Special to the Sun
Cathedral High School is one of 150 local nonprofits that will share in $30 million through Cummings Foundation’s major annual grants program. The school campus located in the historic South End was selected from a total of 630 applicants during a competitive review process. It will receive $75,000 over three years.
Cathedral High School is a Catholic, urban, and coeducational college preparatory school committed to excellence and social justice. Within an environment that encourages our scholars to reach their full potential, Cathedral students are expected to make lasting and powerful impacts in their local, national, and global communities.
Through the Cummings Foundation grant Cathedral High School will be able to expand and broaden college and career options for inner-city youth in greater Boston so that all students have a transformational post-secondary experience.
“We are incredibly honored to receive this grant which will ultimately bolster our 7th through 12th grade college readiness program. Our expanded model now creates a pathway for college readiness for all students, states President, Dan Carmody. We are proud of the work we have done to prepare students for college and this grant allows us to enhance and broaden our program.”
For the past 20 years Cathedral has had a 100% high school graduation and 100% college acceptance rate. Josh A., class of 2022 valedictorian and aspiring financial actuary, who just completed his first year at the University of Arizona said, “I chose Cathedral because there was a 100% college acceptance rate. Growing up my mom pushed me to try to make it to college. I knew from an early age where I wanted to go and that I’m going to need a college degree to get there.”
The Cummings $30 Million Grant Program primarily supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.
“The way the local nonprofit sector perseveres, steps up, and pivots to meet the shifting needs of the community is most impressive,” said Cummings Foundation executive director Joyce Vyriotes. “We are incredibly grateful for these tireless efforts to support people in the community and to increase equity and access to opportunities.”
The majority of the grant decisions were made by about 90 volunteers. They worked across a variety of committees to review and discuss the proposals and then, together, determine which requests would be funded. Among these community volunteers were business and nonprofit leaders, mayors, college presidents, and experts in areas such as finance and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion).
“It would not be possible for the Foundation to hire the diversity and depth of expertise and insights that our volunteers bring to the process,” said Vyriotes. “We so appreciate the substantial time and thought they dedicated toward ensuring that our democratized version of philanthropy results in equitable outcomes that will really move the needle on important issues in local communities.”
The Foundation and volunteers first identified 150 organizations to receive three-year grants of up to $225,000 each. The winners included first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings grants. Twenty-five of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected by a volunteer panel to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $300,000 to $1 million each.
This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including housing and food insecurity, workforce development, immigrant services, social justice, education, and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 46 different cities and towns. Cummings Foundation has now awarded $480 million to greater Boston nonprofits. The complete list of this year’s 150 grant winners, plus nearly 1,500 previous recipients, is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org