History


Above: Shepherds Co-Founders Brendan Fisk and Barney Phillips

Shepherds, Inc., a non-denominational, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in Fairfield County, Connecticut in 1998 by Brendan Fisk and Barnet Phillips IV.

Shepherds’ pilot school was Kolbe Cathedral High School in Bridgeport with just five students. Kolbe Cathedral remains a core Shepherds school partner today in providing educational opportunities to young men and women in the Bridgeport area.

Notre Dame West Haven High School was added as a partner school in 2000 to serve the needs of qualified male students in the West Haven/New Haven area. Over its 20-year history, several other private schools in Fairfield and New Haven counties had small programs with Shepherds.. Since 1998, over 300 Shepherds students have successfully graduated from these partner schools with over 90% receiving generous financial aid and scholarships to go on to institutions of higher learning.

From the five students in the 2002 graduating class to the 18 Shepherds students who graduated in 2018, Shepherds has established itself as a professionally run and financially sound organization continuing to meet the needs of the families and students who seek our assistance.

A key to our success has been an engaged and dedicated Shepherds Board Directors who bring their professional experience and skills and a significant commitment of time and energy to building, shaping and guiding Shepherds.

Shepherds has relied heavily upon the great work of Shepherds volunteers who serve as mentors and often as sponsors of Shepherds students. As a non-profit organization, Shepherds also is dependent upon the financial generosity from many individuals and organizations, including our Board Directors, family foundations, corporations, churches and community funds.

Together, the Shepherds team of staff, Board Directors, our school partners, volunteers work to fulfill our mission of making a difference in the lives of underserved students and their families and ultimately upon our own families and communities, “Changing Lives…One Student at a Time.”