Olin B. Schwab had a dream. That dream was to help young people make career choices that gave them the opportunity to fully recognize and realize their talents and potential.

In order to realize his dream, Mr. Schwab established the Olin B. and Desta Schwab Foundation in 1989 with the mission to identify and support not-for-profit organizations in Allen County, Indiana, that provide programs for counseling, testing, guiding, and educating young people in careers, occupations, or professions to which they are best suited.

Between 1989 and 2002, the Foundation awarded an average of $90,000 in grants each year to programs that fulfilled the Foundation’s mission.

Unfortunately, in 2002, Mr. Schwab’s dream — and the Foundation — was hijacked and temporarily derailed when unscrupulous board leadership surreptitiously moved the foundation headquarters to Nevada and diverted assets and income for its own gains. The malfeasance was uncovered in 2005 and immediate steps were taken to correct the situation. All of the board members were dismissed and replaced by an interim board, charges were filed, and a thorough housecleaning was done.

Once the dust of that housecleaning had settled, two years had passed in lawsuits and litigation and, by June 2007, the Schwab Foundation was back on track. The foundation was officially returned to its Fort Wayne home and an all new, all volunteer board was seated — one which pledged it would not in any way, directly or indirectly, receive money or property from the Foundation. To further ensure complete transparency and accountability going forward, new bylaws were proposed and accepted, and new procedures were implemented. Today, all board meeting minutes and IRS Form 990s are available to the public here.

Since 2007, the Schwab Foundation has awarded just under $1.5 million in funding to 25 Allen County not-for-profit organizations that help students build their 21st century job skills and choose careers.