For the fifth year in a row, the St. Stephen's Youth Programs community came together to celebrate all our high school seniors in our event entitled Reach Beyond. This year St. Stephen's celebrated our 20 high school seniors, all of whom not only graduated from high school on time, but graduated with a clear plan for what they are doing after high school. Students will be attending Wellesley College, Newbury College, U-Mass Amherst, Fitchburg State, Mars Hill University, U-Mass Dartmouth, MCLA, Quincy College, and Bunker Hill Community College, as well as participating in first year transition programs such as The Base Freshman Year, Year Up and Laboure Nursing School.
Reach Beyond provided the opportunity for seniors, families, St. Stephen's staff, other teenagers, mentors, volunteers and board members to come together and show our high school seniors how proud we are of them, and how we are going to continue to support them on their next steps. In addition, the event featured several key speakers who helped showcase the breadth of the St. Stephen's Community. Anna Rodriguez, a St. Stephen's alum, and 2018 graduate of Tufts University spoke about the power of changing the stereotype and narrative of young people of color. Maureen Burns, the former School and Community Partnerships Manager highlighted the power and importance of mentoring. Finally, Rebecca Jackson, a St. Stephen's Advisory Board Member and the Director of Training at Trinity Boston, highlighted the importance of continuing to persevere no matter what the world throws at you, and how proud our seniors should be of what they have accomplished.
In addition to celebrating their accomplishments, St. Stephen's was proud to announce and award the first ever St. Stephen's Support Fund scholarships. This fund was set up to celebrate seniors and alums who have shown themselves as leaders in the community, and is intended to help fill the financial gap of higher education that exists for so many students. This year 18 St. Stephen's seniors and alums were given awards through the fund. St. Stephen's is so proud of our young people who are all doing such amazing things, and wish them nothing but the best as they take these next steps.
By Jeremy Kazanjian-Amory, Sr. Manager for College Access and Success (and South End Baseball Coach)
Jeremy graduated from Colorado College with a Degree in Political Science and Urban Studies in 2012. He came to St. Stephen's through the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship program, an AmeriCorps program where he served for two years. Jeremy was then hired on as the Sr. Manager for College Access & Success, where he is focused on supporting our high school students and alumni on their post high journeys. During the summer he is the Site Manager for the Middle School Youth Leadership Corps program. He brings a passion on working towards increasing access to higher education for low-income students, and is dedicated to helping support students in achieving their own college and career goals.