JACKSONVILLE, Florida – The Jessie Ball duPont Fund will help Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital expand a summer work program for at-risk urban youth who are progressing through college.
In late 2012, the Fund’s trustees awarded $86,951 to Massachusetts General to support half of the projected program growth during the next two years.
Massachusetts General has a deep history of supporting disenfranchised urban youth and has provided opportunities for study in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for almost 25 years. Their efforts support youth in grades 3 through college.
“We are proud of this work, which we view as a core commitment to the City of Boston and an investment in the diversity of our future workforce,” wrote hospital President Peter M. Slavin, M.D. “Most importantly, we view our commitment to youth as a pathway out of poverty to better health.”
A key component of this work has been summer employment opportunities for high school students, helping these students stay on track and focused on high school graduation and college admission. Youth in the program have a 95% high school graduation rate and a 90% college entrance rate.
However, hospital officials have noticed that the college completion rate of its students is much lower – comparable to those for Boston public school graduates overall, at about 41%.
To help these college students stay focused on academics and college completion, the hospital will add a summer employment program that will offer paid internships to graduates of the hospital’s high school program who are now in college. In addition to employment, each student will be assigned a mentor who can provide guidance and advice on career related questions.
Support for this program aligns with the Jessie Ball duPont Fund’s support for numerous other youth summer employment programs as part of its emphasis on enhancing the educational opportunities for at-risk youth.
The Jessie Ball duPont Fund works to expand access and create opportunity through grants to more than 330 eligible organizations identified by Mrs. duPont in her will. The Fund has assets of more than $264 million and has awarded more than $318 million in grants since 1977.
Sherry Magill, president
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