Love Forward is helping to break generational cycles
of abuse and poverty by providing a higher education and
individual support for those most marginalized in our global community.
The Love Forward Scholarship and Transition Program was started by Robert Benson. His extraordinary beginnings and connection to its mission runs deep. Abused and abandoned as a child, Robert had the opportunity to pursue a higher education and create a better future for himself and his children. Inspired by his past, Robert then established family-based homes to care for other abused and abandoned children through a charity he started in 1999 called Arms of Love International.
When the first generation of children began leaving the Arms of Love homes, Robert established an "Independent Living Program" to support them through college. Over the next 10 years, Robert saw the significant impact that a higher education and a successful transition had on the direction of their lives. Robert also saw how women face greater risks and disadvantages when leaving residential care programs in developing countries.
This gave rise to the vision for Love Forward, which provides a higher education and other support for women after they leave orphanages, shelters, and similar programs, so they can transition successfully to their adult lives free of abusive and exploitative situations.
A UNIQUE VISION
Love Forward operates a scholarship and transition program that provides a continuing education for students who were separated from family due to death, abandonment, and abuse, after they leave orphanages and other residential care programs. Love Forward supports the living and educational costs of its students until they complete college or another post-secondary educational program.
Love Forward is unique in its origins and focus. Love Forward was founded by board members who once abandonment or abused or refugees. We have a deep conviction that those who have overcome the most difficult circumstances have the greatest potential to become compassionate and influential leaders of their communities. Thus, eligibility is not based on past academic achievement. We know from our experience that a continuing education will benefit each of our students if they are sufficiently committed to their studies and supported in their efforts.
We do not measure "success" by the achievement of quantitative goals. Each future that is filled with wholeness rather than abuse, self-sufficiency rather than dependency, and self-determination rather than exploitation, is worth every effort and investment we can make. Because of these values, we focus our resources on investing in the lives of our individual students. Then we maximize our impact by relying on the support of volunteers in the U.S. and by partnering with other organizations abroad.
MEET OUR BOARD MEMBERS
Love Forward is led by an international board that brings an exceptional breadth and depth of experience to the development and operation of our programs. More than half of the board members come from challenging personal backgrounds, analogous to the circumstances of the students we serve. This provides the board with a deep level of insight, compassion, and commitment to our work, in addition to their professional education and expertise.
The diversity of the Love Forward board is one of the strengths of our organization. On our board, successful young adults who grew up in children’s homes collaborate with the former Chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights, a founder of Intel’s Education Service Corps who has visited more than 120 countries, executives in the U.S., and leaders with decades of experience in education, social work, and organizational management in the developing world.