Arthur F. Blanchard Trust awards the LEAH Project at Health Resources in Action $1.2 Million

Contact: Lisa Aslan, The LEAH Project at Health Resources in Action, 617-279-2281 laslan@hria.org 

Boston, November 2017 – The LEAH Project at Health Resources in Action received a 3-year $1.2 million grant through the BNY Mellon YouthLeaders program, funded by the Arthur F. Blanchard Trust. This initiative will provide youth with meaningful job responsibilities, promote career readiness and leadership skills, and expose youth to college and career pathways with a focus on technology.

 “Health Resources in Action is proud to support youth programs like the LEAH Project and is honored to have been chosen as a partner for this exciting initiative from the BNY Mellon YouthLeaders Program to provide Boston’s youth with opportunities to explore the technology field while also receiving much needed wraparound services,” HRiA President Steven Ridini said.

 The Leaders through Education, Action and Hope (LEAH) Project’s mission is to cultivate the power of youth to transform their lives and communities through science, education, and service. LEAH is a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), college readiness, and workforce development program for low-income Boston Public School (BPS) high school students of color.  

 “We are thrilled to receive this multi-year, technology-focused grant to expand the LEAH Project’s programming to technology so that our young people do not get shut out of one of Boston’s fastest growing labor markets. These funds will also enable us to provide college and career readiness to more Boston high school youth participants than ever before,” Lisa Aslan, LEAH Program Manager said.

 Through the BNY Mellon YouthLeaders Program funding and in partnership with Learn to Teach, Teach to Learn at the South End Technology Center and Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connections (BATEC) at UMass Boston, the LEAH Project will provide year-round internships for 36 Boston Public School high school students. The LEAH Project will also provide opportunities for youth to explore STEM topics and careers (with a technology focus), get ready for college, and learn professional skills. Youth are trained to teach STEM curricula to elementary school students at afterschool programs, take part in STEM workshops and classes, and participate in college visits. Youth develop their own STEM skills and knowledge and reinforce these skills as they learn to be teachers to elementary school students.

 Newly expanded programming for Boston’s youth will include:
- Computer science courses with BATEC at UMass Boston.
- Teaching a new technology-focused curriculum to elementary school students in after school programs developed by partner Learn to Teach, Teach to Learn.
-  Meetings with a “Technology Speaker’s Bureau”, a group of technology professionals who will share over several meetings their academic and career pathways.
-  Technology-focused internships for seniors that synthesize the professional development and technology knowledge they have gained during their three years in the program.

 With previous funding from the Arthur Blanchard Trust, the LEAH Project funded six YouthLeaders positions, including LEAH alumnus, Andrianne, who is a freshman at Smith College this fall. Andrianne had the following to say about her experience as a YouthLeader with the LEAH Project:

 “I would not be the person I am today without LEAH. On a professional level, they have taught me responsibility, dedication, and time management. On a personal level, they have given me the encouragement and support to grow and pursue my passions. In addition to being a socially conscious engineer, I hope to pave the way for future female engineers by serving as a role model to the young girls that I work with and let them know that engineering is a field that they could enter as well.”

 The LEAH Project looks forward to leveraging the generous grant from the Arthur F. Blanchard Trust to continue providing STEM career exploration with a technology focus as well as college and career readiness support to more of Boston’s high school youth just like Andrianne.

  “At BNY Mellon, we recognize that promoting pathways to STEM careers for young people is fundamental to building a workforce that is stronger at problem-solving and innovating, ultimately creating products and services that positively impact the lives of individuals and communities,” explained Vicary Graham, President of BNY Mellon New England. “Our YouthLeaders program, funded by the Arthur F. Blanchard Trust, provides a multi-year, meaningful work experience during students’ high school years that enhances their capacity to excel in both a professional and academic environment. For 23 years, the program has had an incredible impact on hundreds of students from low-to-moderate income families in Greater Boston. Nearly 100 percent of the program’s participants have graduated from high school, and 90 percent of them go on to college. We are tremendously proud of the program’s exceptional outcomes, and thrilled to partner with The LEAH Project to provide the next generation with valuable 21st century skills.” 

Applications are OPEN for youth to join the LEAH Project!

LEAHLogoTransparent.png

The LEAH Project is a year-round internship program for Boston Public School (BPS) high school students to explore science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics and careers, get ready for college, and learn professional skills. Youth are trained to teach STEM curricula to elementary school students at Boston afterschool programs. Youth take part in STEM workshops and classes, meet weekly for professional development workshops and opportunities, and attend college visits. Youth develop their own STEM skills and knowledge and reinforce these skills as they learn to be teachers to elementary school students. LEAH youth plan and implement workshops for their peers, work with LEAH staff to plan and lead events, and increase their youth leadership roles within the program.

LEAH youth work at afterschool and summer camp programs close to their homes or schools teaching STEM lessons to elementary school students (you will be trained in these). When not teaching STEM lessons, youth serve as junior staff, for example, planning fun learning activities and serving snack to the kids.

The program is now recruiting for this school year with youth continuing with LEAH into next summer. Youth can earn up to $4,600 in stipends in total over the school year and summer. 

Applications are due October 9th at 5 pm

The application can be found here:

https://goo.gl/forms/TxKtvM6aOvCZoewJ3

Health Resources in Action Awarded NIH Grant for New Hands-on Biomedical Research Education for High School Students

Boston, September 7, 2017 – Health Resources in Action has received a five year, $1.25 million Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH) to expand its LEAH* STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education program for Boston and Cambridge public high school students. Health Resources in Action (HRiA) has partnered with the Boston Private Industry Council and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to provide opportunities for high school students to get a head start towards careers as leaders in biomedical research. 

HRiA’s LEAH project (Leaders through Education, Action and Hope) is a STEM, college readiness, and workforce development for Boston public school students. “We are thrilled to receive this NIH grant to support the mission of the LEAH Project. These funds allow the LEAH Project to provide hands-on lab experiences for our high school students, many of whom do not have science labs in schools,” commented Lisa Aslan, LEAH Program Manager.

The new, SEPA -funded, LEAH Knox Scholars program offers two years of support for high school students that include:

  • Training in biology lab skills through a 4-week lab experience at MIT as rising juniors.  
  • STEM teaching and mentorship for elementary school students through the LEAH program.
  • Summer research internships throughout Boston’s world-class research labs as rising seniors.
  • College admissions counseling through LEAH.

A 2016 report published authored by Robert Sege, MD, PhD,  HRiA’s Chief Medical Officer, reported that only 1% of NIH award recipients are Black scientists, and traced the under-representation all the way back to high school. Based on this insight, the LEAH Knox Scholars program will provide minority students with the solid foundation needed to continue their science education in college and beyond. Sege commented: “The LEAH Knox Scholars program exemplifies HRiA’s commitment to racial equity, and our close ties with area universities and hospitals.”

Knox Scholars is named after William J. Knox, the grandson of slaves, who went on to earn degrees from Harvard and MIT.  He contributed to the Manhattan project and had a productive career at Eastman Kodak.  “My grandfather [Dr. Knox)] had to sleep in the kitchen at Harvard, because Black men were not allowed in the dorms,” said Dr. Lynn Porter, a Boston pediatrician and advisor to the program.

This summer, HRiA and MIT enrolled 16 high school students in a LEAH pilot. This first cohort and their families were welcomed to the program by Nobel Laureate Phil Sharp, MIT biology department Chair Alan Grossman, Bob Sege and Lynn Porter. Phil Sharp reminded everyone that "a college education is a path to freedom". The students completed the pilot summer lab course, under the direction of Drs. Mandana Sassanfar and Vanessa Cheung at MIT.

*About The LEAH Project at Health Resources in Action

The Leaders through Education Action and Hope (LEAH) Project is a STEM, college readiness, and workforce development program for Boston Public School (BPS) students. Established in 2005 through the Boston Public Schools (BPS), the LEAH Project has a mission to cultivate the power of youth leaders to transform their lives and communities through science, education, and service.  LEAH joined HRiA in 2013.  HRiA is a national nonprofit public health institute located in Boston, MA with a mission to help people live healthier lives and build healthy communities through prevention, health promotion, policy and research. Additional information is available at www.leahproject.org and www.hria.org.

The LEAH Project at Health Resources in Action awarded $100,000

Contact: Lisa Aslan, The LEAH Project at Health Resources in Action, 617-279-2281 laslan@hria.org
Contact: Sebastian Lena, Cummings Foundation, 781-569-2335, sxl@cummings.com

The LEAH Project at Health Resources in Action awarded $100,000
Boston nonprofit receives Cummings Foundation grant

Boston, June 26, 2017 – The LEAH Project at Health Resources in Action is one of 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 each through Cummings Foundation's "$100K for 100" program. The Boston-based organization was chosen from a total of 549 applicants, during a competitive review process.

The Leaders through Education, Action and Hope (LEAH) Project’s mission is to cultivate the power of youth to transform their lives and communities through science, education, and service. LEAH is a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), college readiness, and workforce development program for low-income Boston Public School (BPS) high school students of color, called LEAH Mentors.  

“We are thrilled to receive this Cummings Foundation grant to support the mission of the LEAH Project. These funds will allow the LEAH Project to expand our College Readiness Program for our Boston high school students, 85 percent of whom are first generation college students.” Lisa Aslan, LEAH Program Manager.

The LEAH Project engages low-income high school students of color from BPS to reach their college, career, and personal goals; creates pathways to college for these students; and addresses the disparity of low-income youth of color in STEM fields. The College Readiness Program will increase the college support and college visits offered by the LEAH Project as well as increase the supports offered to program alumni. By participating in the LEAH Project, LEAH Mentors sustain motivation for academic success, particularly in STEM fields, gain professional experience that increases their employability, and are inspired to pursue goals beyond high school graduation.

Recent high school graduated, Gaelle, who is heading to Fitchburg State University this fall, commented on her experience with the LEAH Project and college readiness:

Since my sophomore year of high school, LEAH has offered opportunities for me to participate in workshops on scholarships, college essay writing, and resume building. They provided one-on-one guidance about my financial and academic needs for college. These opportunities were not readily available from my school, but LEAH came to the rescue! Currently I feel confident and relieved knowing that I, a first generation student with parents who scarcely understand English, was able to go through the college application process and choose a school that is right for me. LEAH showed that they truly wanted to help me through the college process and cared for me the whole way.  

The LEAH Project will leverage the funds from the Cummings Foundation to continue to provide college readiness support to Boston Public high school youth just like Gaelle.

"Nonprofit organizations like The LEAH Project at Health Resources in Action are vital to the local communities where our colleagues and clients live and work," said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation's executive director. "We are delighted to invest in their efforts."

The complete list of 100 grant winners is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

About The LEAH Project at Health Resources in Action
The Leaders through Education Action and Hope (LEAH) Project is a STEM, college readiness, and workforce development program for Boston Public School (BPS) students. Established in 2005 through the Boston Public Schools (BPS), the LEAH Project has a mission to cultivate the power of youth leaders to transform their lives and communities through science, education, and service. When BPS funding ended in 2013, LEAH moved to its new institutional home at Health Resources in Action (HRiA). HRiA is a national nonprofit organization located in Boston, MA with a mission to help people live healthier lives and build healthy communities through prevention, health promotion, policy and research. Additional information is available at www.leahproject.org and www.hria.org.

About Cummings Foundation
Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester. With assets exceeding $1.4 billion, it is one of the largest foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including two New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn. Its largest single commitment to date was $50 million to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

PHOTO: LEAH Mentors, Boston Public High School students, at the LEAH Project’s End of Year Graduation Celebration June 2017 (photo by Scott Eisen)

PHOTO: LEAH Mentors, Boston Public High School students, at the LEAH Project’s End of Year Graduation Celebration June 2017 (photo by Scott Eisen)

Lab Opportunity for Rising High School Juniors

Are you interested in going into a STEM field and want to have a internship in a lab?

Are you a rising high school junior? 
Do you attend Boston or Cambridge Public Schools? 
Are you at least 16 years old (or will be before July 5th)?

If you said YES to all of these questions, then you should apply to the LEAH Knox Scholars Program!

Check out the application and internship description here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc3YU7eqOQ8eYZGlMPFDVopRRpBi-qn55wgGVUafoXTcL04wQ/viewform?c=0&w=1

Apply to be the LEAH Project's 2017-2018 Americorps Massachusetts Promise Fellow

The LEAH Project is looking for a 2017-2018 Americorps Massachusetts Promise Fellow! 

The Leaders through Education, Action and Hope (LEAH) Project, a program of Health Resources in Action (HRiA), is a college access, job readiness, and youth development initiative that recruits, trains, and supports low-income, high school students of color in Boston Public Schools (BPS), known as “LEAH Mentors,” to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) lessons and provide homework help to elementary school students. The LEAH Project's mission is to cultivate the power of youth to transform their lives and communities through science, education, and service.

The Fellow will lead and enhance the LEAH Project’s College Readiness Program (CRP), working directly and consistently with 25 youth (sophomores - seniors) throughout the year. Through the CRP, the Fellow will work to increase the college-readiness of LEAH Mentors including college visits, parent engagement events, college workshops, youth orientation training, weekly youth meetings, and individual meetings with youth.

The complete service description can be found here: https://hria.org/jobs/leah-project-health-resources-action-americorps-massachusetts-promise-fellow/

Please pass along to your networks! In addition, visit the Mass Promise Fellow website for more information: www.masspromisefellows.org.