Quest Scholars Program

By Lesley Koenig, William Meehan III, Robert Ransom
2001 | Case No. SI11
In the winter of 2001, the Quest Scholars Program faced strategic growth issues. Several months earlier — following five summers running a youth empowerment program at Stanford University for low-income, at-risk, bright high school students — Quest’s founders had added a program at Harvard, and the organization had been granted nonprofit 501(c)3 status. Program graduates were gaining entry to top universities, but was college acceptance a viable definition of “success” in the eyes of the founders? How was success defined by the nonprofit’s other stakeholders? Could the founders simultaneously refine their “mission,” replicate their program, and support a financially responsible and sustainable organization? With their first Board of Directors meeting fast approaching, Quest’s founders face tough questions about the organization’s future and their roles in it.
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