Boston students present Mayor Menino with signed jersey at Success Boston celebration

September 3, 2013

Kickoff event featured workshops for over 100 Boston Public Schools grads enrolling in City-led college completion program

  Mayor Menino Success Boston Students
  Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino accepts a jersey signed by dozens of Boston Public Schools graduates now enrolled in college at the annual Success Boston kickoff at UMass Boston’s Clark Athletic Center. The number 70 signifies Mayor Menino’s 70% college completion rate goal for BPS students. From L to R: Tucker Gaye of Dorchester, a second-year student at UMass Boston; Annabel Cordero of Mission Hill, a senior at Emmanuel College; Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Dr. Pam Eddinger, new President of Bunker Hill Community College, a Success Boston partner.
Boston – Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino was presented with a jersey signed by dozens of Boston Public Schools graduates now enrolled in college, in honor of his work improving the college graduation rate for BPS students, at the annual Success Boston Kickoff event at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Clark Athletic Center Thursday evening.

The jersey, adorned with the number 70 in honor of Mayor Menino’s goal of a 70 percent college completion rate for the BPS graduating class of 2011 and beyond, was presented to him by two members of the Success Boston Student Leadership Council at the event, which welcomed members of the BPS Class of 2013 to the program. Mayor Menino launched Success Boston 2008 as a key part of his effort to double the college completion rate of BPS graduates to 70 percent, with support from the Boston Public Schools, the Boston Foundation, the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Boston Private Industry Council, and many other area nonprofits and colleges. A report released in January found that the program had a measurable impact – raising persistence rates by 20 percentage points or more for some groups.

Success Boston students attend 36 Greater Boston colleges and universities. Each of the approximately 250 to 300 students from each Boston Public Schools graduating class who joins Success Boston is assigned a coach to help them meet the many challenges of college, providing critical support navigating academic, financial aid and other systems. The coaching component plays a key role in efforts that begin during high school to ensure students “get ready, get in and get through” college.

The kickoff program featured workshops for the newest Success Boston students run by some of the Success Boston partner organizations, followed by speakers including Mayor Menino, UMass Boston Chancellor Keith Motley and Boston Foundation President and CEO Paul Grogan, the co-chairs of Success Boston. Students also heard from Boston Public Schools Interim Superintendent John McDonough and Gary Uter, a 2013 graduate of UMass Boston from Dorchester and former Success Boston student.

The speakers highlighted the importance of college completion in the 21st century economy.  “There are a lot of reasons to get over the finish line.  There are 800,000 reasons,” said Grogan. “$800,000 is the difference in average lifetime earnings between someone who had some college but didn’t finish, and someone who got their degree.” 
But all the speakers also noted the power of the Success Boston model, with its network of coaches, fellow students and alumni, to ensure that students get through to graduation. “With students as smart, savvy and as talented as each and every one of you are, and as committed as you are to graduate, we know that you will achieve all your dreams and beyond,” said UMass Boston chancellor Motley. “And a team like this behind you is something you should never take for granted. Make sure you reach out.”

“Out in this audience today, I see a Chancellor Motley, a doctor, an engineer – someone who could be the next mayor,” said Mayor Menino, who earlier chided the chancellor for not mentioning that Menino himself is a UMass Boston alumnus. “You can be anything you want to be because if you work hard, stay focused, you’ll get there – we’ll give you the tools.”

“No other city has this,” he added.

For more information on Success Boston, visit


Founded in November 2008, Success Boston is an unprecedented collaboration between the City of Boston, the Boston Public Schools, the Boston Foundation, the University of Massachusetts Boston, numerous area nonprofits, and nearly 40 Massachusetts colleges and universities working together to ensure that BPS students are “getting ready, getting in and getting through” higher education by enhancing students’ academic preparation for college, supporting their efforts to make the transition to higher education and ensuring they receive the supports necessary to earn a degree prepared to enter the workforce.