The Boston Foundation announces winners of Success Boston - Boston Coaching for Completion grants

April 13, 2015

Boston – The Boston Foundation has awarded nine grants, totaling $1.6 million as part of its Success Boston Initiative’s Boston Coaching for Completion program.

These funds will mobilize public and private sector resources to replicate and expand the Success Boston coaching model to support up to 1000 graduates of the Boston Public Schools, helping students gain entry to college and helping them remain in school through graduation.

Funds for the grants were drawn from a $2.7 million investment in the Boston Foundation made in September 2014 by the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) Social Innovation Fund (SIF). Social Innovation Fund investments, announced at the SIF’s Annual Grantee Convening, in Washington D.C. last fall will help grow the impact of innovative, community-based solutions that have compelling evidence of improving the lives of people in low-income communities throughout the United States.

“The Boston Coaching for Completion program offers a promising approach to the City of Boston’s challenge of low college completion rates,” said Lois Nembhard, Acting Director of the Social Innovation  Fund. “The Foundation has selected a very interesting portfolio that will tackle this issue across diverse populations of youth.”

Expanding on Coaching Success

The Success Boston initiative, launched in 2008 by an innovative collaboration between the City of Boston, the Boston Public Schools, the Boston Foundation, UMass Boston, the Boston Private Industry Council and dozens of Massachusetts colleges and universities, is built around providing students with the coaching and support they need to get ready, get into and get through college.

To date, more than 2,000 students from six graduating classes have been served and coached through Success Boston.

"We're proud that our Boston Public Schools graduation rates reached an all-time high this year," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "The road does not stop on graduation day--we want to provide our young people with the support they need to pursue higher education. With support from the Social Innovation Fund, our future graduates are given the necessary tools they need to become Boston's future innovators, educators, and trailblazers. Because of our investment in their lives, they will go on to make a positive difference in the world."

Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation, also applauded the results that led to the grants being awarded.

“Success Boston has demonstrated an incredibly positive influence on the lives of Boston Public School graduates who are making their way in college,” Grogan said. “We look forward to continued work with Success Boston Partners and grantees, Mayor Walsh, and new School Superintendent Tommy Chang, to grow this successful model through Boston Coaching for Completion and help more BPS graduates get into and through college.”

An open competition, which drew 15 applicants, was held by the Boston Foundation for grants valued at a minimum of $100,000 for periods of three to five years, for a total of $1.6 million distributed in the first year.

Awardees Continue Coaching Strategies

Bottom Line ($400,000) is dedicated to helping disadvantaged students get in to college, graduate from college, and go far in life. They provide low-income and first-generation students with one-on-one guidance through the application process and during college. Bottom Line provides outcomes-based support driven by a rigorous curriculum and delivered by full-time staff members, who communicate regularly with students. 

Boston Private Industry Council ($300,000) is a nonprofit organization that connects business, the Boston Public Schools, higher education, government, labor, and community organizations to create innovative workforce and education solutions that benefit Boston residents and businesses alike. PIC postsecondary coaches connect students to valuable campus and community resources, navigate deadlines and requirements, and balance the demands of school, life, and employment.

College Bound Dorchester ($130,000) provides educational services to the underserved and lays the foundation for future academic, economic and social success. By providing a continuum of services, College Bound Dorchester works to ensure a path to higher education for all students.

Freedom House ($150,000) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to transform the economic and cultural fabric of high-need communities through education and leadership development. The Preparing Urban Students for Success in Higher Education (PUSH) program supports students through the individual challenges that stand in the way of persistence along the academic pipeline from high school to successfully earning a post-secondary degree or entering the workforce.

Hyde Square Task Force ($160,000) is a community-based organization that develops the skills of youth and their families so that they are empowered to enhance their own lives and build a strong and vibrant urban community. Their educational programs serve over 1,000 elementary, middle, and high school students each year. 

Match Beyond ($110,000) empowers young adults and college non-completers to earn postsecondary degrees. The organization provides personal coaching, study support, and job placement services to high school graduates in Boston who enroll in low-cost Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree programs at College for America, an innovative online arm of Southern New Hampshire University.

Sociedad Latina ($100,000) works in partnership with Latino youth and families to end destructive cycles of poverty, health inequities, and lack of educational and professional opportunities. Their Pathways to Success Model is an array of comprehensive programs, aligned to engage youth throughout their development, from age 10-21, and lead them to successful futures in higher education, in careers, and in their communities.

Steppingstone ($100,000) offers after school and summer college preparation for 1,000 Boston students each year, beginning in fifth grade and continuing through college. Steppingstone develops and implements programs that prepare underserved students for educational opportunities that lead to college success.

West End House Boys & Girls Club ($150,000) is an independent Boys and Girls Club in the City of Boston. The West End House offers its members an integrated array of programs across four broad areas: leadership and life skills; academic support and college success; sports, fitness and nutrition; and visual and performing arts.


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of some $1 billion. In 2014, the Foundation and its donors made more than $112 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of nearly $112 million. In celebration of its centennial in 2015, the Boston Foundation has launched the Campaign for Boston to strengthen the Permanent Fund for Boston, Greater Boston’s only endowment fund supporting organizations focused on the most pressing needs of Greater Boston.  The Foundation is proud to be a partner in philanthropy, with nearly 1,000 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 that address the region’s most serious challenges.  The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), an operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit or call 617-338-1700.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service and champions community solutions through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit