The Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund (PROF) is a non-profit educational foundation committed to enriching and investing in the experiences of the Pine-Richland student community through staff grants, student scholarships and community partnerships.
Encourage and invest in innovative instructional efforts to enhance student development and staff engagement.
Reward and advance academic excellence and achievement through scholarships.
Recognize and promote the accomplishments of students, teachers, staff, alumni and partners affiliated with the Pine-Richland School District.
Foster partnerships to maximize resources, raise awareness and enhance financial support of world-class educational and career opportunities for Pine-Richland students.
PROF began in 1994 when grieving father Bill Thorne met with then-superintendent George Szymanski to establish a scholarship in memory of his daughter. "The district responded by suggesting we create a nonprofit foundation that would administer the Thorne scholarship and, hopefully, encourage others to contribute and become involved," said Judy Boren, the first executive director of PROF from 1994-2005.
Thanks to the sponsorship of those who create and fund these scholarships, PROF has awarded nearly $202,000 from 2007-2016. The impassioned reply by the community to nurture and administer a single scholarship has blossomed into a number of unique opportunities available to graduating seniors. This portfolio of scholarships continues to grow annually as more individuals and community organizations seek to work with PROF to recognize loved ones, create financial opportunities for our students, and give back in service to our school community.
Over the years, PROF has evolved into much more than just a scholarship organization. From 2007-2016, the PROF Outstanding Ideas Grants Program has awarded nearly $121,000 in grants to Pine-Richland teachers and staff. These grants have funded innovative educational ideas, tools and programs with funds not otherwise available within the school budget.
PROF continues to grow partnerships between community members and the Pine-Richland School District in a common goal to enrich and invest in the educational experiences and the future of our Pine-Richland student community.