Boston, MA – Partners HealthCare and its founding hospitals – Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals – announces a new, long-term commitment to provide college scholarships to more than 400 students participating in the hospitals’ youth achievement programs. These students aspire to academic success and are interested in careers in health and science.
Watch a video of the scholarship announcement.
“Educational and economic opportunities are vital to building healthier communities and are a core part of Partners’ mission to improve community health,” said Gary Gottlieb, MD, President and CEO, Partners HealthCare. “These new scholarships are inspired by and build upon the incredible work being done in our hospital youth programs – the Student Success Jobs Program (SSJP) and the MGH Bicentennial Scholars program.”
A recent study by the Boston’s Private Industry Council of 2003 Boston graduates found less than half who enrolled in college had completed a two- or four-year degree within six years. Reasons for this low completion rate are complex and they include a lack of financial security, as well as peer, and academic and social integration issues on campus.
“Through our work with the MGH Bicentennial Scholars and their families – and now going forward with these new scholarships – we hope to provide support services to young people so they can overcome challenges and barriers that may stand between them and high school and college success,” said Peter Slavin, MD, president of Massachusetts General Hospital.
Betsy Nabel, MD, president of Brigham and Women’s and Faulkner Hospitals, said, “In the 12 years since the SSJP was established at the Brigham, talented and motivated Boston Public Schools students have been contributing to the fields of health care and science. The program has transformed the lives of all who have participated. However, the socio-economic challenges students continue to face in achieving their goals are significant, which make this multi-year commitment so important.”
For more than 20 years, Mass General has provided paid internships to Boston high school students who are interested in health and science careers. The MGH Bicentennial Scholars program – a gift to the community from Massachusetts General Hospital in 2011 to celebrate the hospital’s bicentennial – offers students from Boston, Chelsea, and Revere a comprehensive array of support services to enable them to enter into, succeed in, and graduate from college.
Some of these services include: SAT prep, college tours, coaching in high school and college, summer and year-round jobs at the hospitals, and a $5,000 annual scholarship. The MGH Bicentennial Scholars will graduate from high school this June and enter college in the fall.
At Brigham and Women’s, 75 Boston public high school students in the 10th – to 12th grades are currently enrolled in the SSJP, which provides intensive year-round employment, mentoring and an introduction to careers in health, science and medicine. Students have access to tutoring in science and math and receive individual coaching to research colleges; they have guidance in developing their college essays, preparing for standardized tests, and completing financial aid applications. More than 300 students have participated in the SSJP since its inception in 2000, and nearly all – 96 percent – are enrolled in or have graduated from college, many with financial support from BWH. This new program will now provide this year’s 26 SSJP seniors the opportunity to become an SSJP Scholar and receive up to $5,000 per year for four years of college, depending on merit and need, and engagement with the students will continue throughout their college years to ensure they succeed and graduate college.
“These opportunities for young people are so important for our city,” said Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “The hospital programs and now these new college scholarships from Partners can provide life-changing experiences for students and their families. Employers like these, committed institutions offer a deep resource for the young people of Boston, and these students in turn help these hospitals create a diverse, knowledgeable and committed workforce.”
“As educators, we work hard each and every day to ensure our students have the skills and the knowledge they need to be successful,” said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Carol R. Johnson. “Partnerships like these help our great teachers engage their students in new and exciting ways. The hospital internships, mentoring, and support services reinforce learning and leadership skills so students can see promising and rewarding careers in their future, which helps inspire them to stay on track for high school graduation and college success.”