"We are HERE for you". This is a phrase that I often use when talking to Scholars about Wily. What does that really mean? And what did it mean in the context of the last year?

To me it means listening, problem solving and acting. Over the last year, the Wily staff, board and donors did just that. We did not freeze when COVID began to impact Scholars’ lives. We found ways to begin to understand and fight against systemic racism and commit to making anti-racism practices an integral part of our work and our core values. 

In 2020, “We are here for you” has meant:

  • Advocating for Scholars at their universities
  • Raising enough money to provide rent and food to students without question
  • Initiating a Black Scholar affinity group
  • Hiring a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultant
  • Distributing 71 sets of birthday and holiday gifts, and care packages
  • Figuring out how to be together (virtually) for the holidays
  • Continuing to make career connections to help students build social capital
  • Supporting staff as they continue working with compassion

In 2021, Wily is looking forward to continuing the implementation of our Strategic Plan, holding a Scholar job fair, continuing to develop anti-racist practices, and bringing this community together to learn and celebrate each other.

Happy new year,
Judi Alperin King
Founder and Executive Director
3rd Annual Wily Speaker Series
Sponsored by
Join the Wily Network for a discussion with
Stephanie Pinder-Amaker, PhD and Sherri Ettinger, PhD, LICSW

Moderated by Sheila Murphy

Hear what professionals are saying about the importance of mental well-being
for college students and what you can do to promote mental health.

To learn more and register, click here
There are many ways to take care of your mental well-being. What works for one person may not work for another. In order to shine a light on mental health, we are sharing what our Wily Pack is doing to maintain their peace of mind during this time. Follow along to see what we're doing to prioritize our mental health!

6th Annual Meeting of the Board
On Monday, January 11, we hosted our 6th Annual Meeting of the Board on Zoom! Advisory council member Kathryn Sargent was presented with the Wily Champion Award, and guests listened to a Scholar Panel Discussion led by advisory council member Edward Walker. Although Wily faced and conquered many new challenges this past year, we believe this adversity has strengthened our Pack and our commitment to our mission.
Fall & Winter Pack Activities
On November 22, 2020, Wily held our annual Packsgiving celebration! It was wonderful to be able to come together virtually as a Pack to catch up with one another, share a meal, and play some games. Thank you to East Meets West Catering for delivering individual Thanksgiving dinners to the Scholars. 

Due to COVID, many colleges are closed for an extended winter break. We worked with Scholars to ensure they had safe housing and food security. Wily is helping to cover rent, and in-kind donations from volunteers have made this transition period so much easier!

Scholars and staff also gathered together virtually during Christmas, with another delicious meal delivered by East Meets West Catering. We certainly missed the usual festivities, but are grateful to gather as a Pack online.
A Growing Pack
Please welcome Zubin Mistri, our newest staff member! Zubin joined the Wily Pack as a Clinical Scholar Coach this past November. He lives in Vermont and works with Wily Scholars at Middlebury College.
Wily Shines a Light on Gratitude
We did it! We’re still feeling the excitement from our inspiring virtual event – Wily Shines a Light on Gratitude which premiered on December 3, 2020. Thanks to all of you, the Be the Light campaign has raised over $419,194, including $169,704 from the event. We were also able to grow our Pack – over 550 guests registered, half of which were brand new to Wily!

Thanks to our host committee and all of our supporters, the event was a major success. Thank you to our event sponsors, The Ilene Beal Charitable Foundation, Rockland Trust, Eastern Bank, and AAFCPAs. Click here to watch the event.
Thank You to Wily Volunteers
Wily has received so much support over the last few months, below are just some of the people and organizations who made a big difference during a difficult time:

  • Care Package Donors - provided beautiful Halloween and final exam care packages for 71 Wily Scholars. Thank you to Erin Epker, Sharisse Cail Perry, Ellen Volpe, and the DCD Class of 2016; Kate Ascione and Belmont Hill Form III, Kit Cunningham and the Rivers Senior Class of 2021, and the Leiserson family and the Shady Hill School Fair.
  • Welcome Home - donated gently used home goods for Scholars who were moving
  • Gift Givers - sent generous, personalized holiday gifts this December to 71 Wily Scholars
  • The Heart in Art - organized a community holiday lights fundraiser in Middleborough, donating $1,050
  • Hope and Comfort - donated 400 toiletry items for Scholar care packages
  • Gift Cards - Thank you to Lizanne Kenney, Linda Griffin, and Wily’s Young Professionals Association for generously donating gift cards to our Scholars during the holiday season.

Interested in learning about our volunteer opportunities? Contact our Development/Program Coordinator Gabe Benson at
Save the Date
Save the date for BookTrib's event on March 2, 2021 at 6:00pm. Join author Ed Hajim and foster care and education consultant Maddy Day for an evening of conversation and inspiration as Ed shares his journey from the orphanage to the boardroom. Preorder Ed's book On the Road Less Traveled. The Wily Network will also be featured at the event. Click here to learn more and register!
Be the Light
We rely on the strength of our Wily Network pack.

Please consider making a gift.
Our Colleges and Universities
Boston College, Boston University, Bridgewater State University, Emmanuel College, Harvard University, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Middlebury College, Northeastern University, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, and Wellesley College (as of 10/2020)
Join Our Pack