Recipients of Athena Institute grants or support give their feedback:

Since it was founded in 1986, Athena Institute and Dr. Winnifred Cutler have supported local and national organizations to help promote many causes including success for young women in business and science fields... Below are grant, award, or sponsor recipients who have given feedback about their experience.

Also for students:
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* A Letter from the president & CEO of Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Education;

Dear Winnifred,

Thank you so much for the very generous gift...As we are all aware, the economy is anything but robust, making it extremely difficult for many of our loyal donors to provide the level of support that they have in the past. Your gift, therefore will be more precious than ever to the young men and women who will be applying to one of our summer sessions in July and August. Never has our mission been so vital and, on behalf of our Board and our hundreds of volunteers, thank you so much for helping us prepare for the next class of eager students.


*Tonia, high school senior thanks Dr. Cutler for the sponsorship at Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, July 2022:

Dear Dr. Cutler,

...I am so inspired by my experiences here at PFEW. I go to Downingtown East High School and my life consists of doing school work and color guard practice. I did not have much business experience before coming here and I have learned so much in the last week. Thank you for sponsoring me at PFEW. It is thanks to your generosity that I have been able to have such an amazing experience.

On just our first night, we met our teams and established our first bonds that would carry us through the rest of the week. Junk Night was our first team activity which consisted of taking junk, creating a new product, and a commercial in about 30 minutes. Leaders both loud and quiet were quite obvious, and through our team work we ended up winning for the product category. This activity was the beginning of such a great week full of teamwork, strategies, and many presentations.

There were so many great presentations. Many moving stories were told, and even though they were talking to us about themselves, the lessons I learned taught me more about myself. It taught me to look at the world and other people in a way I had not considered in the past. It also encouraged everyone at PFEW to treat each other with respect and compassion.

PFEW Truly taught me more than the inner workings of business. It also taught me how different people work well in different situations, it taught me the importance of clear communication, and it taught me that regardless of people’s backgrounds group can connect and work together.

I implore you to continue sponsoring students in the future so the younger generation can continue to better ourselves through such a spectacular program. Thank you again for sponsoring me.

Sincerely, T


*MARY, high school senior explains her experience and thanks Dr. Cutler for the sponsorship at Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, July 2011:

Dear Dr. Cutler,
... I am a senior and I would like to thank you for sponsoring me at Free Enterprise Week. Not only was it a business and leadership experience, but it was unlike anything I have ever done before. I was able to learn how much effort and participation it takes to run a successful business and I was amazed by how quickly everyone came together as a team. My time at PFEW was very unique because I was given the opportunity to learn about business in a real life simulation and it was my first time staying on a college campus.

The speakers were outstanding and I met a significant amount of interesting people. I truly believe that my company advisor should be commended for being concerned, teaching us the rules, and helping us all week. I encourage you to continue sponsoring students in the future so that others may share all of the esperiences that I had. Thank you again.


* LUCY, a high school senior thanks Athena Institute for her experience with the Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, 2010

Dear Dr. Winnifred B. Cutler,

This was a tremendous opportunity and an unforgettable learning experience. However, what struck me the most was that a stranger would fund a stranger to attend this camp. It shows a sense of charity and faith in the potential of young people -- most of all, in me.

In return, all I can do is ensure that I will work hard to succeed and to achieve. Confidence from someone else - even a stranger - can be a vigorous force and support in a young person's life. ...

I heard many inspiring stories from great individuals - stories of success and of obstacles. And with the right attitude and a lot of hard work, I have been impressed with the belief in my own abilities and potential.

Right now, I'm very interested in a medical career. I volunteer 8-12 hours at Paoli Hospital...I'm a straight A student...and will be a senior when high school starts.

This week at PFEW was inspirational, challenging, and fun... I learned how to be a leader and deal with different types of people. Thank you so much... I encourage you to continue sponsoring students in the future so others can share the same experience that I had.



*Names changed to protect privacy

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