HopeWell's gala raises funds for its RISE program for children in foster care

HopeWell recently held its fall gala, “It All Begins with Hope!” Nearly 300 leaders, supporters, and friends gathered at the Cyclorama at Boston Center for the Arts to rally around the children, families and individuals whom HopeWell serves. The emcee for the evening was Emmy-award winning NBC 10 anchor Latoyia Edwards (pictured in photo above). HopeWell champion Melissa MacDonnell from Liberty Mutual Insurance was honored and attendees enjoyed a performance from nationally-acclaimed poet, rapper, and educator Oompa. Volunteers from Deloitte, HopeWell, Lyndra Therapeutics, and Life Science Cares also helped make the event a success.

In the room that evening, HopeWell raised approximately $55,000 — all going toward its RISE program, which aims to advance educational equity and close opportunity gaps for children experiencing foster care. The program provides both personalized, home-based, one-on-one tutoring to students in grades K-3 who are experiencing foster care, as well as support for their caregivers to help them promote learning at home and at school. RISE is HopeWell’s newest program; HopeWell began serving the first students in January of this year. The need for this program is crucial: third-graders experiencing foster care face one of the largest educational inequities among any group of students in Massachusetts — just 26 percent are on-track in reading, compared to 51 percent of MA third-graders overall. And these early reading disparities can have lifelong effects — everything from behavior and self-esteem, to cumulative learning across grade-levels and subject areas, to high school graduation rates and longer-term life trajectories. You can see a closer look behind-the-scenes of our RISE program here. Liberty Mutual Insurance was the presenting sponsor for this event.