Boston – The Boston Foundation today announced details about the $1 million commitment made last November to support a major initiative to improve the rate of college success for Boston public school graduates.
Today’s announcement addresses an effort first announced in November of 2008 by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, in response to a groundbreaking report prepared for the Boston Private Industry Council and published by the Boston Foundation, which established that almost two-thirds of local high school graduates currently fail to earn degrees within seven years of their graduation.
The initiative identified three strategies needed to boost success for high school students: getting ready for college, getting in to college and getting through college. The Boston Foundation is a lead partner in the second strategy, working with local nonprofit organizations to provide services to identify students who may be at risk, to provide services to help them to succeed in college, and to partner with colleges and universities to provide transition support.
“There is no better or more timely investment to be made than in programs that help Boston school students succeed in college,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “By helping able and motivated students succeed, we give them the critical tools they need to thrive in our knowledge-based economy.”
Grants and commitments announced today include:
ACCESS - $165,000 in a one-year grant to provide ongoing financial aid information, including advising and workshops, to all initiative participants. ACCESS will also oversee program coordination for the initiative and will provide incentive stipends to participants.
Boston Private Industry Council - $200,000 in a one-year grant to administer the Accuplacer assessment to all program participants to determine the need for remedial writing support, and provide college transition coaching to 75 participating students headed to Bunker Hill and Roxbury Community College. Additionally, the PIC will also conduct ongoing data measurement for the initiative.
Bottom Line - $60,000 one-year grant to expand its College Success program to provide year-long intensive transition supports for 80 initiative participants headed to targeted higher education institutions, including the University of Massachusetts Boston, Salem State, Bridgewater State, Northeastern and Suffolk University. The grant is being matched by an anonymous donor.
Freedom House - $50,000 one-year grant through the June grants docket of the Boston Foundation, to reinstate Project REACH (Road to Educational Achievement,) as the REACH Institute, providing summer bridge and year-long transition supports to 20 Initiative participants heading to targeted higher education institutions.
Hyde Square Task Force - $100,000 one-year grant to expand its College Bound Mentoring Program and Alumnae Support Program to provide year-long intensive transition supports to 50 participants, focusing on low-income, first generation college students with a GPA of 2.4 or lower, who are English Language Learners headed to area community colleges.
The Educational Resources Institute (TERI) - $80,000 one-year grant to provide year-long transition supports to 50 students from TERI’s Gear Up and TRIO programs, attending one of three or more lead colleges, including University of Massachusetts Boston and area community colleges.
Earlier grants totaling $293,000 were awarded, including $108,000 to support a Director of College Readiness Initiative within the Boston Public School Department; $160,000 in support grants announced in December of 2008; and $25,000 for consultant support for the initiative. Together with the grants announced today, this leaves a balance of $42,000 in the $1 million Boston Foundation commitment in Year One support, which will be used for academic supports during the summer.
The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with assets of $763 million. In Fiscal Year 2008, the Foundation and its donors made close to $79 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of $113 million. The Foundation is made up of some 900 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener, and sponsor of special initiatives designed to address the community’s and region’s most pressing challenges. For more information about the Boston Foundation, visit or call 617-338-1700.