Carol Hillman is the founder and president of Bright Futures Unlimited, a consulting and advocacy firm devoted to encouraging rural students to attend college. The firm was created in 1986 when Hillman was teaching gifted students in a poor rural school district in Pennsylvania. Having previously taught gifted students in a wealthy Pennsylvania suburb, it became apparent that students from wealthy suburban schools and poor rural schools had very different aspirations.
Students in wealthy districts aspired to becoming engineers, ballerinas, architects and doctors. Even intellectually gifted students in poor rural districts aspired to becoming truck drivers and cosmetologists.
Hillman has worked with school board members, administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, legislators, the PA Department of Education and foundations in an effort to provide students from poor rural districts with educational resources that would expand their opportunities and thus their aspirations.
The McKelvey Foundation and the Lenfest Foundation hired Bright Futures Unlimited to design and implement scholarships for needy rural students in Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia. We were able to send over 1,000 first generation students through college. These graduates are now living and working all around the world.
Hillman has been mentoring girls who are high school juniors and seniors at the Jasper County high school and writing articles about the good things that are happening in the Jasper County schools. These articles are published in the Jasper Sun Times.
When students from poor rural school districts are given equal opportunities for quality education, they are every bit as successful as students from wealthier school districts.
Carol Hillman, who is a co-founder of SCORS, is a passionate advocate for equal education opportunities for all students.