Sparking a Brighter Future in Education

BeFoundation’s mission is to support dramatic improvement in the educational outcomes of underserved students and the vitality of their communities.

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Why BeFoundation?

be Creative be Smart

BeFoundation encourages innovation and strengthens what is already working. Amidst the ongoing debates about education reforms, BeFoundation chooses to focus on areas of common ground.

One such area is the need more student-centered, personalized, and extended learning opportunities – both in and out of school. Another area of common ground is the need of strong wrap-around support in combatting poverty—involving families, schools, community-based organizations and the business community.

BeFoundation invests in organizations that share a commitment to expanding the pathways available for college, career and life success while building creative, smart and engaged communities.


be Smart

The technologies and contexts for learning today are radically different than just 20 years ago. Our expectations for college and career success require next-generation approaches that personalize and expand learning time, enhance the careers of educators, and build connections between school and community. BeFoundation welcomes inquiries from organizations seeking to build the supply of innovative learning settings. Learn more

be Creative

The arts are a gateway to self-discovery, self-expression, and academic achievement. The arts are also an essential part of a community’s cultural fabric. We believe all young people should have the opportunity for engagement in music, drama, dance, and visual arts. BeFoundation welcomes relationships with organizations dedicated to enhancing the quality and scope of arts education in schools and the community.

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Lasting Change Requires

Creating an Educational Ecosystem Where Students Catch Up & Succeed

Moving from a system where students that start behind stay behind to a system where they catch up and succeed.


Who We Are

Every Child Should Have the Opportunity to Be Exceptional

BeFoundation is a private, independent family foundation established by Gregory S. Young. Our vision is that all students graduate ready for college, career and life success and become meaningful contributors to their communities.

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Fostering Student Success

Richard J. Wenning
Executive Director

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Gregory S. Young

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Our Corporate Partners

Investing in Our Community

Thinking about being a part of the cause? Contact Us

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Richard J. Wenning
Executive Director |
203-938-9000 | Twitter: @rwenning

A national expert on education policy design and implementation, Richard Wenning is executive director of BeFoundation, a family foundation devoted to dramatic improvement in the education of underserved children in Connecticut and the vitality of their communities. Richard also leads SpreadMusicNow, a fund that supports music education for underserved youth, helping to shape their futures and build lifelong success. Richard has worked with federal, state, and local agencies and nonprofits for more than 25 years and serves on the boards of Hartford Performs, a community arts organization, and Social Venture Partners-Connecticut,which is a member of Social Venture Partners International. Richard’s role at BeFoundation fostered his return to his home state of Connecticut after stints in Washington, D.C. and Colorado focusing on education policy. These included positions with the Colorado Department of Education as Associate Commissioner, the Denver Public Schools as executive on loan, and the Colorado League of Charter Schools as vice president. In Washington, D.C., Richard served as a senior advisor to the DC Public Schools and as professional staff to the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations.


Gregory S. Young
Founder & Chairman, BeFoundation

Greg Young is a devoted father and husband, philanthropist, and Connecticut business owner. A lifelong Connecticut resident, Greg dedicates his life to his family and making Connecticut a better place for all children.

Greg’s philanthropic focus is on improving the educational outcomes of children in Connecticut through BeFoundation, his family foundation. BeFoundation is devoted to improving the educational outcomes of low-income students and the vitality of their communities. Greg has extended the reach of his philanthropy to a national level with SpreadMusicNow, a fund BeFoundation established to develop emerging artists.