Letter from Our Executive Director: 2017 Year In Review

Dear Friends of Minds Matter Boston,
What a year of growth and accomplishment! We expanded our program by 10% and served 80 students, our largest group to date. We established an Alumni Program that tracks and supports our mentees through college and beyond. We also piloted a writing program to enhance our sophomores’ writing skills, and we exceeded our FY17 revenue goal by 39%! These successes would not have been possible without YOU -– our donors, volunteers, alumni and supporters. Thank you!
This spring, our 14th Minds Matter Boston graduating class gained admission to the nation’s top universities, including Boston College, Dartmouth College, Tufts College, Wellesley College and Williams College. Three years ago, most of our students only dreamed of attending a selective university. Unaware of how to begin to prepare for college success, lacking resources to navigate the complex admissions process, and deterred by the sticker price of tuition, college seemed truly out of reach. Today, each of them will be attending a 4-year university, and more than half of them will be attending Top 50 schools with generous financial aid. This year, the average Senior received $44,000 in first-year financial aid, meeting an impressive 98% of their need.
We could not be more proud of our Seniors and our volunteers who dedicated every Saturday to Minds Matter. Collectively, the Senior Mentors donated 7,200 hours over the past 3 years to help their students succeed. This level of sustained commitment and generosity is extraordinary, and a tribute to the rewards of mentorship.
This year marked the first year of our new Writing Program. The curriculum helped Sophomores strengthen their writing and critical thinking skills while advocating for change. To give just one example, the students researched the impact of suspension on student progress, and sent their findings and suggested alternatives to Assistant Superintendents in the Boston Public School district. The administrators responded with a commitment to consider adoption of their recommendations. “Writing for a real reason” not only improved student vocabulary and persuasion, it empowered our students--they learned they could speak up about real problems, and have effect.
These exceptional program outcomes and new initiatives were a direct result of the generous support Minds Matter Boston received this year. The Holiday Drive and Spring Soiree each exceeded all financial expectations and will provide a strong foundation for the upcoming program year. Again, thank you to everyone who donated their time, enthusiasm and gifts to these events.
We are looking forward to another exciting year of growth and success in Fiscal Year 2018!

Rachel Kanter
Executive Director