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


Beacon Academy

Beacon Academy is an extra year of school between 8th and 9th grades that prepares a small cadre of motivated, smart, hard working students from Boston and surrounding urban areas for the rigor, challenges, and opportunities of independent schools.  Beacon also provides robust alumni support through college and beyond and offers a strategic engagement component to bring together people of all ages from very different backgrounds.



Photo by Ron Cowie

Inspired by a challenging curriculum and stimulating co-curricular experiences, students learn vital academic skills and develop habits of mind that empower them to change the trajectory of their lives. They emerge as active learners with increased confidence, critical thinking skills, and broader vision, prepared to thrive at competitive independent high schools. Vital to our success are the 100+ volunteers engaged with our students every year. To date, our 229 alumni have leveraged more than $50 million in scholarships for high school and college.

Beacon Academy Website

This is Hestia’s first year of new funding for Beacon Academy following two years of previous funding (2014 & 2015). Hestia’s grant of $20,000 will support the school’s core programming.

Boston Prep

Boston Prep is a Commonwealth charter school, accepting Boston students via a public lottery, with a mission to prepare students to succeed in four-year colleges and embody, in thought and action, lifelong ethical growth.  Opened in 2004, Boston Prep offers students and families integrated programs across middle school, high school, and college.   Our approach brings together rigorous academics, intentional ethical development, integrated supports, an intimate community, robust alumni support, and professional excellence. 

Boston Prep students consistently achieve at high levels, get into college, and succeed in college.  All Boston Prep graduates, over seven years, have been accepted to a four-year college.  However, acceptance is not the measure of success.  Through the Persistence Project, Boston Prep continues to support alumni through college to ensure persistence and graduation.  While only 22% of low-income urban high school graduates of color nationally go on to graduate from college, nearly four times as many, 80%, of Boston Prep alumni have graduated from college or are on track to graduate within six years.  Though this is a strong outcome, we believe we can continue to refine out work to better serve our students.

Through alumni research, we are able to learn about trends and predictors of success in college.  This research enables us to invest smartly in the programs and services that best prepare our students for future success.  Research has revealed that one of the strongest predictors of college success among Boston Prep alumni is growth and performance in English language arts.  The College Persistence through Literacy program enables us to invest deeply in literacy in middle school and high school as a means to better ensuring the future success of students in college.  The program will support schoolwide literacy on three fronts.  First, a library will be developed with the acquisition of high-interest literature at diverse reading levels.  Second, targeted intervention will enable both remedial instruction and advanced enrichment to drive growth in English language arts in response to student performance data.  Finally, professional development will enable all of our teachers, across all content areas, to become strong practitioners of literacy instruction.  The College Persistence through Literacy program ensures we are investing now in high-quality education that arms Boston’s youth with the skills and competencies they need for future success.

Boston Prep Website

This is Hestia’s first time funding the Boston Prep Charter School. The award of $25,000 will support the College Persistence Through Literacy Program.

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

This is the first year of a new two-year grant awarded to the Boston Debate League and Hestia’s 6th year of Hestia funding for the BDL. Hestia’s $25,000 grant will support the Evidence Based Argumentation program.

BPE - Boston Teacher Residency 

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

Boston Plan for Excellence is an education organization operating a PreK-12 pathway of neighborhood based Teaching Academies and a city-wide network of teacher support.  Through our Teaching Academies and our nationally recognized and replicated teacher training program, we drive exceptional outcomes for Boston’s students.

We’ve prepared more than 600 teachers for the Boston Public Schools through Boston Teacher Residency, a clinical model for training teachers. BTR operates within our two neighborhood based Teaching Academies, schools that provide a world class education for all students while preparing outstanding new teachers for successful, sustainable careers as urban educators.

Teaching Academies are autonomous schools within BPS that use an alternative staffing model and data driven practices to advance student learning while preparing outstanding new educators and leaders for Boston through Boston Teacher Residency.  Our Teacher Residents work side by side with experienced educators 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.

In Teaching Academies, we have redesigned how educators and staff are organized, in service of student learning. Just as teaching hospitals rely on teams of professionals with differentiated roles—nurses, supervisors, interns, residents, and attending physicians—Teaching Academies are structured around teams of individuals with different expertise and experience levels who work together. Teaching teams, like medical teams, use a common and accepted system of data-driven practices and tools to work effectively and coherently towards common goals.

Now preparing its 15th cohort of residents, BTR has trained more than 600 new teachers and has served as a model for replication in twenty two cities and three countries. 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 – 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.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).

The Boston Teacher Residency Website
This is the first year of a new two-year grant awarded to Boston Plan for Excellence and Hestia's fourth year of funding BPE. This year’s grant of $35,000 will support the Boston Teacher Residency Program.

Families First Parenting Programs 

"All of us here, we have made a bond together. Families First opens our eyes. Look around you, you have everyone's support. This is our village. Families First helps us when the going gets rough.” – Parent participant

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 programs, 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.

Strong parenting is a crucial protective factor for vulnerable children. During early childhood, children’s brains are developing rapidly, and they are uniquely influenced by relationships and their environment. Stress and trauma can adversely affect healthy development, but a nurturing parent has the power to prevent that from happening.

For almost 30 years, Families First has been a leader in parenting education in the Greater Boston area.  Through partnerships in under-resourced communities, they provide parenting education and support programs in multiple languages for hundreds of families each year.

During the critical early years, the Success from the Start program helps parents develop knowledge in areas such as child behavior and emotions, temperament, discipline, and communication. Equipped with this knowledge, parents begin to build skills and strategies to create a foundation for their children’s future learning, strong relationships, and social-emotional health. Parenting Educators also facilitate activities and group discussions, and parents have the opportunity to build support networks by sharing their own experiences.

One mother, Rosa, explains the program’s impact: “My daughter and I have a better bond. After all the new parenting skills I learned, our relationship has blossomed drastically. I’m learning and growing as a parent!” 

The Families First Website

This is Hestia's second year of funding Families First. Hestia’s grant of $11,000 will support the Success from the Start 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 17-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. This year, 97.5% of our seniors graduated from high school and the vast majority did so with a well-formulated plan for their post-graduation year.

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.

Friends of St. Stephen's Youth Programs Website
This is Hestia's second year of new funding for Friends of St. Stephen’s Youth Programs following six years of previous funding (2005-2010). Hestia’s grant of $25,000 will support the B-Ready After School Program.

Lawrence Public Schools

The Acceleration Academies match students with highly effective teachers during the February and April vacation weeks to provide intensive instruction in ELA, Math, and Science. During the academies, students receive 30 hours of intensive targeted instruction in each of the two weeks offered with a goal of dramatically improving student academic performance growth. The student to teacher ratio during the academies is 8-9:1, and core element of the program is a rigorous effort to recruit the strongest teachers.

All academy teachers are recipients of the Sontag Prize in Urban Education which recognizes outstanding teachers from across the country dedicated to serving urban students. Teachers receive a stipend and participate in two days of professional development at Harvard University before the academies open. They are encouraged to design their own curriculum for the Academies; they share best instructional practices; and have access to student data from an online data management system- Achievement Network. Students return from vacation with new skills, a renewed sense of what they can accomplish, and energized to continue to learn throughout the remaining months of the school year.


Photo credit: LPS Media

The Lawrence Public Schools Website

This is the first year of a two-year grant awarded to the Lawrence Public Schools. Hestia’s grant of $30,000 will support the Lawrence Acceleration Academies.

Noonan Scholars

Noonan Scholars’ mission is to help Boston’s high-achieving low-income students of color be admitted to a selective college and graduate with the degree, experiences, and skills needed for the career of their choosing. Noonan has been working with Boston’s top students since 2014 and has Scholars attending colleges and universities such as Harvard, Cornell, Dartmouth, Bowdoin, Amherst, and Wellesley. Our unique program supports students through the entire life-cycle of higher education - from junior year of high school to college and finally, to the start of a career. Our holistic approach is based on our students proven needs: our pre-college program offers students intensive academic preparation, college advising, and college application assistance while our in-college program provides students with bridge scholarships, professional mentorship, and career development.

Noonan Scholars’ core support program, the Summer Academy, will launch its third session this summer at Wheelock College. The Academy provides students with 210+ hours of instruction in college-level writing and math courses taught by MIT, Wellesley, and Emerson College professors so that they enter college with the academic skills they need to thrive. Sixty of Greater Boston’s top high school juniors and seniors were selected to join us this summer for a life-changing experience at our Summer Academy.  

Although still new to Boston, Noonan is showing strong early success: over 85% of our Scholars attend selective colleges, compared to less than 50% of their peers nationwide, over 70% persist and graduate in STEM and other rigorous majors, compared to approximately 20% of their peers nationwide, and over 90% graduate from college, compared to approximately 80% of their peers. Noonan Scholars is on track to expand its enrollment within the coming years so as to serve even more of Massachusetts’ most promising students.

The Noonan Scholars Website


This is Hestia's first year funding Noonan Scholars. Hestia's grant of $20,000 will support the Noonan Scholars Summer Academy in Boston.


Parent-Child Home Program

The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) is a unique evidence-based, early literacy, parenting, and school readiness model that works with under-resourced families when their children are between 16 and 48 months old. PCHP families are challenged by the most significant obstacles to school success: poverty, language and cultural barriers, limited parental education levels, homelessness, isolation, and low literacy levels.

Well-trained and supervised Early Learning Specialists (ELS) provide two cycles of intensive home visiting to enable families to prepare their children for academic success by building learning and literacy-rich home environments. The Program achieves this by: 1) identifying families and communities that will benefit from the Program; 2) visiting families twice a week over a two-year period; 3) supporting families through these visits in building positive parent-child interactions and embracing language, literacy and reading in their home environments; and 4) connecting families to other social and educational services.

Each week, the community-based Early Learning Specialists bring a gift of a book or educational toy; these are often the first books or learning materials in the home. Using these curricular materials, the ELS models 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 works with families from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, living in diverse communities and neighborhoods, including families living in shelters. 


Published research has consistently shown that Program graduates:

  • Outperform the statewide average on third grade state math achievement test
  • Score 2 ½ times higher on social-emotional skills assessment than the control group
  • See a 30% higher graduation rate than their socioeconomic peers
  • Enter school performing 10 months above their chronological age
  • Are 50% more likely to be referred to special education services by third grade


Since 2000, following the publication of a longitudinal study that followed a five-year cohort of children 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 Massachusetts state budget has provided public funding for PCHP.

The Hestia Fund will help to support expansion in Boston. The Boston Parent-Child Home Program site is ideally suited to reach underserved families 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 second year of funding the Parent-Child Home Program. Hestia's grant of $25,000 will support the Bridging the Preparation Gap for Boston Children in Need Program.

Phoenix Academy

The Phoenix Charter Academy Network operates a growing portfolio of free, open-enrollment, college preparatory public high schools that challenge resilient, disconnected students with rigorous academics and relentless supports so that they take ownership of their futures and succeed in high school, college, and as self-sufficient adults. Serving over 500 students across the state, Phoenix currently manages three schools: two public charter schools in Chelsea and Springfield, and a district school in Lawrence. These are some of the only schools that actively recruit over-age, disengaged, and at-risk students facing extraordinary challenges - such as teen parenting, homelessness, violence, and immigration - and empowers them for college success.

Each Phoenix school has a Little Scholars Program to help parenting students succeed academically, and to ensure their kids enter kindergarten in-step with their peers. Students drop their children off at the Little Scholars Center when they come to school in the morning and pick their child up at the end of the school day, while also reading with them during PRoPs and participating in teen-parent programing. With extended hours, Little Scholars staff also support students who wish to meet with teachers after school, have to serve detention, or choose to attend Homework Lab.

While the Little Scholars Program offers free and safe childcare for parenting students, its focus from its inception in 2006 has been to enable fortified academic focus, parenting support, and early education rigor as a means of reengagement and empowerment for pregnant and parenting teens.

The Phoenix Academy Website

This is Hestia’s first year of funding Phoenix Academy. Hestia's grant of $30,000 will support the Phoenix Little Scholars Program.


RAW Artworks

Raw Art Works (RAW) is a youth arts organization, rooted in art therapy. We are a cultural and social anchor in our community, and provide 600 youth annually with free afterschool opportunities to participate in visual and expressive arts groups, film school classes, leadership development, employment and college access/career exploration programming.

Our nationally recognized model uses art to ask kids about "what's really going on in their lives.” During our programming, young people process diverse life experiences through the creation of honest and often deeply personal art. This uncommon opportunity at RAW helps them gain the artistic and life skills to create in unexpected ways, envision new possibilities, and transform their lives.

A recent study conducted by RAW indicate that a significant portion (84%) of our teens experience at least one category of childhood trauma. Early experiences with prolonged stress and related trauma can undermine children's ability to learn, form relationships, and function well in a classroom. Each of these affects their chances to create meaningful change in their lives and the world.

Funding from Hestia Fund is helping us offer opportunities for young people to build meaningful, reliable relationships with their peers and RAW staff. These relationships help them navigate the complexities of their lives. 95% of youth last year agreed that through RAW they gained impactful relationships. As one youth noted, "RAW helped me open up to people and to learn how to trust people again. Here, I have gained a whole new family and a place to call home."

The RAW Artworks Website

This is Hestia’s first year of new funding for RAW Artworks after previous funding from 2004-2007. Hestia's grant of $25,000 will support the afterschool arts programming at RAW in Lynn.

Science from Scientists

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, California, and Minnesota. Science from Scientists' core program is currently serving over 5,000 students in 48 schools across MA, CA, and MN.
SfS has several unique features: (1) During-School: the program is DURING school hours so that they can provide STEM Enrichment to EVERY student in the classroom (2) Metrics-Based: they provide a measurable impact by tracking STE MCAS scores, administering pre/post quizzes, and collecting teacher surveys (3) Role-Model Scientists: every school partner receives two dedicated SfS instructors to inspire students throughout the year (4) Multi-Touch Model: our scientists instructors deliver hands-on STEM lessons to students ~18 times throughout the academic year.

The Science from Scientists Website

This is Hestia’s third year of funding 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 Hestia’s 5th 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.

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
Lucy Stone School Initiative
Mason School Patnership/Walker Home
Match Community Day
Math Power
Mission SAFE
Multicultural Youth Tour of What’s Now
Nativity Preparatory

Neighborhood House Charter School
PEAR Impact
Raising a Reader MA
Science Club for Girls
Second Step
Sociedad Latina
Sportsmen's Tennis
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