Boston Year 13 provides an innovative, no-cost, accelerated pathway for underrepresented young people to college and high-wage jobs in Boston’s innovation economy.
Boston, MA - Digital Ready announced the finalization of the first cohort of students to begin Boston Year 13, a first of its kind partnership with Wentworth Institute of Technology with support from the Barr Foundation, Boston City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty and numerous industry partners including Triumph Modular, Global Partners, Autodesk, Microsoft, and many more.
Boston Year 13 is an innovative fellowship for recent Boston Public School graduates. The year-long fellowship is designed to ignite students’ passions and equip them with the skills, work experience and professional networks necessary to navigate a complex, technology-driven world while connecting them to high-wage jobs in Boston’s thriving innovation economy. The inaugural cohort of 25 Year 13 (Y13) students hail from 14 different Boston public high schools throughout the city and is composed of students that are vastly underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, especially women, Black and Latinx students. Orientation kicked off the first week in September with students moving throughout outdoor spaces in the city, including a family breakfast at the Loring Greenough House, a day of inspiration on the harbor at the ICA, college orientation with Wentworth at The Dewitt Center in Roxbury and the final day on the Common walking the historical Black Heritage Trail.
Y13 students will take part in a modern youth apprenticeship where students split their time between college classes and paid, hands-on work experience taught by faculty and industry professionals at the forefront of their fields. By the end of Year 13, students will emerge with 18 college credits, making college more affordable and accessible. In a time when more than 65% of jobs require postsecondary education, affordability and accessibility are especially critical for Boston graduates, who often face significant challenges in their pursuit of a college degree and entry into a STEM-related career.
“Year 13 is revolutionizing how our young people access Boston’s thriving innovation economy by blurring the lines between high school, higher education, and industry, so students can reach their full potential without barriers”, said Dr. Sarah Cherry Rice, Executive Director and Founder of Digital Ready “Thanks to the generous support of our launch partners, our students will be able to leverage the city’s assets and expertise to create their own pathways to economic success in Boston. “
Removing barriers for students to pursue their passions is one of the guiding principles of Boston Year 13. City Councilor Michael Flaherty, a founding partner, has often talked about creating more opportunities for Boston residents to share in the prosperity of the booming innovation economy. “Many of our students express interest in jobs in these fields and may simply lack the educational foundation or a clear path forward on how to pursue these opportunities immediately after graduation. Dr. Cherry Rice and Digital Ready brought together an ecosystem of partners that are committed to making sure that residents from across all of our neighborhoods benefit from the innovation economy growing rapidly in our own backyards. I am grateful for our partners and more importantly, I can’t wait for this first cohort of students to show Boston and the world what they’re capable of.”
Wentworth’s President Dr. Mark Thompson stated that “our partnership with Digital Ready provides students with early college experience and immersions into STEM fields while exploring possible future career tracks and getting a head-start to become the next generation of innovators and leaders of Boston. Through experiential learning, students will earn 18 academic credits, making college more accessible and more affordable. Expanding opportunities for Boston Public School students has been a core focus at Wentworth and this work builds upon our partnership with Digital Ready and SummerLAB. Our university is committed to expanding organizational structures that support inclusive excellence, improve access, and demographic representation.”
“We believe all young people are capable of success and Boston Year 13 offers an innovative pathway for recent graduates to pursue their goals,” said Jenny Curtin, Barr’s Senior Program Officer for Education. “We are excited to learn alongside this Year 13 experience that blends learning in the classroom, community, and career, and consider how this design can support more high school students in the future.”
“At Triumph Modular pioneering and helping people is in our DNA,” said Glenn Cort, Principal and Executive Vice President of Triumph Modular. “ Year 13 gives us a unique opportunity to share our expertise and develop students that will be the future innovators in modular construction and beyond.”
Maura McDonough, Head of HR for Global Partners LP shared her thoughts on the partnership, “As a third-generation Boston-based company, the community is at the core of all that we do. Part of being a good neighbor is investing in the future by promoting education and upward mobility for the next generation. Partnering with Year 13 gives us an opportunity to help mentor the unrealized talent of our community's youth while also adding to our potential talent pool.”
To learn more about Boston Year 13, visit digitalready.org/year-13.
Digital Ready is a Boston-based organization with a mission to activate the creative potential of high school students, especially underrepresented young people—students from low-income backgrounds and students of color—with the agency, social capital, and skills to build their own pathways to economic mobility and success in Boston’s innovation economy. For more information, visit www.digitalready.org or follow @digitalreadyboston on Instagram.
Established in 1904, Wentworth Institute of Technology was founded on the principles of action-based learning, dedicated to preparing graduates to meet the evolving needs of a growing economy—an ethos that continues to ground and inspire the institution today. The university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in STEM and management disciplines. Interdisciplinary study complemented by dynamic co-op work experiences are hallmarks of a Wentworth education. Located in the thriving city of Boston, Massachusetts, Wentworth is a school of opportunity that is deeply committed to transforming lives through the education of first-generation students, military veterans, urban youth, and women breaking barriers in technical fields. For more information, visit, wit.edu or follow @wenworthinst on Twitter.
The Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond. Founded in 1997, Barr now has assets of $2 billion, and has contributed more than $1 billion to charitable causes. For more information, visit barrfoundation.org or follow @BarrFdn on Twitter and Facebook.
With more than 38 years of experience, Triumph Modular has worked with owners, architects, and engineers to elevate the design and performance of temporary and permanent commercial building space. Triumph is a specialty contractor that provides pre-construction assistance, budgeting, project schedule development, and construction management services. Triumph delivers award-winning solutions by continually learning and improving their methods.
Global Partners delivers the energy, goods and services that make life better. With an extensive network of terminals, gas stations and convenience stores, Global helps people heat their homes, operate their businesses and get where they’re going conveniently and quickly. Centered in the Northeast, the company is a third-generation, family-founded business with operations throughout the U.S. Global is committed to strategic growth and to supporting the communities where it works. Learn more at www.globalp.com.