Suffolk University's Ballotti Learning Center receives $300,00 Balfour Foundation grant


“For close to three decades, the Balfour Foundation has worked to improve the quality and availability of educational opportunities for underserved populations,” said Kerry Herlihy Sullivan, senior vice president of Charitable Management Services for Bank of America. “We are pleased to support a program that will help Suffolk University continue to attract a diverse group of students and furthermore increase the graduation rate of program participants through quality BLLP services.”

The Balfour Leadership and Learning Program will help incoming students complete their first two years of college through a tailored package of scholarship support, academic services, leadership and study skills training, and special academic and career decision-making programs.

“This program is designed to give first-generation college students all the skills they need to get a good start at Suffolk,” said Jeanne Morton, associate director of the Ballotti Learning Center at Suffolk University and director of the BLLP. “We’ve been extremely successful working with Boston Public Schools students in the past, and we hope to continue that relationship and our overall community outreach in the years ahead.”

Suffolk’s Balfour program specifically targets 20 graduates from the Boston Public Schools system, especially those who have participated in GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) initiatives at their high schools. GEAR UP is a federally funded educational program that helps low-income students prepare for college as early as their middle school years.

“We currently work with about 330 students in the 12th grade and 330 students in the 11th grade at Boston English High School, providing them with a plethora of services,” said Dr. Sarah Carroll, associate professor of education and human services at Suffolk University. “We’ve known many of these students since the 7th grade, and this year will be our first graduating class. It would be wonderful to see some of these students continue with us by attending Suffolk.”

“We’re helping to open doors for these students, and they’re excited about continuing their education at Suffolk,” said Carroll. “One young man wants to become an artist; one young woman would like to become a doctor; and another young man wants to play for the Suffolk baseball team. The impact of the program’s scholarship support cannot be overstated as far as the future of these individuals is concerned.”

Fleet National Bank, a Bank of America Company, is trustee of the L.G. Balfour Foundation.


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