Buffalo Prep

Prepped for the future

A dreamer. A leader. An activist. A scholar. Buffalo Prep believes these qualities are within every student, and aims to nurture individual talents and goals through its enrichment programs.

“We want to ensure that our students are provided everything that they need so that, however they define success, they are prepared,” said Patti Stephen, Robert G. Wilmers Endowed Executive Director of Buffalo Prep. In 2020, that meant everything from dropping off science kits and other supplies to students’ homes to partnering with other organizations to support mental health.

Buffalo Prep was founded in 1989 by education and community leaders to help talented underrepresented students prepare for and excel at demanding college preparatory high schools. Over the years, Buffalo Prep has grown and, today, it offers five programs that serve more than 650 students and alumni annually.

“Buffalo Prep provides opportunities to see things on a different level and enrich the students from beginning through life, essentially,” said Luis Rodriguez, current Board member who is also a 1997 Buffalo Prep alumni. “They were there throughout my high school and college years. Now serving on its Board the past six years, it is coming full circle.”

When Buffalo Prep celebrated its 25th anniversary and evaluated its strategic goals in 2014, it decided to launch an endowment campaign to advance its mission for many years to come, with the ultimate goal of growing it to support and supplement student scholarships.

After exploring different options on where to establish that endowment, Patti said,
“It was a no-brainer to us to partner with the Community Foundation. The longstanding relationship and trust that was built between us and the deep understanding of our mission was what helped us make that decision.”

Looking to the future, Buffalo Prep remains dedicated to helping its students reach their potential, and sees its endowment as a way to ensure their success for generations to come.

“The endowment at the Community Foundation provides us with a great sense of security in these challenging times,” said Patti. “It is there if we need it, and we are confident it is in good hands.”

This story is featured in our 2020 Annual Report