By Cara J. Blanchette, Director of Advancement & Communications
On Tuesday December 20, students from Cathedral High School in the South End visited the Mission Grammar School campus to partner with scholars on a joint service project. Thirteen Cathedral students worked in conjunction with Mission Grammar’s 4th and 6th grade scholars to make holiday cards for senior citizens residing in the Mission Hill neighborhood.
Laura Adams, Director of Senior Services at the Roxbury Tenants of Harvard Association and a Mission Grammar alumnus, Class of 1979, received the cards for the seniors and was overwhelmed with gratitude. “If you could have seen the smiles on their faces, you would have seen the joy and happiness the cards brought them,” she said. “The cards definitely made their holidays brighter.”
The students were equally as touched by the experience. “I liked showing appreciation to the elderly this Christmas season,” said Joana Agblekpe, a Cathedral sophomore. An added bonus of the project was the opportunity for Mission Grammar scholars to hear about the Cathedral students’ high school experiences, ask questions about their educational journeys, and receive tips on how to navigate the high school admissions process. “It was so special to see friendships forming over service” shared Aliece Dutson, President of Mission Grammar. “Cathedral scholars were asking great questions of Mission Grammar scholars about what they hope to do next and what kind of career they hope to have. Mission Grammar scholars were buzzing with questions about what it’s like to be in high school and thinking about college!”
Since 2015 Cathedral and Mission Grammar have worked closely together forming the Catholic Urban Partnership (CUP), a transformational program funded by the Catholic Schools Foundation that creates a seamless pathway from Pre-K through college diploma for Boston students. Through the unwavering support of the Catholic Schools Foundation (CSF), Mission Grammar students receive Continuum Scholarships which then transfer to Cathedral High School once they graduate from 6th grade. Since 2018, 292 scholarships have been given to 124 students in the Catholic Urban Partnership and 67 of the recipients have been Mission Grammar School scholars.
Throughout the school year, Cathedral and Mission Grammar have numerous touchpoints with one another including shadow days, campus visits and information sessions, along with service opportunities like the holiday card initiative. In addition to scholarship support, the Catholic Schools Foundation also provides CUP schools with funding to support enrollment, marketing and personnel. Since its inception, Catholic Urban Partnership schools have received over $5.4 million dollars in support from CSF. “It’s amazing to see our Catholic Urban Partnership with Mission Grammar continue to grow and thrive” said Dan Carmody, President of Cathedral High School. “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the growth and development of our students. It’s a true blessing to be part of such a transformational and collaborative partnership.”