The Boston Foundation

Logo of The Boston Foundation

The Boston Foundation (TBF) is aiming to raise post-secondary completion rates, especially for the most vulnerable youth populations in the Boston area. Through its Boston Coaching for Completion initiative, TBF will serve Boston Public Schools (BPS), 78% of whom qualify for free or reduced priced lunches. The initiative supports academic programming and college advising activities at the high school level, offers a summer bridge program for students transitioning from high school to college and works closely with colleges and universities to offer students the support they need to earn a degree and be prepared to enter the workforce. The ultimate goal is to dramatically increase the number of BPS graduates completing college.

Grantee Information
Federal Awards: 
$2.7 million over two years (2014-2015)
Focus Area: 
Youth Development
Geographic Focus: 
Metropolitan Boston Area
Collaborating Partners: 
City of Boston, Boston Public Schools (BPS), The Boston Private Industry Council, The University of Massachusetts-Boston

Boston Coaching for Completion (BosC4C) is a component of the Success Boston collaborative initiative, with strategy execution through a partnership of the City of Boston, the Boston Public Schools (BPS), TBF, the Boston Private Industry Council, the University of Massachusetts Boston, area college access nonprofits and 37 other Massachusetts post-secondary institutions attended by BPS graduates.

BosC4C will provide high-impact transition coaching for 1,000 of these students yearly - 700 enrolling in local community colleges and another 300 attending other institutions of higher education (4-year public and private institutions). SIF funds and coaching resources will be strategically focused on those most likely to be noncompleters, based on the prior years of Boston-specific post-secondary completion data (including demographic data and institution-specific data related to their demographics' completion rates at the colleges they select).



Nonprofits Receiving Social Innovation Fund Awards from The Boston Foundation

Boston Private Industry Council
Bottom Line
College Bound Dorchester
Freedom House
Hyde Square Task Force
Match Education
Sociedad Latina
Steppingstone Foundation
West End House Boys & Girls Club


Boston Private Industry Council

Boston, Massachusetts
Initial Award Amount: $300,000

The Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) has been a Success Boston coaching partner since the launch of the initiative in 2008, and has focused their coaching on students at two-year colleges. PIC coaches connect students to community resources like housing and food banks, health services, career services, and jobs.  Coaches help students learn how to solve problems, advocate for themselves, manage their time, and develop good study habits and job-seeking skills.  The PIC proposes to serve 185 new students in year one at BHCC, RCC, and BFIT, including 20 student transfers to UMass Boston. They will also continue to support 70 members of the BPS Class of 2014 students.


Bottom Line

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Initial Award Amount: $400,000

Bottom Line provides one-on-one, in-person pre-college and college advising and guidance to nearly 4,000 students across three states. Bottom Line’s program has four phases: Access, Summer Transition, Success, and Career. On campus, Success Counselors work one-on-one and in-person with a caseload of 80 to 90 students and serve as financial aid advocates, academic advisors, career counselors, and mentors. 14 full-time Boston Success counselors currently work with about 1 in 4 Boston Public School (BPS) seniors who go to a four-year college. Through BosC4C, Bottom Line proposes to serve 321 BPS and Boston-area charter school graduates from the class of 2015 attending 20 four-year regional target colleges and community/two-year colleges and to continue to support 171 members of the Success Boston cohort from the Class of 2014.


College Bound Dorchester

Dorchester, Massachusetts
Initial Award Amount: $130,000

College Bound Dorchester’s (CBD) mission is to equip students with the attitude, skills and experience to graduate from college. CBD serves nearly 1,000 students annually in Early Education, Out of School Time and College Connections programs. CBD recruits and serves students who are the most off track, have low academic achievement and low motivation for college, and need a comprehensive system of support services to achieve academic success. Their College Connections program serves young people aged 16-27 who have dropped out, or are at risk of dropping out, of high school or who are young adults for whom English is a barrier to college access. The program works to build students’ motivation, offers academic instruction to prepare for college matriculation, then continues with intensive mentoring and support to ensure that students persist through a degree. Through BosC4C, College Bound proposes to serve 310 students.


Freedom House

Dorchester, Massachusetts
Initial Award Amount: $150,000

Freedom House’s (FH) mission is to transform the economic and cultural fabric of high need communities through education and leadership development.  FH’s Preparing Urban Students for Success in Higher Education (PUSH) program is a college access/success program that focuses on Boston Public Schools high school students and graduates who attend local public colleges and universities. PUSH provides one-on-one and group coaching to students, creating college-level learning opportunities, and offering intense college preparation during the summer. PUSH serves predominantly lower-income young people of color, immigrants and first-generation students, particularly those in the surrounding communities of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan. FH proposes to serve a total of 225 students over 3 years through BosC4C.


Hyde Square Task Force

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Initial Award Amount: $160,000

The mission of the Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) is to develop the skills of youth and their families so that they are empowered to enhance their own lives and build a strong and vibrant urban community.  HSTF works with 1,000 youth ages 6-24 every year, through leadership development, college prep, arts & cultural enrichment, and youth-led community development initiatives. Teens participate in tutoring and receive college and career support from mentors. After high school graduation, they partner with HSTF coaches who support them through their college careers. In HSTF’s College Success Program model, coaches meet at least bi-weekly with students, and provide students with supports, including assistance with class registration and financial aid, career exploration, choosing a major, transferring, extracurricular activities, and referrals to campus and community resources. HSTF proposes to serve a total of 225 students at UMass Boston and Bunker Hill Community College.


Match Education

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Initial Award Amount: $110,000

Match Education operates urban public charter schools, spanning grades preK-12 which will serve 1,250 students when fully enrolled, and a graduate school of education that trains teachers and instructional leaders for high poverty schools. Their newest enterprise is Match Beyond, which provides personal coaching to low-income high school graduates in Boston who enroll in an online, competency-based Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree program at College For America at Southern New Hampshire University.  Coaching is done in one-on-one and in small group settings.  Match Beyond will focus on helping young people connect to the workforce at the end of their degrees. Match Beyond is proposing to work with 100 students per year for three years with BosC4C support.


Sociedad Latina

Roxbury, Massachusetts
Initial Award Amount: $100,000

Sociedad Latina (SL) works with youth and families to create the next generation of Latino leaders.  They have a “Pathways to Success” youth development model for low-income Boston Public Schools students and graduates, ages 11-24.  Pathways to Success supports students in high school as they transition to and through post-secondary success.  SL focuses on building student skills and knowledge in education, civic engagement, workforce development, and arts & culture. SL currently provides transition coaching to 20-25 Boston Public Schools’ alumni. SL proposes to expand to serve 50 students per year beginning with the class of 2015, with one-on-one coaching for seniors and outreach to parents/caregivers; ongoing one-on-one transition coaching through the first two years of college; job readiness training & career exploration; social/emotional skill development; and referrals to on-campus supports. 


Steppingstone Foundation

Boston, Massachusetts
Initial Award Amount: $100,000

Steppingstone offers afterschool and summer academic preparation for college for 1,000 Boston students annually, beginning in 5th grade, and continuing through high school and college. In 2011, Steppingstone launched a College Success Academy in four Boston K-8 schools, with the goal of setting greater numbers of Boston Public School students on a path to college graduation. Students receive college readiness services including SAT prep classes, guidance on the college application and financial aid processes, a Summer Bridge Program between high school and college, and college services including FAFSA completion, academic planning and career readiness. Steppingstone proposes to serve an annual caseload of 80 students graduating from Boston public high schools, delivering a deepened coaching model based on Success Boston’s transition coaching


West End House Boys & Girls Club

Allston, Massachusetts
Initial Award Amount: $150,000

West End House (WEH) prepares at risk youth for college success with academic and wrap-around social emotional support programs that begin in elementary school, and continue through high school and into college. In 2014, WEH launched a college success initiative to track and support 45 students as they transition into college. WEH staff provides support for FAFSA renewals, course selection, and transfer. Summer workshops and coaching through the first two years of college are components of the program. WEH’s model includes a coaching partnership with Mass Bay Community College, through which coaches support students with longer term relationships with the organization, as well as Boston students at the college that get matched with the organization. Together with Mass Bay, WEH offers student academic boot camps, Accuplacer prep, college workshops and summer jobs.  A WEH staff person is “embedded” on the Mass Bay campus. Through BosC4C, WEH will expand to coach 60 new students per year, both at Mass Bay and other colleges. 

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