Boston Partners leadership presenting gift to Jeremiah Burke High School: (From left to right) Grant Simpson, Dr. Lindsa McIntyre, Erin McGrath, Mike McKenna

May 10, 2018Boston Partners in Education, a Boston-based nonprofit that provides academic mentoring services to at-risk Boston Public Schools students, raised nearly $590,000 at its 14th Annual Big Cheese Reads Gala.

The event, focused on success through STEM literacy, drew nearly 500 people to the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel on May 3. Funds were raised through sponsorships (64%), individual contributions (19%), auction/raffle proceeds (12%), and ticket sales (5%), and represent 39% of the organization’s annual fundraising goal.

“The Big Cheese Reads Gala is a salute to everyone involved in Boston Partners: from our committed corporate partners, to our caring academic mentors, to the students who inspire all of our work,” said Erin McGrath, Executive Director of Boston Partners in Education. “The funds raised at this event will support our mission to expand our services and make sure we find a match for every student in need.”

Boston Partners in Education gave special recognition to the Burke High School Science Club, awarding the school $5,000 to continue its emphasis on STEM education. As part of the live auction, supporters donated $14,000 to send two 11th-grade Burke Science Club students to the iD Tech camp at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“As Boston grows as an innovation center, it creates more opportunities for our youth,” said Mike McKenna, Chair of the Board of Directors. “I see a community that can help bring students the skills they need to seize those opportunities.”

Serving as emcee for the night was Vanessa Welch, an Emmy-Award winning anchor for Boston 25 News, who is also a Big Cheese Reader for Boston Partners in Education. Also speaking at the Big Cheese Reads Gala were Dr. Tommy Chang, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools; Dr. Lindsa McIntyre, Headmaster at the Jeremiah E. Burke High School; and Gala honoree Steve Krichmar, Board Chair of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. Crystal Haynes, a Boston 25 News reporter, led a panel with volunteer mentor Grant Simpson and Charla and Alijah, the two students he mentors from the Josiah Quincy Elementary School each week.

This year, Boston Partners in Education has helped 565 volunteers form a special bond with over 3,300 students in 51 Boston Public Schools through in-class academic mentorship.