who have worked hard to realize their dream of attending college. It has been such a joy to work with this great group of students on their post high school plans. We are excited to see what the Class of 2017 will accomplish over the years and the many positive ways they will change the world,” said Debbie Eagan, co-director, college prep at Future 5.

During the graduation event, founder and Executive Director Clif McFeely spoke along with distinguished Future 5 alumni and members of the graduating senior class.

Patriot Bank, XL Catlin, and the New Canaan Artisans were the event sponsors whose donations covered the catering for the event as well as the purchase of a college T-shirt for each graduate attending college in the fall and a $50 gift card to purchase college necessities.

Founded in 2009, Future 5 has served over 500 students and has a 98 percent high school graduation rate. For the 2016-2017 school year, Future 5 served approximately 116 high school students. In addition to the staff, 70-plus coaches and volunteers commit to over 60,000 hours helping Stamford’s high school students.

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