Urban Scholars Program at UMass Boston

Urban Scholars recognizes that the progress of any society depends on developing the talent potential of its youth. Our mission of providing the life-changing opportunity of a college education remains as strong today as in 1983 when the program began at UMass Boston. Urban Scholars works with academically striving students from partnering schools in the Boston Public School (BPS) district and supports the students in developing the skills and attitudes necessary to achieve their full potential. Our year-round program includes after-school tutoring, intensive academic advising, one-on-one assistance with the college application process, as well as college and career, and cultural activities. During the summer, students participate in college-preparatory courses and activities designed to build a strong repertoire of basic and higher-level skills, task commitment, and self-motivation. By the end of senior year, the typical Urban Scholar has explored numerous college and career options, completed at least one university-level course and a paid summer career internship, and been accepted to one or more four-year colleges.

We are proud to answer a specific need as one of a few programs in Boston that work with academically striving high school students from non-exam high schools. Urban Scholars leverages dynamic partnerships with a wide variety of organizations to meet students’ academic and enrichment needs. We work closely with arts organizations, including the Institute for Contemporary Art and Boston Ballet, corporate partners such as John Hancock, and educational organizations such as the Edward M. Kennedy Institute and the New England College of Optometry as well as with UMass Boston faculty and staff to enhance our services.

Hestia previously funded the Urban Scholars Program at UMass Boston for seven years, and this will be the first year of new funding. Hestia’s grant of $30,000 will support their year-round college access programs for Boston Public Schools high school students.