About Us

Proud Past - Inspired Future (PPIF) is a program that provides a platform for African American students attending Webster Groves High School to create expressions that reflect both an appreciation for their history and aspirations for their future.  An “expression” may be an essay, photo exhibit, painting, sculpture, song, short film or other form.

All entries will be evaluated by a panel representing the Webster Groves community, and up to four participating students will be awarded the grand prize – a weekend trip to Washington D.C.  The students will join Julie Burchett and Dana Miller of WGHS for a weekend that will feature a tour of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, visits to the US Capitol and other experiential learning activities.  Cash prizes will be awarded to two runners up ($200) and two second runners up ($100).

Candidates for this award program must be African American sophomores or juniors attending Webster Groves High School. 


Proud Past – Inspired Future was created by Chuck and Laura Reynolds and has been made possible by the volunteer efforts of the following people in the Webster Groves community and Webster Groves High School:

  • Kevin Brackens - Citizen

  • Julie Burchett – Experiential Learning Coordinator and Teacher, WGHS

  • Dana Miller – Experiential Learning Internship Advisor - WGHS

  • Chuck and Laura Reynolds – Citizens

  • Sarah Riss – Former Superintendent, Webster Groves School District

  • Paula Smith – Citizen

  • Martha Veldhuizen – Citizen

  • Shiree Yeggins – Assistant Principal, WGHS

Funding Sources

The Proud Past - Inspired Future program is being launched with a three year commitment to underwrite costs from the An Inspired Future Foundation, a nonprofit organization started by Chuck and Laura Reynolds.  The An Inspired Future Foundation exists for the purpose of helping people discover and achieve their full potential to help create a more just and peaceful society.

PPIF will raise funds to help grow the program and to make it sustainable beyond the three year commitment.  Funds will be raised through two primary means: 

  1. Student Reception: An opportunity to join others in the community in honoring award winners and to view and learn about student entries. Please click here to learn more about the Student Reception and Fundraiser.

  2. Direct Contributions: Donations are welcome.

    Make checks payable to Proud Past – Inspired Future, and send to:

    An Inspired Future Foundation
    c/o PPIF
    PO Box 190114
    Webster Groves, MO 63119

    You can also donate to PPIF by visiting our PayPal page here:

Distribution of Funds

Funds raised by PPIF will be used for three purposes:

  1. 45%+ of funds raised will go to cover PPIF Award Program Costs, including:

    • Travel expenses for up to four grand prize winners and one guardian each, as well as up to two faculty members who will accompany them on their trip to Washington, DC.

    • Two runner up prizes of $200 each

    • Two second runner up prizes of $100 each

  2. 45%+ of funds raised will be used to help cover costs associated with college visits and other activities focused on helping students explore post-HS education and career opportunities.

  3. Less than 10% of funds will be used to cover expenses, such as communications.