By Juan Cantu, Program Officer, Education to Career
Research makes it clear – we live in an economy where a college degree or other postsecondary credential plays a critical role in increasing opportunities and income for young people of all backgrounds.
That’s why once again this year, Success Boston and the Boston Public Schools are partnering to celebrate College Month in October. Every year since 2012, we have proudly collaborated to provide support and programming for students and families in Boston as they learn more about college, internships and careers.
Success Boston’s slogan is “Getting Ready, Getting In, Getting Through and Getting Connected.” College Month exemplifies the hard work that goes into each of these elements, so that students can achieve their potential and help Boston become a better place.
Each week of October will have a theme to give students, teachers, families and education professionals access to resources available to enhance college access and success.
The first week of October will be College Affordability Week. This work revolves around the launch of the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will be available starting on October 1.. BPS is partnering with American Student Assistance and uAspire to help students start their FAFSAs online, research scholarships and other cost-saving strategies. Other partner programs, such as the City of Boston’s Tuition Free Community College program and Boston Bridge also can give students opportunities to earn degrees without incurring crushing student loans. This week also includes the city-wide College Pride Day on October 4, where everyone is encouraged to show pride for their Alma Mater by wearing a shirt or sweater from your school.
October 6th kicks off College Readiness Week, where BPS and partners will encourage students to explore college and career paths, as well as preparing for the SAT and ACT. College open houses across the city and state will be underway – they are great resources for students, families and educational professionals to learn about the admissions process, financial aid opportunities and more. You can find a list of open houses, which run on weekends throughout the month on the Success Boston website.
STEM Week starts on October 20th, with STEM departments across BPS providing opportunities to students for exploration of these fields. This week culminates with the first annual BPS STEM Showcase at the annual City-Wide College, Career & Internship Fair at the Reggie Lewis Center, October 26from 10am-1pm. Families are encouraged to bring students of all ages to meet with STEM professionals with hands-on exhibits and activities. More than 100 exhibitors will be at the College Fair for students and families to learn about college admissions as well as job and internship opportunities in the city.
The final week of October is Alumni Engagement Week, where Boston Public Schools Alumni and the Success Boston Student Leadership Council will support activities at their high school alma maters and posting on social media with the hashtag #SuccessBoston.
With College Month, we stand with Boston Public Schools and all our Success Boston partners to ensure today’s middle and high school students have the best possible opportunities to graduate high school ready and on target to move on to the next level of their education and career.