Edward Glines

A Bequest Helps Jewish Vocational Service Train Health Workers

Born in 1849 in Somerville, Edward Glines was too young to serve in the Civil War, but when the Spanish-American War broke out, he volunteered and was commissioned a captain by President McKinley. Edward went on to hold numerous positions in government—first as a Massachusetts Representative, next as a State Senator and finally as the Mayor of Somerville, from 1901 to 1904.

Besides being a public-spirited citizen, Edward was a highly successful businessman, running the Glines Company, which provided supplies to the best hotels in Boston. He also was known as a generous contributor to public and private charities and widely admired. “Few if any men in business in Boston stand higher in the estimation of their associates,” said one newspaper article of the day.


When Edward died in 1938, at the age of 89, he left a major, unrestricted bequest to the Permanent Fund for Boston.  Today, one of the programs his legacy supports is helping people climb the economic ladder.

Attending college was always a goal for me,” says Karen Furtado, “but when I found out I was pregnant at the age of 18, I had to put my goals on hold.” Karen would go on to have four children, working full-time while raising them, mostly as a single mother. While working and being a mother, she was determined to pass the GED that would someday allow her to go to college, and she accomplished that on her own, studying books at her local library. “They finally let me take the books home with me,” she said, “because I was there every day.” Now that her children are grown, her dreams are no longer on hold. She plans to be a nurse.

One day, a couple of years ago, Karen walked by a bulletin board at Children’s Hospital, where she works in the finance department, and saw a flyer for a Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) program called “Bridges to College.” She had already taken one college prep course, but it hadn’t adequately prepared her to take college entrance exams. “I thought to myself, this is just the break I needed,” she says.

“I always tell my kids that if the door of opportunity opens, you should walk through it.” She immediately called JVS to take their assessment test.  Bridges to College prepares adults to bypass remedial courses and enter directly into college-level, credit-bearing coursework. In partnership with Bunker Hill Community College and area employers, including Children’s Hospital, JVS offers reading, English and math classes as well as academic coaching and test preparation. Its focus is on those who are interested in entering the health care field or advancing in a current position they hold in heath care.

Karen cannot say enough good things about JVS staff members, who have offices near the complex of buildings that make up Children’s Hospital. “The training and academic coaching played a key factor not only in getting accepted to Bunker Hill,” she explains, “but allowing me to place into credit courses instead of remedial courses.

I am currently in my third semester and taking the prerequisites I need for my nursing degree.” She maintains an “A” average, and gives much of the credit to the staff at JVS. “This is the best team anyone could have on her side,” she says. “They are always available for any kind of assistance whether it is finding tutors or giving positive input on homework assignments.”

Karen was nervous when she was asked by JVS to speak at a ceremony this summer for those who have graduated from its classes, but she rose to the occasion. “My children were sitting in the front row,” she says. “It was important to me that they see me moving forward and having goals.

I want to lead by example and let them know that they can do anything they want with their lives. It’s never too late to open that door of opportunity and walk through it.”