The Wilson Society
Enrichment & Access
One program that emerged from that discussion in 2010 was the Wilson Society. Funded by the Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation, the program focuses solely on establishing and maintaining strong partnerships with nonprofits in the Memphis community.
Each year more than 100 tenth through twelfth grade girls participate in the Wilson Society. In the beginning of each year, participating girls research and identify a need in the community, interview a nonprofit that deals with that need and eventually design a self-sustaining project to benefit the community. At the end of this process, the girls find themselves either initiating a new service project or electing to work on and enhance a project that is already in place at Hutchinson.
After the girls design their project or propose enhancements to a current project and come up with a proposed budget, they present their proposals to a group of Faculty and Staff for approval. Projects are chosen based on their merits, their depth and also on their sustainability.
With sustainability a major goal of this program, The Wilson Society has created a system where there are often girls from all three grades participating on each project. That way, the leader of the project (often a senior) has had two years to build a strong relationship with the non-profit and create a sense of continuity for the program. Not only does this process help sustain the projects, but it also allows for increased trust and better relationships between the nonprofits and Hutchison.
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