In 2004, Pete Burridge and a team of professionals from the branding and marketing firm Greenhouse Partners got together with the goal of creating a non-profit organization that would have a broad transformative social impact. After thorough research and analysis, the group focused in on a significant unmet need for students in higher education. Of students who enroll in college, only 11% of low-income, first-generation students had earned bachelor’s degrees within six years. By helping promising young students achieve their full potential, they could create solutions for the most pressing social problems of the present and future. These students would become a community of leaders who would evolve the communities of the world. This vision became Greenhouse Scholars.
In 2005, Greenhouse Scholars officially launched. In our first year, we accepted three Scholars into the program. As word of our unique Whole Person© approach spread, we received enthusiastic support from high schools and community leaders. During our second year of operation, the number of Scholars in our program more than tripled. And each year since, we continue to increase the number of Scholars we support and the number of communities we impact.
Today, Greenhouse Scholars is an accelerating force for education, community, and leadership. Our graduates are leaders in their communities and are giving back to the Greenhouse Scholars program through volunteerism and mentorship. In the next several years, we plan to focus on organizational sustainability and expand our program model to other cities and states – better supporting our Scholars in universities across the country and addressing an issue of national concern.