In late 2001, employees at Navitaire, an Accenture company, came together around an idea: why couldn’t international companies sponsor something like a “Habitat for Humanity,” this time aimed at dealing with Philippine educational problems and providing proper education for deprived children?
If Habitat could create a way for an individual or an organization to help a family own their home, why couldn’t something similar be created for high-quality education? Education is what made people global colleagues. Education was the road out of poverty. Education could bring people together across the biggest global divisions.
Led by Mike Dickoff, then CEO of Navitaire, the work began to form an independent non-profit organization.
In early 2003, the pitch for supporting a three-year pilot class, to help address education issues, was made to the Navitaire executive team. The location would be the Philippines where the company employed nearly 200 people.
In November 2003, Food for Hungry Minds was organized in the United States to respond to the need of providing access to high-quality education for poor children worldwide.
The first Food for Hungry Minds School was set up in Makati City, Philippines with 28 students coming from depressed areas in Manila, namely Paco, Pandacan, San Andres, Sta. Ana, and Leveriza.
In the years that followed, small and large donors signed on, bringing the total enrollment to 75 children in the first, 3-year Food for Hungry Minds middle school.
In June 2006, Food for Hungry Minds opened its second school in Malolos, Bulacan, a rural province north of Manila.
In March 2007, the core group of students who started in Grade 4 at Food for Hungry Minds School in Makati completed their elementary education.
That same year, Food for Hungry Minds expanded its support to its students by providing high school scholarship to their graduates.
93% of the first elementary class graduated from high school. A project coordinator assists the students in going on to higher education. She is also responsible for monitoring and tracking all Food for Hungry Minds graduates, including those without direct scholarship assistance.