Whom We Honor
Friends of Nick honors the memory of Nicholas C. Forstmann. Nick Forstmann’s hard work and strong commitment to educational opportunity made a tremendous impact on inner city students in New York’s Archdiocesan School system. For those fortunate enough to know him, Nick was a cherished family-member, colleague, leader, teammate, mentor, philanthropist and most of all, a great friend and inspiration. In his book entitled What Really Matters which he wrote for his wife and children during the year he lived with cancer, Nick reflected on his life experience and what was most important to him. Friends of Nick draws from his book and his sense of character, and integrates Nick’s worldview into an innovative and interactive character initiative.
Believing that education was the most direct route to helping children, Nick was a passionate supporter and leader of a number of educational institutions and programs: he chaired the board of the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, co-founded and chaired the Endowment for Inner-City Education (now known as The Partnership for Inner City Education) and was the patron of an inner city school; he also served on the boards of the Urban Education Exchange, Communities in Schools, Lawrenceville School, Georgetown University, Marymount University (Advisory Board), and Empower America, where he was Vice Chairman.
Above all, Nick believed in the value of character. Through his convictions, actions, and writing, Nick underscored that character is a critically important part of “what really matters” and that a child’s education is immeasurably enriched through character development and support from the community, built together in partnership by students, parents, principals and teachers.
Building on Nick’s legacy, The Friends of Nick Foundation was formed to develop and support middle school programs to embrace character as a core principle in child development and education. Through a series of workshops, seminars, and class discussions, students and parents participate in meaningful and thought-provoking conversations, share personal stories, examine the wisdom rooted in intentional language. Each parent and student is encouraged and challenged to develop a deeper understanding of what matters to them and what makes their communities and the world a better place. Nick lived his life this way, and we honor him by continuing his legacy in education.
“One man of courage is a majority” -Thomas Jefferson