February 2020
Monthly News & Updates
University High School celebrates graduates at Senior Luncheon
Congratulations to the nine seniors who graduated from University High School (UHS) in January 2020. Some of the students started at UHS in 2017, while a few others were only there for one semester. Regardless of the amount of time they spent together, each graduate shared a journey that helped them create a bond. As a determined group they each faced their individual obstacles head on, graduated and received their diplomas.  

One of the seniors, Jataya Brown, graduated early and was featured in an interview on ABCD’s Youtube channel where she shared her experience at UHS. Her post graduation plans include pursuing a home health aide or nursing career that she has dreamed about since she was younger. Another graduate, Tynasia Charley, is now participating in the ABCD Youth Services Early Ed program and she has been working with ABCD SummerWorks for the past few years. Another student, Nayeliz Medina, was accepted into the competitive Year Up program where she plans to pursue a career in business. Other graduates are looking into Boston's free tuition program for local community colleges and trade schools of their interest.

This has been one of University High School’s largest graduating January classes and we are so happy to see what they have planned next.
ABCD welcomes new hires:
Jessica Aguilera-Steinert and Ron Marlow 
We are glad to welcome to ABCD the new Director of Health Services, Jessica Aguilera-Steinert, MSW, LICSW and the new Director of Workforce Development and Alternative Education, Ron Marlow.
Jessica Aguilera-Steinert, MSW, LICSW is a bilingual public health social worker and has experience in the areas of training and technical assistance in health care and community-based organizations, program management, Community Health Workers (CHWs), HIV/AIDS, health disparities, mental health, and intimate partner violence. Early in her career, Ms. Aguilera-Steinert was a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras and then became a clinical social worker with Latinos in various health and public health organizations in the US. Ms. Aguilera-Steinert was the Director of Training and Technical Assistance at the Prevention and Access to Care and Treatment Project (PACT), a domestic program of Partners in Health. At the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Ms. Aguilera-Steinert was the Director of the Prevention and Wellness Fund and then became the Co-Director of the Office of Community Health Workers. Prior to coming to ABCD, Jessica worked in the Population Health Services at Boston Medical Center’s Accountable Care Organization (BACO) overseeing a large team of CHWs who served people with complex medical and behavioral health conditions as well as homelessness and basic social needs.
Ron Marlow comes to ABCD with a wealth of experience, most recently as the Vice President for Workforce Development for the National Urban League in New York. For over 25 years, he has served in both public and private non-profit sector roles, including with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, MassHousing, the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance, and Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation. Ron’s connection to ABCD goes as far back as childhood: he was a Head Start student and attained his first employment through SummerWorks. Ron also served on the ABCD Board, representing former state Senator Dianne Wilkerson.
Universal Pre-K Partnership at the One-Year Mark:
Collaborating for Success
In spring 2019, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the city would invest $15 million to establish the “Quality Pre-K Fund,” and guarantee equitable access to free, high-quality pre-kindergarten (pre-K) for all 4-year-olds living in Boston within five years. ABCD was honored to host Mayor Walsh at our Walnut Grove Head Start Early Learning Center in Dorchester when he announced the initiative alongside parents, teachers, students, working families, partner organizations, elected officials and education advocates.

ABCD Head Start & Children’s Services is a key partner and, through this grant, which supports enrollment for 80 children, we have been providing our gold standard “whole child, whole family” early education programs with great success.

ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew said, “Having operated the highly successful Head Start and Early Head Start program for more than 50 years, ABCD continues to prepare underserved children from birth to age 5 for success in elementary school and beyond. We applaud Mayor Walsh, and we are excited to be a partner to the City of Boston and the Boston Public Schools in this breakthrough community-based initiative.
ABCD Spotlight
Ostiguy and University High Schools Celebrate Generous Grant Support
Students at ABCD’s two alternative high schools, Ostiguy High and University High, come from an array of backgrounds, but they all share one trait in common: a desire to get their lives back on track and to enter adulthood with all of the tools they need to succeed. ABCD is proud to be there for these students as they work towards graduation and towards fluency in subject areas required for full participation in society.

Ostiguy and University High Schools see math and science literacy as key cornerstones of a high school education. ABCD is proud to offer the MASTERY (Math and Science Testing, Education, and Results Year) project, which offers math and science remediation, at both high schools because nothing should deprive students of their right to understand how the physical and human worlds function

ABCD is thankful for the generosity shown by the  Yawkey Foundation   with their renewed $40,000 grant towards the MASTERY project. Perpetuating the thoughtful philanthropic commitment and legacy of Tom and Jean Yawkey, the Yawkey Foundation is committed to supporting programs and services to help at-risk youth achieve their full potential and has consistently funded ABCD programs benefiting Boston youth with more than $746,000 since 1995. With this most recent grant, the foundation supports Ostiguy High and University High students in developing critical math and science literacy skills necessary to go to college and to compete in the workforce.
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Healthy Visions 2020
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