The PIC’s postsecondary team recognizes the importance of college completion in an economy that rewards postsecondary degrees and credentials. The PIC employs several coaches who work directly with community college students, helping them navigate the difficult transition from high school to college, access college resources, and advance toward a degree and a career.
Founded in 2008 with a goal of a 70% college completion goal for the Boston Public Schools Class of 2011 and beyond, Success Boston is a citywide effort inspired by former Mayor Thomas Menino and funded by the Boston Foundation through the Social Innovation Fund. Its motto is fourfold: get ready, get in, get through, and get connected. The PIC’s Success Boston postsecondary coaches work with Boston Public Schools graduates attending Bunker Hill Community College, Roxbury Community College, the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Quincy College, and students transitioning to UMass Boston.
Coaches are their students’ biggest advocates. They understand that college can be challenging, especially for students who may be the first in their families to attend, and they’re there to help. Coaches:
- Provide assistance with college registration, enrollment, and financial aid
- Support students throughout earning their degree
For more information, contact Annabelle Cataloni, Postsecondary Team Manager, at [email protected] or 617-438-5491.
While Success Boston coaches work exclusively with graduates of the Boston Public Schools, SkillWorks College Navigator Zeida Santos helps students of all ages and educational backgrounds, with a focus on disconnected 18-24 year olds (often referred to as “opportunity youth”) and adult graduates of training programs funded by SkillWorks. Zeida provides the following services to students and staff at Bunker Hill Community College and Roxbury Community College:
- Guiding students through applications, financial aid forms, and the career planning process
- Helping students utilize on and off campus services
- Connecting community colleges with workforce agencies to facilitate collaboration
For more information, contact Zeida Santos, SkillWorks College Navigator, at [email protected] or 617-413-7791.
The PIC launched a career navigation and internship program for community college students from Boston. Getting Connected aims to better prepare students for the world of work following college graduation. Students enrolled at Bunker Hill Community College meet with a PIC employer engagement staff member who will advise students on their employment options and match them with the needs of employers based on students’ skills, interests, and experiences.
Getting Connected provides:
- Resume-building, professional and workplace skill workshops, and mock interviews
- Prepared students who are ready to work
- A no-fee referral service to workers who can fill staffing needs
- Assistance building companies’ workforce development pipelines
- Access to PIC staff who provide support throughout the process
In early 2018, Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) launched the HOPE (Halting Oppressive Pathways through Education) Initiative to examine and eliminate the social, institutional, and academic barriers that prevent males of color from achieving their full potential. Evans Erilus, the project’s executive director, was a part of the group of staff and students who had raised these concerns to BHCC upper administration in late 2017. For Evans, the initiative serves as a gateway to understanding students and their experiences and provides a support system to help reframe their thinking and empower them at BHCC and beyond.
Being asset-based and student-centered, the HOPE Initiative is run by a group of faculty, staff, and students; among those students are HOPE Ambassadors David Timothy, Elyon Mark, and William Cook Fernandez, all of whom have shared experiences with the students they now help. As HOPE Ambassadors, the three work as a resource for a diverse group of students, helping them navigate college life in and out of the campus.
The HOPE Initiative is not solely a support system for BHCC students. Through its partnership with the PIC, Evans and his team are working on qualitative and quantitative data collection, analysis, and dissemination; and assessing and addressing gaps in college programs and services.
Working with the Opportunity Youth Collaborative and PIC Youth Transitions Director Kathy Hamilton, Evans has adapted early intervention programs to scale up pathways for success and prevent students from dropping out of college. Meanwhile, HOPE Ambassadors participate in data committee meetings and other partner convenings and conduct youth surveys and focus groups in an effort to provide a youth voice in issues that directly affect youth lives.
Currently aimed at transforming inequitable systems and structures so that Black and Latino men can thrive, the program aims to expand in the coming years to include other ethnic groups and women.Read Less>