Woodward Hines Education Foundation

About Woodward Hines Education Foundation

Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to help more Mississippians obtain postsecondary credentials, college certificates, and degrees that lead to meaningful employment. Since our founding as Education Services Foundation in 1995, WHEF has continuously served as a powerful force for change that consistently and persistently provides Mississippi students with life-changing access to educational opportunities and degree attainment.

Named after our co-founders Herman Hines and Jack Woodward, two visionary leaders who shared an unwavering commitment to make financing college degrees accessible to Mississippians, WHEF now serves around 3,600 students in our centers through direct service and, through partnerships and training development programs, reaches an additional 12,000 students and their families in trainings and workshops. In addition, we train over 1,600 counselors, teachers and other educators annually. Our theory of change centers on post-secondary access and entry, postsecondary persistence and completion, and connection to family-sustaining work to help more Mississippians obtain the postsecondary degree, certification, or credential that will allow them to improve their quality of life, strengthen their communities, and contribute to a bright and prosperous future for all of Mississippi.

For nearly twenty-seven years, we have led, developed, and funded innovative programs, including Get2College (G2C), our flagship, boots-on-the-ground college planning program that provides free college counseling to any person in Mississippi who requests it. In 2016, WHEF scaled our impact and began making grants to visionary partners committed to closing the gap between talent and opportunity. Now, we are responding to our rapidly changing socio-economic landscape by deepening and broadening our impact across the state to affect public policy, advocacy, and influence change. In addition to $2.6 million in available grant funding, we now underwrite biennial IMPACT convenings for all Mississippi public baccalaureate institutions and plan to provide coordinated access to high-quality professional development opportunities for institutional faculty and staff, innovations in data collection and usage, as well as platforms for peer learning.

We envision a Mississippi where all people can secure training and education beyond high school that will allow them to enhance their quality of life, strengthen their communities, and contribute to a vibrant and prosperous future for our state. At our core, we are a dedicated team brought together by our unwavering belief that while talent in Mississippi is evenly distributed, opportunity is not. While the world around us is growing increasingly complex, our mantra remains simple. When it comes to increasing access to educational opportunity, we hold true to the words of our founders and believe that no matter what an individual’s circumstances are, we will find a way.

For more information on Woodward Hines Education Foundation, please visit our website.