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“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill


Amphibious Achievement

Amphibious Achievement is a dual athletic and academic mentorship program that uses swimming and rowing to empower low-income Boston-area high schoolers to gain confidence in their schoolwork and set higher personal goals.

Students are chosen by lottery and hail from over 11 Boston Public High Schools (including pilot, charter, public, and alternative schools) with an average GPA of 2.4/4.0. For twenty Sundays out of the year MIT students teach these high school students, known as “Achievers” in the program, how to swim and row using MIT facilities. After a healthy lunch, Achievers receive tutoring in mathematics and communications in preparation for standardized testing. We also incorporate puzzles and workshops into the curriculum to encourage students to foster a love of problem-solving and set their focus on college.

The program is completely run by MIT student-volunteers and is free of cost to all students who participate. 


Amphibious Achievement Website

This is Hestia’s third year of funding Amphibious Achievement. Hestia’s grant of $5,000 will support their core programming.



The BASE plays a key role in shifting the national mindset and re-imagining pathways to success for urban youth. The BASE is a premier urban youth training academy which combines sports and academic opportunities with a methodology that cultivates excellence, believe and love. The BASE is making the invisible, visible and shining a spotlight on the limitless potential of urban youth.
The BASE provides student athletes with year-round, superior baseball and academic training, access to college fairs and showcases, professional visit and academic scholarships available through partnerships with several colleges and universities throughout the country.
The BASE also trains and supports a growing network of youth baseball coaches, many of whom are BASE/Astros alumni. The organization has built a strong set of relationships with government, private sector, community leaders, colleges & universities, other not-for-profits, private foundations, and individuals who are committed to changing minds, lives and the status quo.
The BASE Model:
B. Baseball & Softball
The BASE offers best in class, year-round conditioning/training for 850+ players, college showcases and a highly competitive in-house league. Players also participate in national and state travel teams that attend regional and national tournaments including The BASE's own Annual Urban Classic Baseball Classic in Boston and Chicago.
A. Academics
The BASE supports youth through high school graduation to college or career training. The BASE offers college readiness resources such as dual enrollment college prep and credited courses, SAT prep, financial aid guidance, college fairs and tours and academic scholarships. Life skills coaching includes workshops in writing, public speaking, financial literacy and job readiness.
T. Training
The BASE provides comprehensive training to coaches, players and other non-profits in Positive Youth Coaching, NCAA Rules & Regulations, Social Media Training and Health & Wellness training including health screenings and physicals.

The BASE Website

This is the second year of a two-year grant Hestia has awarded to The BASE. This year’s award of $30,000 will support the College & Career Pathways Program. This is Hestia’s third year of funding The BASE.

Boston Debate League (BDL)

The Boston Debate League is an organization that works in partnership with the Boston Public School system to help students across the city improve their debate skills. BDL, created in 2005, creates an environment in which students become more eager and willing to challenge both themselves and their peers. The BDL’s academic debate programs are based on a model that has worked for decades, is extremely cost-effective and can easily be taken to scale. Most importantly, a wealth of peer-reviewed academic research demonstrates that urban debate moves the needle on the most important academic indicators, including literacy, standardized test scores, high school graduation and college matriculation.

Students receive rigorous training in use of source material and argumentation after-school, and participate in tournaments on Saturdays and intensive training in the summer. BDL students’ performance continues to rise in state and national competitions.
In addition, BDL has expanded its influence into classrooms through the development of an Evidence Based Argumentation (EBA) curriculum and teacher-training program. Implemented school wide, school administrators credit the EBA program in changing the achievement culture and impacting MCAS scores positively. 

The BDL Website

Hestia’s $50,000 grant to the Boston Debate League will support their After School Debate League. This is the 5th year of Hestia funding for the BDL.

BPE - Boston Teacher Residency (BTR) 

BTR resident Frank Wilburn with his 4th grade class at Dudley Street School

Boston Plan for Excellence (BPE) devises solutions to the toughest challenges faced by Boston’s students and teachers by weaving together expertise in teacher training and school development. We have prepared more than 600 teachers for the Boston Public Schools through the nationally recognized and replicated Boston Teacher Residency (BTR) program. Today, we run neighborhood based Teaching Academies, schools which provide a world class education for all students while preparing outstanding new teachers for the Boston Public Schools (BPS).

Modeled after teaching hospitals, our Teaching Academies immerse aspiring Boston teachers in the best practices of the field. Our BTR "teacher residents" work side by side with experienced colleagues to implement research based practices, examine their impact on student learning, and refine instruction until every child is successful. We run two Teaching Academies: Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School and Dearborn STEM Academy.  Through our Dudley Promise Corps members, we provide high-quality extended learning time and academic support to students in the Dudley neighborhood of Roxbury.

Founded in 2003, BTR recruits a diverse set of talented college graduates, career changers, and community members of all ages and gives them tools to make an immediate impact in BPS classrooms. BTR combines a year-long classroom apprenticeship with master's level coursework designed with Boston's students and curriculum in mind. Graduates commit to teach for at least three years in Boston schools, and BTR supports them over that time as they hone their teaching practice. 

Now preparing its 13th cohort of residents, BTR has trained more than 600 new teachers and has served as a model for replication in fifteen cities. 49% of graduates are teachers of color, 35% of these are African American or Latino.  BTR graduates continually post higher retention rates than the district average – 80% were still teaching in BPS after three years, compared with 63% of their non-BTR peers.  79% were still in BPS after five years, compared with 51% of their peers.  Across all cohorts, 87% of our graduates are still teaching, and 90% are still in the field of education.  New data reveal that BTR graduates are twice as likely as other Massachusetts teachers with the same level of experience to be rated Exemplary according to the state’s new System for Educator Evaluation (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2016).

The Boston Teacher Residency Website
This is the second year of a two-year grant awarded to BPE’s Boston Teacher Residency program. This year’s grant of $35,000 will help prepare 40 highly effective teachers to drive reform in Boston's schools. This is Hestia’s third year of funding BPE.

Families First Parenting Programs 

  “This is changing people. It’s changing perspectives. We are empowering this community.” – Families First Parenting Educator Yesenia Menendez on her work in East Boston
Families First is dedicated to promoting the secure, nurturing parent-child relationships that are the foundation of every child’s well-being and future success. Through original, research-based workshop series, their expert Parenting Educators empower parents with a new understanding of how children thrive, enabling families and communities to provide the next generation with the opportunity to succeed in school and life.

For more than 27 years, Families First has been a leader in parenting education in the Greater Boston area.  Working to increase family resilience, their programs are delivered in partnership with organizations in high-need communities. Through these partnerships, they provide parenting education workshop series in multiple languages for more than 1,400 parents, benefitting almost 3,000 children each year.

Research shows that stress can affect children’s development significantly. The result can be acting out, depression, trouble with schoolwork, and substance abuse. But a parent who is reliable and nurturing can change that. And, while the academic part of learning is critical, children also need support to build social-emotional skills that will help them thrive.

The School Success program enables parents to build on their strengths and addresses parenting concepts like maintaining consistent routines at home that promote academic achievement, understanding different learning styles, encouraging healthy communication, and providing new opportunities for creativity and learning outside of school.  Following Families First’s original curriculum, Parenting Educators engage parents in activities and group discussions. Parents also have the opportunity to build support networks by sharing their own experiences and they often report back to the group after trying new strategies between sessions.

As one mother explained,“I’m getting more patient. I’m not yelling as much… I make it a point now to ask [my son] how his day was. I really listen... Now he’s so open, he talks about what his mistakes were… I don’t feel like I would have gotten these techniques if I hadn’t taken the Families First workshop.” 
The Families First Website

This is Hestia's first year of funding Families First. Hestia’s grant of $15,000 will support the School Success Program.

Friends of St. Stephen’s Youth Programs

St. Stephen’s Youth Programs (SSYP) began in 2000 as a church’s effort to provide neighborhood elementary students with a safe place to go when school is not in session. Today, our successful, cost effective, out-of-school time programming serves 850 young people in grades K-12+. In 2008, we established a 501(c)3 "Friends of St. Stephen's Youth Programs" and in 2011, we created a Youth Programs Advisory Board to oversee program content, personnel, development, property issues, and strategic planning.
We enroll young people without regard to their religious affiliation. Most of our students are Latino/a and African American.  Many are part of new immigrant households where English is spoken as a second language. The vast majority of our students live in public housing, at or below the national poverty level. All of our students are impacted by the stress of living in poverty and being surrounded by violence.

We provide students with year-round, long- term support on their path to success in high school, college and beyond. Year-round learning prevents students from experiencing insurmountable learning gaps as a result of cumulative “summer slide.” Long -term relationships keep students from falling through the cracks, give them a vision for the future, and provide them with the tools and direction needed to get there.
We are unique in the extent to which we partner with families, schools and neighborhood service providers to surround each student with a comprehensive circle of care. This keeps them physically and emotionally healthy, and academically on track. We collaborate with churches, service year organizations, colleges and other non-profits to keep our services extremely cost -effective. We also provide students with a toolbox of life and leadership skills, equipping them to be agents of change in their communities.
Our programs have a 16-year track record of success.  We are particularly effective in helping young people at greatest risk of dropping out of school to persevere and graduate. For the last two years, 100% of our seniors graduated from high school and the vast majority did so with a well-formulated plan for their post-graduation year.

Friends of St. Stephen's Youth Programs Website
This is Hestia's first year of new funding for Friends of St. Stephen’s Youth Programs following six years of previous funding (2005-2010). Hestia’s grant of $30,000 will support the B-Ready After School Program.



Jumpstart is working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. The organization began in 1993 when a small group of Yale University students recognized the life-changing impact individualized attention could have on low-income children who were already falling behind their peers academically. Over the past 23 years, Jumpstart has grown rapidly, but strategically, in order to deliver its early childhood education curriculum to as many economically disadvantaged children as possible. Since its inception, Jumpstart has recruited and trained 40,000 volunteers who have served 87,000 children across the country. In Massachusetts alone this year, over 800 volunteers will deliver Jumpstart’s proven program to more than 2,000 preschool children from Boston, Brockton, Lawrence, Lowell and Worcester.

Jumpstart’s program builds the language, literacy and social skills children need to achieve school success. College student and community volunteers, known as Corps members, are recruited through partnerships with institutions of higher education and community groups. All Corps members complete Jumpstart’s comprehensive pre-service and in-service trainings on early education, community engagement, leadership and Jumpstart’s curriculum. Corps members are appointed to teams, placed in a Jumpstart partner preschool and assigned 1 to 3 partner children to develop supportive, individualized relationships. In these relationships, Corps members teach their partner children through twice-weekly, two-hour, individualized sessions over 20 weeks. These sessions build each child’s language, literacy, social and initiative skills by using an intentional, scaffolded curriculum focused on foundational domains and skills.

The Jumpstart Website

This is Hestia’s second year of funding to Jumpstart. Hestia’s grant of $20,000 will support their core programming in Boston and Lawrence.


The mission at KIPP Massachusetts is to create an environment where students develop the academic skills, character strengths, and intellectual habits necessary to maximize their potential in college and in life. Our program is based on a longer school day and year, academic and character development, a relentless focus on student outcomes and college graduation, coaching and continuous learning for teachers and staff, a system of support for students in grades K-12 and in college and career through our KIPP Through College program. For ten years in Massachusetts, we have developed and refined an educational model that improves and scales transformative outcomes for our kids and families.

Nationwide, only 10% of students from low income communities like Lynn and Boston graduate from college, compared to 82% of their more affluent peers. Preparing our students for success in college and career drives the work of all school leaders, teachers, and staff. Nationally, KIPP alumni graduate from college at a rate of 44% - good, but not enough.  Our Class of 2015, the first class to benefit from a 5-12 KIPP education, are expected to graduate from college at 5X the national average. Our goal is for 75% of our alumni to graduate from college.

KIPP:MA operates five schools in the greater Boston area, serving almost 1,500 kids and families. Lynn is home to KIPP Academy Lynn elementary, middle and high schools serving over 1,000 students. When at scale, KIPP will serve almost 10% of the Lynn student population. KIPP Academy Boston elementary and middle schools currently serve 429 students, and will serve over 700 students when fully grown K-8.

The KIPP Website

This is Hestia's second year of funding KIPP Massachusetts. Hestia's grant of $15,000 will support KIPP Academy Boston's K-College program.


Neighborhood House Charter School

One of the very first charter schools in Massachusetts, Neighborhood House Charter School is an award-winning public school in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.  Currently serving 400 students in grades K-8, the school will grow to serve 828 students in all grades K-12 by 2021.  The students reflect the diversity of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan: 81% are racial/ethnic minorities, 61% are eligible for free or reduced lunch, 23% speak a language other than English at home, and 15% have disabilities.  The school has been a Level 1 (highest) school on the state’s accountability system ever since it was enacted, and student scores on end-of-year tests are consistently higher than average scores for Boston district schools and K-8 schools across the state.
The school’s mission is as follows: “Neighborhood House Charter School combines rich and structured learning with extensive social/emotional programming to help all our students succeed in school and in life. We strive to develop scholars who seek knowledge, embrace effort, act thoughtfully, and commit to the common good.  Many children come to us with significant needs.  We don’t give up on them.  Our goal is that all of our students thrive at Neighborhood House, graduate from high school, and pursue post-secondary education on the path to achieve life success.”
The Social and Emotional Support Program at Neighborhood House is a two-prong system: (1) all students in the school receive at least ten hours of age-appropriate instruction in social and emotional skills through class-based learning groups, and (2) students with high support needs are given targeted interventions and additional support to help them access their strengths and overcome their struggles.  Building a strong school climate of mutual respect and support is a key design element at Neighborhood House, and preventive and supportive strategies are preferred to high-stakes discipline practices. The school’s suspension rate is one of the lowest among area charter schools.

The Neighborhood House Charter School Website

This is Hestia's first year of funding the Neighborhood House Charter School. Hestia's grant of $15,000 will support the Social and Emotional Support Program.

Parent-Child Home Program

The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) is a unique evidence-based, successfully replicated school readiness, early literacy, and parenting program for families with children from 16 months to 4-year-old who are challenged by the most significant obstacles to school success:  poverty, language and cultural barriers, limited parental education levels, and low literacy levels. Well-trained and well-supervised paraprofessionals provide two yeas of intensive home visiting to enable families who have not had access to education and economic opportunities to prepare their children for academic success by building stable, literacy-rich home environments.   The program achieves this by: 1) identifying families and communities that would benefit from the program; 2) visiting families twice a week over a two-year period; 3) educating families during those visits on encouraging positive behavior in their children and embracing language, literacy and reading in their home environments; and 4) connecting families to other social and educational services.
Each week, community-based early literacy specialists (ELS) bring a book or educational toy that remains with the families permanently; these are often the first books or learning materials in the home.  Using the book/toy the ELS model reading, conversation, and play activities designed to stimulate parent-child interaction, develop language and literacy skills, and build school readiness.  The Program is unique both in the intensity of the services provided and the specific focus on "modeling" behaviors for parents and children together.  The Program also reaches out to homeless families living in shelters and motels. 
Published research has consistently shown that Program graduates:

  • Perform significantly better on school readiness measures than their socio-economic peers
    • 10 points higher on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT)
    • 10 months above their chronological age on a Kindergarten Screening Test
  • Are over 50% less likely to be referred to special education services by the 3rd grade

In 2000, the Massachusetts government first provided public funding for PCHP following the publication of a longitudinal study that followed a five-year cohort of children from Pittsfield through high school and demonstrated that children who had completed PCHP  went on to graduate from high school at the rate of middle class students, a 30% higher graduation rate than the control group. 
The Hestia Fund will help to support expansion in Boston. The Boston Parent-Child Home Program program is ideally suited to serve the high-risk population in the city because of its multilingual capacity and its hiring of local paraprofessionals.  PCHP graduates enter school ready to be in the classroom, go on to be successful as they move through school and graduate from high school at the same rate as middle-class students.

The Parent-Child Home Program Website

This is Hestia's first year of funding the Parent-Child Home Program. Hestia's grant of $25,000 will support bridging the preparation gap for Boston children in need.

Raising A Reader

Raising A Reader MA is an evidence-based early literacy organization that helps families of young children (birth through age six) develop, practice, and maintain habits of reading with their young children at home. Its core program model, which both increases access to books and offers families tools and supports for strengthening the culture of reading at home, is driven by 25 years of research that show the most significant factor impacting a child’s academic success is being regularly read to by a parent or other primary adult caregiver before starting kindergarten. Raising a Reader’s goal is to end the cycle of low literacy by helping families across Massachusetts develop high impact home reading routines that lay the groundwork for a lifetime of learning, success, and productive, responsible citizenship.

Raising A Readers’ services include the signature ‘red bag’ book rotation program, which puts dozens of high quality, developmentally and culturally appropriate books in the hands of children and families to share at home each year, and multilingual workshops, tools, and other professional and peer support services that help parents master Dialogic Reading strategies for reading and sharing stories at home in a way that supports children’s pre-literacy development, regardless of a parent’s own language/literacy abilities.  

Raising A Reader MA offers these services through partnerships with school- and community-based early education programs, family childcare providers, and other organizations where families regularly access services (e.g. adult education programs, public housing centers, churches) in high-risk communities.

The Raising A Reader Website

This is Hestia’s third year of funding Raising A Reader. Hestia's grant of $20,000 will support core programming in Lawrence.​

Science from Scientists

Science from Scientists' mission is to improve the attitudes and aptitudes of 4th-8th grade students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (or STEM). Their flagship program is the In-School Module-Based Program where they bring real, charismatic scientists into the classrooms every other week, throughout the entire academic year, to teach hands-on, frameworks-relevant lessons in STEM. They focus on inspiring students and igniting interest, with the goal of filling the STEM workforce pipeline with talented, competent individuals to help the US to maintain its' competitiveness in STEM. 
Science from Scientists was founded in 2002 and has worked with 20,000 students across Massachusetts and California. Science from Scientists' core program is currently serving 5,800 students in 46 schools across Massachusetts and California.
SfS has several unique features: (1) The ISMB program is DURING school hours so that they can provide STEM Enrichment to EVERY student in the classroom (2) They provide a measurable impact by tracking STE MCAS scores, administering pre/post quizzes, and receiving teacher feedback biannually (3) SfS has been features on National Public Radio and the cover of the National Science Teachers Association. They currently have a waitlist of 60+ schools for the program. 

The Science from Scientists Website

This is Hestia’s second year of funding to Science from Scientists. Hestia’s grant of $20,000 will support STEM enrichment programming at the Lilla G. Frederick Academy in Dorchester.

Youth Development Organization

YDO is unusually positioned to make a difference in the lives of individuals and in the direction of the community. The accomplishments of YDO to date have resulted from their ability to attract both students and resources to programs of voluntary learning. YDO has managed to broker learning opportunities in large part by creating and leveraging the good will of individuals and organizations both from within and outside the city. YDO's staff has found ways to reach out across Lawrence, within schools, churches and youth organizations, and invite young people to be seriously engaged in their education.

YDO offers enrichment programs in academics and the arts to connect students to the larger world around them. They do this by forming partnerships with other non-profit organizations, schools and community organizations to create learning opportunities. The students currently enrolled find themselves in a relationship with a caring adult, as well as older students who serve as role models. Building on each individual student's particular assets, they encourage them to develop their potential and take charge of their growth and development.

The YDO Website

This is the second year of a two-year grant awarded to YDO, and Hestia’s 4th year of funding YDO. Hestia’s grant of $50,000 will support the YDO out-of-school enrichment program.


Ailey Camp
Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention
America Scores/New England SCORES
Amphibious Achievement
Arts in Progress, Inc
Beacon Academy
Bird Street
Boston Day and Eve Academy
Boston Urban Youth Foundation
Boys and Girls Club of Boston
Breakthrough Greater Boston
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Brookview House
Cambridge Camping, Daybreak Day Camp
Camp Unity
Charlestown Lacrosse
Citizen Schools Orchard Gardens
City Kicks
City Stage
Codman Academy
Conservatory Lab Charter School
Dorchester House
East End House
Federated Dorchester Neighborhood Houses, Inc
Generations Inc
Girls, Inc
Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra
Greenwood Shalom After School
Hydes Square Task Force
Joseph Lee School
La Alianza Hispana
Lawrence Public Schools
Lucy Stone School Initiative
Mason School Patnership/Walker Home
Match Community Day
Math Power
Mission SAFE
Multicultural Youth Tour of Whats Now
Nativity Prepartory
PEAR Impact
Raw Arts
Science Club for Girls
Second Step
Sociedad Latina
Sportsmen's Tennis
St. Stephens
Strong Women, Strong Girls
Teen Voices
TEEP - The Trinity Education for Excellence Program
Umana Barnes Middle School/YMCA East Boston
United South End Settlement Houses
UP Education Network
Urban Scholars
West End House
Youth Development Org