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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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March 4, 2024
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An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Office of Community Partnerships Recognizes Partners’ Achievements

On April 8, the Office of Community Partnerships hosted the 4th Annual Community Engaged Partnerships Symposium in the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Campus Center Ballroom, where dozens of community partners, students, faculty, and staff joined in celebration of their collective achievements.
“Institutions of higher education have a great potential to help create a positive change, and that potential is unlocked when it is enhanced by the partnership that comes from so many non­profit sectors around us, the neighborhood organizations, and private sector; and they lead to success, not only in that endeavor but allow us, for instance, to celebrate today a recognition that we have received from several national trade organizations in partnership with all of you,” said Vice Chancellor for Government Relations and Public Affairs Edward Lambert.
Last year, UMass Boston received three nationally recognized awards for staying true to its commitment of serving the urban community: Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Award, Community Engagement Classification Award, and the Excellence and Innovation Award for Regional and Economic Development.
“This is the great time for us to celebrate our 50th anniversary. Our founders charged us with being true to values by providing access and having high quality programs, but they were just as insistent that we stand with the city and that means that we produce positive impact, reaching out to communities and establishing partnerships to make a real difference,” said Edward Lambert.
UMass Boston’s director of Community Partnerships Luciano Ramos said, “I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude for all of them [partners and participants] who are here, in the room. We all may play very different roles but every role is really important, and you inspired me and so many people within the community to come forward and actually give community hope that tomorrow’s going to be a better day.”
Following Ramos’ remarks were two UMass Boston students who shared how they benefit from the collective work of the partners and the impact of Success Boston in their personal and academic journey. Winston Pierre, senior editor of the Mass Media, was the first to share his experience with Success Boston over the years, and the benefit of partners in the community.
“I am here today because my story is the story of Success Boston,” began Pierre. Pierre explained how, throughout his first year of college, staying in touch with his Success Boston coach and his adviser was critical to his academic success and his integration into the life on campus.
“There is a saying that says: ‘Behind every great singer there is a great songwriter,’” Pierre said. He explained this metaphorical analogy by comparing the “great songwriter” to Success Boston, a city-wide program which aims to increase college graduation rates among Boston Public Universities. “Success Boston was my songwriter,” he said. “They are the people behind the scene who give me all the confidence in the world and make me believe in my potential.”
Pierre recalled how his Success Boston Coach, Emily Singer, told him that he was going to be next Mayor of Boston or the future President of Haiti when he first met her. Currently, in addition to being an Ambassador at the EMK Institute, Pierre is a Fellow with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, where he is the only one in state government who is looking at policy pertaining to immigrant health care professionals in Massachusetts.
“It makes a difference when one raises a student’s expectations,” Pierre said. Last summer, Pierre also participated at the Institute on Political Journalism and interned with Catholic News Service in Washington, D.C., thanks to the collaboration of the Mass Media Supervisor Donna Neal.
Next was Manuel Monteiro, whose personal and academic journey with Success Boston was just as inspiring and encouraging as Pierre’s. Monteiro is a senior majoring in Africana studies. He is the founding brother of Ambitious Men Engaged In Necessary Dialogue (AMEND), a group of young men on campus whose goals are building a brotherhood through sharing common struggles, giving back to the community where they come from, and completing their educational college degrees.
Monteiro presented the audience with four different artifacts that he collected over the past five years. One of them was an image of two brothers. One brother was reaching down to the other, who was reaching up to grab his hand to break through the wall.
“This image was given to me by who I like to call my ‘mom on campus,’ Liliana Mickle [coordinator of Success Boston].” The picture represented the role of Success Boston in Monteiro’s life. “People who already made it over the wall are reaching down to help other people, who are in similar positions, to pull them up. The only thing I need to do is probably jump or get on my tippy toes in order to grab their hands; this is what Success Boston is.”           
The symposium ended with more than a dozen community partners tabling, showcasing and promoting the type of service that each of them provides in the community.