Jerrold and Martha Graber

A nonprofit begun in 1969, REACH Memphis enables public high school students to reach new heights by leveraging a summer program experience into a college preparatory one with boarding schools and colleges across the United States.

Every summer, at respected schools like Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, REACH Memphis students participate in a rigorous academic program with other students from Japan, France, Germany, and Jordan, among other countries. There, they get to share their life experiences and find their own value in a global world through education, diversity, and community involvement.

Perhaps most important, they have the space to realize their gifts and potential. “I was able to learn, and I was able to realize that a little kid from Memphis can compete with some of the smartest globally,” says a former summer program participant. Program graduates have gone on to attend prestigious universities, including Yale, Wake Forest, and Harvard.

Since 2008, REACH Memphis has received $347,780 from Community Foundation donors. REACH Memphis is also ensuring that its organization remains vital and continues to grow by establishing a reserve fund with the Community Foundation. This fund will help REACH Memphis continue offering quality programs to Memphis’ premier minds and to have an impact on more students. Just last year, REACH Memphis had 103 students participate in 33 different summer programs. In addition to facilitating summer programs,
REACH Memphis helps students throughout the year with ACT/SAT prep, resume building, and interviewing skills.

Jerrold Graber and his wife, Martha, give to REACH Memphis through a donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation. Graber, a retired securities broker, has been affiliated with the foundation for 12 years.

In addition to currently serving as a REACH Memphis board member, Graber has served as an officer and helped with several activities, including conducting student interviews. “I believe this gives them (REACH Memphis high school students) opportunities that are truly life-changing.”

A fund at the Community Foundation is an ideal way for the Grabers to support the organizations and causes they value. “It is very gratifying to be part of a Memphis organization that fosters support of your favorite nonprofits,” he says. “The administrative ease of making gifts to your advised fund, choosing from the various investment options, and then making grants from your fund is a great feature of being a Community Foundation fund holder.”

Plus, the Foundation can help match you with groups that best align with your charitable giving wishes. In fact, Graber says he appreciates the information provided by the Community Foundation about all local nonprofits, which makes it possible for him and his wife to make contributions in an informed manner.