4WARD is a 501(c)3 non-profit with goal of ‘paying it forward’ for the community through mentoring groups for high school youth in the Greater Fort Wayne area. The mentor group is instilling optimism in leadership, empowering young men through networking, and providing internship opportunities that create a sustainable cycle of ‘paying it forward’.

Our goal is to empower the community’s youth through facilitating opportunities that help successful placement into entrepreneurship, vocational certification programs, and universities.


The Fort Wayne Philharmonic can trace its origin to the Verweire Symphony Orchestra, founded in January 1924 by conductor John L. Verweire. Not long after the founding, Verweire asked his orchestra of 63 musicians to change its name to the Fort Wayne Symphony Orchestra. After 4 years, Verweire resigned and the orchestra disbanded due to insufficient financial support. After a short time, the orchestra was reorganized with Emil Bouillet as conductor. Each musician was required to sell tickets for the concerts, and banners were stretched across Calhoun Street to advertise the concerts given at the Majestic Theater, the Emboyd Theater, and the Shrine Auditorium. Financial difficulties again forced the orchestra to disband. After some time, another meeting was called at Central High School to reorganize the orchestra and elect a new conductor, Gaston Bailhe.


The mission of Pave the Path is to give opportunity to potential high school leaders and give them the insights, tools, and mentors to shape their path for the future. Through gaining this key knowledge, we can help grow a community of developed youth to help shape, give back and become leaders right here in Fort Wayne. Pave the Path is a joint program in partnership between Believe in a Dream, Inc. and 4WARD, Inc. The two-day seminar is for 100 student leaders in high school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We are focused on the development of leadership skills, indentifying their own personal brand, collaborating with community mentors and build a project to better their school or community.

Upon the completion of the program, student leaders begin a year-long mentorship program and work on their Young Visionaries projects.