Students First2020-06-02T17:26:23+00:00
Students First initiative is extremely important in the community as it touches all schools in the city of High Point by providing for the unexpected and unbudgeted needs that arise throughout the school year.  With the on-demand granting system, we can immediately get support and resources that will directly impact the students while strengthening the educational system in the community.

Grants are made to schools with the specific purpose of providing for the unfunded expenses not covered by the school’s budget and are focused on kid-centered programs or projects. More than half of High Point’s public schools are classified as “Title One” schools because of high poverty rates among the students. Because of this fact, many principals and teachers have reached into their own pockets for funding.


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The Role of Higher Education

I am the son of parents who proudly and enthusiastically lived out the American Dream. They both came from blue collar towns in New England and brought with them a keen sense of work ethic and a sincere belief in the incredible opportunities America offered to those who were willing to work for them. My mother and my father were life-long learners, but neither ever had the opportunity to attend college.  I’ve always believed this perceived deficit was what drove them to their amazing success as they felt they had to work harder, be more committed and never, ever stop learning. In my home growing up there were always 3 givens; Church on Sunday, a commitment to servant leadership and attending college.

As a first generation college freshman I remember feeling a tremendous responsibility to be successful in the classroom and exceling on the soccer field. I loved and embraced my liberal arts education as it reminded me of the Jesuits at my Catholic schools who had driven us to become “total men” who developed their mind, body and spirit.  My college experience introduced me to ideas, opportunities and a future that I had never envisioned before.  My sisters who followed me experienced the same revelations and in time, all of us would go to become teachers, achieve advanced degrees and acquire the tools and the passion to make a positive difference in the communities we called home.

This is why education is critical to any community, it empowers, inspires, and most of all equips us to live lives of independence, self-sufficiency, and service.  Our Community Foundation strongly believes a well-educated city results in thriving citizens that will propel us into the future.

Paul Lessard,
President, HPCF

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