November 04, 2013

Boston School Students Honored at Watson

Jennifer Scott, assistant director, Center for Community and Learning Partnerships (standing) poses a question to the panelists (left to right) Zhen Wu, M.Arch. ’12, O’Dane White, FMGT ’13, and Paul Britton, BCOT ’11

From engaging middle school and high school students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) projects to providing scholarships and academic support, both Wentworth and Wentworth alum Alan Fournier, BSET ’83, Hon. ’10 have been strong supporters of Boston Public Schools for many years. On Monday, October 21, that commitment was spotlighted at the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Alumni Dinner.

“This is a celebration of the vibrant community of local students who have chosen to make Wentworth their home as they pursue their education,” Wentworth President Zorica Pantić said to those gathered in Watson Auditorium. “This evening is about youyour education, your successes, and your futures.”

The event played host to Fournier, and students from Fenway High School and the Edward Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, as well as current students who studied in Boston Public Schools. Fournier created the Fournier Family Boston Public School Graduate Scholarship, which is endowed at Wentworth for $1.5 million. The scholarship is awarded to BPS students who are hardworking and highly committed to their academics, and who are in need of tuition assistance in order to complete their degree.

Scholarship preference is given to those students who are committed to participate in educational, community-based pre-college programs such as RAMP-UP, which is offered through the Center for Community Learning and Partnerships (CLP).

Earlier in the evening, Fournier visited with local students at the CLP. Fournier shared his passion for education and his belief that Wentworth students are on a fast track to success thanks to available programs.

Wentworth graduates Paul Britton, BCOT ’11, O’Dane White, FMGT ’13, and Zhen Wu, M.Arch. ’12 were on hand during the dinner as part of a panel to share their personal experiences of moving through the BPS system before attending Wentworth and finding post-graduation career success.

Asked what initially attracted her to Wentworth, Wu—the first in her family to attend college—said that she was often lost during the college application process, but Wentworth introduced her to people who took a vested interest in helping her. “There is a great support system here,” she said.

Britton, currently employed by Raytheon-Space and Airborne Systems, recounted choosing Wentworth for its hands-on teaching and its co-op program. White, an assistant project manager for Diversified Project Management, said, “I’m so glad I went here, because I would not be the person I am otherwise.”

Pantić shared that Wentworth has “implemented a range of programs on campus to create a Boston Public Schools pipeline.” This initiative focus on improving the attendance, retention, and graduation rates of Boston Public Schools students in higher education.

Recognizing the teamwork needed for students to thrive, Pantić shared her eagerness to watch the students gathered find even more success. “Take advantage of the resources here,” she said. “You all have bright futures ahead of you.”

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