Kids are the Future and The Future is NOW – An interview with John R. Shultz
in People Making a Difference
Little Life Stories by Joan Koerber-Walker
For over 25 years, John R. Shultz has been a man on a mission to create a world of opportunity for kids. Through his The Future is NOW Foundation, John raises the money to fund and deliver programs that provide education, scholarships, and inspiration to under privileged kids.
He’s not a multi-millionaire or an arm chair philanthropist out writing checks. He’s a doer – pounding the streets, leveraging a lifetime on personal contacts in industry, entertainment and sports, and recruiting all his friends to pitch in and lend a hand. Often John can be found at local schools with celebrity friends or holding fundraising events with Dare Devil Stunt Man ,“Spanky” Spangler, with one goal in mind – to give our students a vision of what can be accomplished through hard work and a desire to succeed.“
Today is the best day of my Life”
- John R. Shultz
JKW: John, how would you describe yourself?
JRS: I was so blessed with great and loving parents who taught me to respect, to love, and to understand what life is all about. Through them I learned to always remember where you came from, to share with others in this world, and to help those who just need a hand-up!
JKW: Tell me about your favorite project and why it makes a difference.
JRS: I love to work with kids and to share all the wisdom and love my parents gave me. Its important to let them know that they have a purpose and to believe in themselves. Sometimes it takes a special experience to open their eyes and show them how by working together others can not bring us down. You just have to learn to have respect for yourself and others. Never look back. Just be proud of who you are!
Since our inception 25 years ago, we have been dedicated to the sole purpose of providing a better tomorrow by helping our children today!
Formerly known as the Children’s Wellness Foundation, our goal is to continue working with inner city youth and schools in the Metropolitan Phoenix area.
The Future is Now Outreach Program concentrates on the young people as well as their families. We focus on the fact that today the entire nation’s youth , no matter where they reside, are confronted with a set of negative challenges never before seen in our country’s history.
Our professional staff and longtime affiliation with several support organizations enables us to present positive solutions and guidance presented by daily problems. Our organization consists of a select group of world-class athletes and business people who share our desire to change our world for the better.
The Future Is Now school assemblies and our one on one program have met with great success and proven results.
The educational assistance arm of The Future Is Now has been highly successful through scholarships awarded to the less fortunate student. These students are recommended by teachers, community leaders, or by our Board of Directors. This program allows students to continue in their educational career and achieve their goals for their future.
Fun is also a major part of The Future Is Now experience. Children have the opportunity to participate or be spectators at sporting events, major attractions, concerts, swimming, and other foundation events.
Our track record speaks for itself. Now is the time to make the difference in one child’s life and give them hope for a better tomorrow!
JKW: Your mission over the years has been to inspire children to go after their dreams. Who inspired you?
JRS: My Dad was my biggest inspiration. He lived his life with honor and showed me how to stand up and to be a man. He taught me that I was to share my gifts no matter how small or great. He emphasized that we are all in this world together. Through his example I learned that anybody can be a Father, but it takes more to be a Dad, just like anybody can get a house but but you must do more to make it a home!, I loved him so much and it was very hard when we lost him last year, but his spirit is with me always!
He was one of the greatest men to ever walk this planet earth!
JKW: WHY do you do what you do?
JRS: Because I can!
JKW: John, If you had 3 wishes – what would they be?
JRS: I wish…
1.That everybody could have great parents like I did.
2.To be able to touch more lives and to inspire people to not to give up and to be strong in their faith and to stand tall and to be proud of who they are to know that that are loved!
3.More love and peace in the world, to stand as one under one nation under God and to the first two come together with this and wrap it up all up with World Peace and love and sharing what we have Thanking God for what we have not what we had!
Thanks for stopping by for a little life story.
Stay tuned this December. I’ll be bring you more interviews with People Making a Difference.
The Reid Family
How does one thank someone for what they have done?
Our family will never forget what The Future Is Now Foundation has done for our family and son.
Mr. Shultz, for you personally to take this situation, your time and energy to make our son realize just how important his education was to his future.
You were able to do what we his family, teachers and coaches could not do.
The most amazing thing is Mr. Shultz, everything you told him has come true. He was nominated for Homecoming King, he became a good student and his outlook on life is one with great vision.
You told him that today was the best day of his life and Mr. Shultz, everyday has been a GREAT DAY!
Kyle has graduated from High School and that day we were so proud of him and as he walked down the aisle, he had a smile on his face.
We are every bit as proud of you. I thank God everyday for The Future Is Now Foundation and most of all we thank him for giving you such wisdom and vision of our children.
You will always be in our prayers and we all Thank You so much for sharing your heart with our son and to help make him become a man someday and to be able to give as you have.
May God Bless you and your family and the works of your foundation.
Phoenix Children's Hospital
Steven S. Schnall, Vice President, Foundation
Thank you for your donation of stuffed animals to Phoenix Children's Hospital. Hospitalization is never easy for anyone, but it is often especially difficult to children. Any assistance in helping us to make their stay as comfortable and pleasant as possible is always welcomed.
Your donation, therefore, is greatly appreciated, and we hope it gives you great personal satisfaction to know that you are helping to provide the gift of compassionate, high quality, famiily-centered health care to every child we serve.
Maricopa County Regional School District
David M. Casso, Campus Administrator
Pappas Middle School would like to take this opportunity to say "thank you" for making our day at the Sunshine Hotel a most memorable experience. Tom Manno, World's Strongest Man, and "Spanky" Spangler, Dare Devil, gave our students a vision of what can be accomplished thru hard work and a desire to succeed.
You have an open invitation to visit our campus at any time in the future. You do make a difference!
From: ABC Phonetic Reading School, Inc
John Cahal, President
My staff and I personally want to thank you and the Future Is Now Foundation for your financial support and involvement in ABC's Student Scholarship program. ABC's program for children of financially challenged families has been a success.
As you know, in 1986 ABC set the standard for accountability in remedial reading instruction by guaranteeing our student's a minimum of a full grade level of reading improvement in forty hours or less. Today, ABC's average student will improve two or three grade levels. Once a student completes ABC's program they are empowered by their reading ability to achieve academic success in school. Once academic success is achieved, academic confidence and self esteem flourish. Thus ABC's graduate students have Hope for a better future, a future of unlimited possibilities.
Mr. Shultz, I know the students' you helped will never forget, nor will I, the hand up they received through your organization. I hope your example will take root in them, so when they become the men and women of tomorrow, they too will help those who need a hand up.
Cave Creek Unified Schools
Lori Dahne, Guidance Counselor, MA, CPC, NCC
Thank you for all of your assistance in making the April 11, 2002 presentation a great success. You, Tom Manno, and Spanky Spangler did a great job in speaking from the heart and totally captured the attention of the student body. Although I originally expected 200 students, estimates of those in attendance fell between 350 and 500!
The feedback I have been receiving from students and teachers has all been glowing. Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity speaking to the students at Cactus Shadows High School. You and your colleagues are an inspiration to many.
I enjoyed getting to know each of you better during lunch. The food was great and so was the company. Thanks again for everything.
Grand Canyon State Games
Erik C. Widmark, Executive Director
I would like to thank you and The Future is Now Foundation for your help this year in making the 2004 Grand Canyon State Games a great success!
We had over 8,000 athletes participate in this years Summer Games.
Spanky Spangler's death defying high fall was simply amazing, and it was also a pleasure to meet "Jumpin Joe Caldwell" a 1964 Gold medalist, and Tom Manno the Strongest Man in the World, "Drug Free."
All of us commend both you and your foundation for you support, for the Future is Now!