January 22, 2019
United Way of Mass. Bay Raises $200K at Leadership Breakfast

April 21, 2018 — The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, based in Boston, recently announced it raised $200,000 at its annual STEM Leadership Breakfast to bolster education on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Boston schools.

The annual event, which drew nearly 300 business leaders, also sought to recruit volunteers for BoSTEM, a public-private partnership that aims to provide all Boston public middle school students with a STEM learning experience by 2022.

The partnership is led by the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and Boston After School & Beyond.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh presented the inaugural Corporate STEM Leader of the Year Award to Jeffrey Leiden, chairman, president and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, for the company’s "outstanding commitment to STEM education and to inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders."

“Not all students have equal access to the hands-on learning that gives students the chance to apply math and science skills in exciting, real world contexts,” said Michael K. Durkin, president and CEO at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “Today we celebrate Vertex Pharmaceuticals and all of the educators, corporate partners, volunteers, government partners, and community-based organizations who come together through BoSTEM to prepare all of today’s middle school students in Boston for the workforce opportunities of tomorrow.”

The event also featured a panel moderated by Boston Business Journal Publisher Carolyn Jones about the challenges and opportunities facing STEM industries in the coming years. The panel featured Jessica Gelman of Kraft Analytics Group, Paul Sagan, of General Catalyst Partners and chair of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and Corey Thomas of Rapid 7. Rahn Dorsey, chief of education for the City of Boston, served as the event’s master of ceremonies.

United Way’s BoSTEM initiative include reaching 10,000 grade 6-8 students over the next five years; increasing STEM interest and achievement; improving social and emotional competency and well-being; aligning curriculum and instruction across school and out-of-school time; and providing hands-on, experiential learning opportunities with STEM industry professionals.

Current BoSTEM program providers include: Breakthrough Greater Boston, Citizen Schools, CitySprouts, Community Boat Building, Latino STEM Alliance, Massachusetts General Hospital, Sociedad Latina, and Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center.

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