College Scholarship Initiative

The Shapiro Family Foundation College Scholarship Initiative was established in December 2007 and ran through June 2012.  Its goal was to open the door to four-year colleges for promising youth. This by-nomination-only scholarship supported high-potential, talented, motivated low-income students from Greater Boston to attend and graduate from colleges with minimal educational debt. In June 2008, the Foundation committed to provide college scholarships to 18 recent high school graduates over the next four years. All 18 graduated within 5 years.

Key features of the Scholarship Initiative

  • All scholarship candidates were participants in and nominated by one of the youth–serving nonprofit organizations supported by the Foundation.
  • Candidates were also able and motivated to achieve in college, able to clearly articulate personal goals, exhibited good citizenship and had significant unmet financial need beyond what was being offered in college aid. 
  • All nominated youth were required to work with uAspire, a leading provider of financial aid advising and college scholarships for Boston students, to receive guidance in navigating the college financial aid process.
  • The Scholarships provided renewable last-dollar funding up to $12,000 annually.
  • All Scholars participated in monthly check-in calls with a Scholarship Initiative Advisor.

Scholarships for the 18-member cohort of Shapiro College Scholars totaled almost $600,000 over the life of the Initiative.

Nominating Organizations (2008 Scholars)

Artists for Humanity
Berklee College of Music
Boston Center for Independent Living
Boston Children’s Chorus
Center for Teen Empowerment
City Stage
Community Art Center
Community Music Center
Community Rowing
Federated Dorchester Neighborhood Houses
The Food Project
Huntington Theater
Hyde Square Task Force
Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion, Inc
Institute of Contemporary Art
Lesley University
Medicine Wheel Productions
Outdoor Explorations
Partners for Youth with Disabilities
Perkins School for the Blind
Piers Park Sailing
Project Step
Somerville Arts Council
Summer Search
Teen Voices
Urban Improv
West End House

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