March 24th Event: Full Scholarships Awarded to High School Seniors in Chelsea.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The University of Massachusetts Amherst, Bunker Hill Community College and Families United in Educational Leadership (FUEL) will announce, on March 24th, a collaborative agreement to award 25 full yearly scholarships to high school seniors in Chelsea who participate in the FUEL College Savings Program.

WHO: UMass Amherst Chancellor Robert Holub, Bunker Hill President Mary Fifield, FUEL Executive Director Robert Hildreth and their staff will be joined by Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash, Chelsea Superintendent of Schools Tom Kingston, representatives from community organizations, program partners and FUEL families and students.

WHEN: Wednesday afternoon, March 24, 2010 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm

WHERE: Chelsea High School Auditorium, 299 Everett Avenue, Chelsea

For further details, please email v.chuba@fuelaccounts.org, or call 617-423-0017. 

BACKGROUND

University of Massachusetts Amherst and Bunker Hill Community College will announce a collaborative agreement to award 25 full yearly scholarships to high school seniors in Chelsea who participate in the Families United in Educational Leadership (FUEL) College Savings Program. The FUEL program targets low-income families with students in the middle and high schools. Families must do three things: commit to save a fixed amount each month to be matched by FUEL; support their child’s attendance at an approved after-school program; and attend at least six “Savings Circle” meetings a year.

According to the terms of this agreement, which is known as the Chelsea Compact, UMass Amherst will provide up to 20 full scholarships to students who have demonstrated the greatest commitment and potential for higher education. These scholarships, named the Chelsea Chancellor's Award, will cover the costs of tuition, fees, room and board, allowing students to graduate with little to no debt. In addition to the Chelsea Chancellor's Award, UMass Amherst will provide $13,000 a year to all other FUEL high school seniors admitted to the University.

“UMass Amherst, as the state’s flagship public research university, has a deep commitment to providing educational opportunities to students throughout the Commonwealth," said Chancellor Robert C. Holub. “This distinctive partnership leverages public and private dollars, paired with a family's commitment, to prepare students for success in the 21st century workforce.”

Bunker Hill Community College will provide up to five scholarships per year that will cover the cost of in-state tuition and fees up to 12 credit hours per semester. These awards, named the President’s Chelsea Scholarship, will also provide faculty mentorship to students during the scholarship award period. The College will also collaborate with UMass Amherst to highlight the financial transfer benefits for students interested in pursuing a four-year degree upon graduation from Bunker Hill.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the high school graduation rate for the Chelsea school district for 2007-2008 was 49.9%, compared to a statewide average of 81.2%. From this number, even fewer go on to earn college degrees. The collaboration between UMass Amherst, Bunker Hill Community College and FUEL will emphasize new opportunities available through FUEL’s College Savings Program in an effort to increase access to higher education in Chelsea. Robert Hildreth, Executive Director of FUEL, said, “The Chelsea Compact brings important aspirational value to the FUEL Program. These scholarships will illuminate the path to higher education for many Chelsea students who are the first in their family to go to college.”

Media Contact:
Karen M. Norton, Executive Director of Integrated Marketing and Communications
Bunker Hill Community College, Boston, MA 02129
Phone: (617) 228-2177; Email: kmnorton@bhcc.mass.edu