Forrest E. Powell Foundation

Community | Family | Spirituality

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Working to Achieve Dreams

There are individuals who have the desire and determination to succeed, but they need a helping hand to propel them forward. When help comes to men and women in the shape of guidance, education, training and financial support, they will flourish.

Work comes in many forms. Booker T. Washington said, “No race can prosper till it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.” Carpenters, electricians, hairstylists, automobile mechanics, medical technicians, cooks, custodians, childcare providers, sanitation workers—the list goes on. Regardless of race or socioeconomic background, these careers are attainable and valuable in our community. They bring a sense of accomplishment, keep society functioning, and feed families.
Established in March 1994, the Forrest E. Powell Foundation has a mission to help people work to achieve their dreams. It supports hard-working individuals and believes anyone can become a success through commitment and proper training.

The Forrest E. Powell Foundation’s Beginnings

In April 1993, the city of Evanston experienced a severe and damaging thunderstorm. When the rain ended, Forrest E. Powell, Sr. went outside to clear his yard of debris. His son Hecky joined him. Together they worked to remove a fallen tree that had a three-branched trunk. Little did they know, that project was the last one they would complete together. Later that evening Forrest passed away.

For the Powell family, the remaining tree branches serve as a reminder of Forrest’s belief in honest labor. It has become a symbol of the Forrest E. Powell Foundation, the nonprofit organization created by Hecky to honor his father. Each of the three branches are interconnected and represent Community, Family, and Spirituality—values rooted in the Powell family and cornerstones of the Foundation’s work.

The Evanston Work Ethic Program

The Evanston Work Ethic Program was founded in 2016 by Hecky Powell as part of the Forrest E. Powell Foundation. The Evanston Work Ethic Program (WE Program) exemplifies the FEP Foundation mission in action by providing ambitious ETHS students with comprehensive, pre-professional career/tech preparation through mentors, workshops, counseling, and financial assistance. The Evanston WE Program has a separate 501(c)3, even as it remains a part of the Forrest E. Powell Foundation. For more information regarding the Evanston Work Ethic Program, please visit

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