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Success Boston Annual Kickoff Event Honors Mayor Menino

 Mayor Menino Success 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 Event Menino Grogan Motley McDonough

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.

 Paul Grogan Success Boston

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.


Success Boston College Send-Off

  Guest speakers: Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Dr. Gary Gottlieb, then President of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Paul Grogan, President & CEO of the Boston Foundation, celebrate Success Boston students.
On August 19th, more than 200 Boston Public School students participated in a college send-off event at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, marking the completion of summer supports and entrance into college for Success Boston participants from the high school graduating class of 2009.

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