The Wight Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1986 by Mr. Russell B. Wight, Jr., a New Jersey businessman and real estate entrepreneur. Mr. Wight was inspired by a Public Television documentary, which highlighted the social and economic challenges that plagued many families in the Greater Newark area. The documentary also spoke to the limited educational opportunities available for young people at that time.

Deeply affected by the documentary, Mr. Wight reached out to community and business leaders to begin to address the challenge of providing educational opportunity for young people. In response, The Wight Foundation, Inc. was founded with the mission to provide superior educational opportunities for young men and women of the Greater Newark area to achieve academic excellence and personal development within a boarding school environment.

In 1986, a group of five students entered boarding school as the first class of Wight Foundation scholars. Since then The Wight Foundation has experienced tremendous growth. Its recruitment outreach efforts have extended to the five counties of the Greater Newark area. Many new programs and initiatives have been developed. Most of all, the size of its scholar and alumni population has grown. The Foundation fosters the development of each scholar's leadership potential and helps him or her gain confidence to be successful both in and out of the classroom.