Framingham State Receives $100,000 from Cummings Foundation to Create Summer Program for Low-Income & First-Generation Students

FRAMINGHAM Framingham State University received a $100,000 grant spread over four years from Cummings Foundation to create a Summer Bridge Program for underrepresented and first-generation students from low-income households.

The focus of the Bridge Program, which will launch summer of 2021, will be on academics, financial literacy, mental wellness, and inclusive leadership.

The University is one of 130 local nonprofits to receive grants through Cummings Foundation’s $20 million grant program and was chosen from a total of 738 applicants during a competitive review process.

“During this time of extreme economic stress and anxiety, we are so grateful to receive this award from Cummings Foundation,” said Framingham State University President F. Javier Cevallos. “These critical
funds will be used to provide direct assistance to our most vulnerable students as they make the difficult transition from high school to college. A college education remains the most tried and true way to move up the socioeconomic ladder. This program is going to help us ensure that more students are successful when they reach FSU.”

The student body at Framingham State includes several populations at particularly high risk for leaving college prior to graduation with an undergraduate population that is 37% Pell grant eligible, and 39% racial/ethnic minorities.

Over 50% of the University’s incoming class for Fall 2019 were the first in their family to attend college.

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We have been impressed, but not surprised, by the myriad ways in which these 130 grant winners are serving their communities, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “Their ability to adapt and work with their constituents in new and meaningful ways has an enormous impact in the communities where our colleagues and leasing clients live and work.”

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $280 million to greater Boston nonprofits. Social distancing requirements will prevent Foundation and grant winner representatives from convening for a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn, as planned, to celebrate the $20 million
infusion into greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. Instead, Cummings Foundation expects hundreds of individuals to gather virtually for a modified celebration in mid-June.

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program resulted from a merger of the Foundation’s two flagship grant programs, $100Kfor 100 and Sustaining Grants.

The Foundation and its volunteers first identified 130 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners are first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that have previously received Cummings Foundation grants. A limited number of this latter group of repeat recipients will be invited to make in-person presentations in the fall, when public health related circumstances allow, proposing that their grants be elevated to long-term awards. Thirty such requests will be granted in the
form of 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including homelessness prevention, affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. The nonprofits are spread across 40 different cities and towns, and most will receive their grants over two to five years. The complete list of 130 grant winners is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

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Photo and press release submitted to SOURCE media

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