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)