Mayor Martin J. Walsh yesterday joined the City of Boston Scholarship Committee at the Suffolk Construction Headquarters in Roxbury to award 32 Boston students up to $10,000 in scholarships to help fund their higher education. Over 120 students currently receive an annual scholarship of $2,500 through the fund for the duration of their undergraduate education. In total, the fund will distribute almost $300,000 in scholarships this year, making college more accessible for Boston residents.
“I want to congratulate all the scholarship recipients on receiving this well-deserved honor,” said Mayor Walsh. “Each of these students represent what it means to be a Bostonian — working hard, always learning, and never giving up. I am incredibly proud of these students’ accomplishments and can’t wait to see how they leave their mark on the world.”
The City of Boston Scholarship Fund was established in 1994 to provide assistance to residents who plan to pursue a two- or four-year undergraduate program in Massachusetts. Applicants must be residents of Boston and must have graduated from high school by the time the awards are made in June.
“I would love to thank the City of Boston for this scholarship, it means so much to me. Receiving this scholarship makes me even more motivated and encouraged to continue to be a student leader and activist when I get to college because I know that my hard work is being recognized! In addition, college is very expensive, so earning this scholarship helps me a lot financially,” said Stanley Aneke, a 2019 City of Boston Scholar who will be attending the University of Massachusetts-Amherst this fall.
Funds for the scholarships are made possible from contributions made by residents and corporations. This year’s scholarships were supported by generous donations from Arbella Insurance Foundation, Jonathan and Margot Davis, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Herb Chambers Foundation, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Lewis Family Foundation, Santander, and Rapid7 as part of their ongoing commitment to Boston’s students.
Among the 32 City of Boston Scholars this year, 24 are high school seniors, five are current college students and three are adult learners returning to school to finish their degrees. A profile of the 2019 City of Boston Scholars is included below:
- They represent 12 neighborhoods across the City;
- They are attending 18 different colleges and universities across the Commonwealth;
- On average, they have a financial need gap of $7,026 per year, as determined by our partners at uAspire;
- 94% identified as people of color;
- 25% were born outside the United States;
- 72% are the first in their family to attend college;
- 75% attended Boston Public Schools;
- 47% will be attending public colleges and universities.
The City of Boston Scholarship Committee has awarded over 950 students scholarships since 1995. This year, the Scholarship Fund celebrated the seventeenth year of an endowed scholarship donated by the Rosen Family in memory of Jeffrey Dunipace Rosen. The Fund celebrated the fourth year of the Community Development Scholarship, established in remembrance of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and a Community Spirit Scholarship in memory of former public servant and City of Boston Scholarship awardee, Dawn Jaffier.
This year’s scholarship awards strengthen the post-secondary access initiatives that Mayor Walsh has launched or supported over the last year, including the GRAD (Graduate Ready to Achieve Degree) Last Mile Fund, Free Community College Tuition, Boston Bridge, Boston Saves, and ongoing support activities for students through the Success Boston partnership.
Yesterday’s announcement builds on the Mayor’s commitment to expanding access to higher education for Boston residents. Earlier this year, Mayor Walsh announced the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) will be the first private college to participate in Boston’s Tuition-Free Community College Plan. Launched by Mayor Walsh in 2016, Boston’s Tuition-Free Community College program makes college more affordable for Boston residents who have earned their high school credential. BFIT joins Roxbury Community College, Bunker Hill Community College, and MassBay Community College as a participant in the program.
Included in Mayor Walsh’s 2019 legislative agenda is “An Act Establishing Tuition Free Community College in Massachusetts (House Bill 1245),” filed by Representative Chynah Tyler. The legislation would authorize a waiver of tuition and mandatory fees for community college courses for certain low income and low- and moderate- income students. In addition, the Mayor’s legislative agenda includes a proposal that would allow the City of Boston to adjust the Linkage Program, which is used to fund TFCC as well as other workforce training programs.
Residents who fit the criteria are encouraged to participate in the 2020-2021 application process, which will begin in early 2020. For more information on the City of Boston Scholarship, visit Boston.gov/scholarship or send a note to [email protected] Additional resources for residents pursuing higher education can be found on the City’s Higher Education Resource page.