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Katrina Shaw Appointed as Chief Executive Officer

The Board of Freedom House is pleased to announce the appointment of Katrina Shaw as the new CEO following the retirement of Gail Snowden. Shaw joined Freedom House September, 2012 as the Chief Operating Officer responsible for Programs, Operations and Strategy. She previously served as Vice President for External Affairs at the Family Center. Prior to that she served as Co-Executive Director of City Year Louisiana, where she provided executive leadership for the multi-city site of 90 employees and volunteers; serving over 1,000 underperforming students in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana and successfully raised $3 million in annual operating revenue, including over $1 million in new funds within 9 months. As an AVP of the State Street Corporation Foundation, Katrina managed a multi-million dollar portfolio of funding to over 300 charitable organizations globally, including North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South Africa and Cayman Islands. She planned and co-led the development of a strategic plan for corporate philanthropy and community affairs that strategically leveraged corporate philanthropy, employee volunteerism, matching gifts, employee giving campaigns, disaster relief efforts and corporate event sponsorships. She has a Masters of Social Work from Boston College and a B.A. from Spelman College.


OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
can be accessed by clicking here

 




New Coalition Commits to Greater Opportunities for Youth
Urges recognition of the importance of after-school and summer learning

For Immediate Release:                                                                              Date: October 8, 2013
Contacts:
Chris Smith, Boston & Beyond
Phone: (617) 345-5322 x180; Email: csmith@bostonbeyond.org

BOSTON, Mass. — Today a coalition of 59 leaders from Boston’s nonprofit, cultural, higher education, business and philanthropic sectors unveiled Boston Learns Together committing their organizations to ensuring that Boston’s young people have greater access to enriching opportunities beyond school.

The coalition’s unusually broad array of institutions reflects growing evidence that enriching experiences, in addition to quality schools, are crucial to children’s success. “School alone is not a strong enough intervention to close the achievement gap,” said Paul Reville, professor of practice at Harvard Graduate School of Education and former Massachusetts secretary of education. “We need a 21st Century education and child development system that treats people differently based on what they need, integrating enrichment, health, and wellness supports.”

This announcement comes as the city anticipates a new mayor and superintendent of schools. Boston has made substantial progress in creating such opportunities for young people, yet national statistics suggest that there remains a significant “opportunity gap” between low-income students and their higher income peers. Data show that high-income families spend nearly seven times more than low-income families on enriching activities for their children, exposure to novel environments, and other activities beyond school.

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE can be accessed by clicking here

 



Massachusetts Life Sciences Center awards grant to Freedom House to deliver STEM programs to inner-city youth

For Immediate Release:                                                                              Date: September 5, 2013
Contacts:
Angus G. McQuilken, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
Vice President for Communications and Marketing
Phone: (617) 921-7749; Email: amcquilken@masslifesciences.com

Katrina Shaw, Freedom House, Inc.
Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (617) 445-0500; Email: kshaw@freedomhouse.com

WALTHAM, Mass. — The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced today that it has awarded a grant of $10,000 to Freedom House, Inc., based in Grove Hall, Mass. Freedom House is an organization dedicated to advancing education, technology and leadership skills for inner-city youth.

The funds will be used to enhance the current activities of Freedom House’s Global Classroom operations -- specifically, in offering high school students onsite math tutorials and technology training in basic computer applications. The MLSC’s grant builds upon the Patrick Administration’s strategy and the MLSC’s efforts to further strengthen and enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educational opportunities across Massachusetts, while ensuring access for students from diverse backgrounds. Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President and CEO of the MLSC, serves on the Governor’s STEM Council.

While Massachusetts leads the nation in student math and science proficiency, the MLSC has identified expanded access to quality STEM education programs as an important workforce development priority to enable students to better compete in the fast-moving, technology-based and global 21st century. Serving high school and college-level students primarily in the neighborhoods of Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester, Freedom House is dedicated to bridging the opportunity gap that exists for youth from underserved, inner-city communities. Through its Global Classroom programs, the organization strives to provide a broader exposure to areas of global learning and competitive skills training to prepare inner-city youth for advanced education and entry into the global workforce. The MLSC grant enables Freedom House to strengthen the math skills training portion of the program, with the objective of improving students’ college-readiness level and helping to develop more competitive outcomes to their college experience.

“Increased access to STEM education is essential to Massachusetts’ future economic competitiveness, including our strength as a global leader in the life sciences,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Freedom House reaches some of our most underserved youth, and this grant is another step in closing the achievement gap and giving all of our students the opportunity to succeed.”

“In our innovation-based economy it is vital that young people from all backgrounds have access to quality STEM educational opportunities,” said Windham-Bannister. “This grant will allow Freedom House to provide more students with an equal opportunity to excel in technology-based education and careers. Our ultimate goal is to increase inclusion and diversity in the life sciences sectors.”

Freedom House has found that too often students graduating from high school are not fully prepared for the rigors of college academics. In particular, many students fail to place in college-level math courses, requiring them to take and pay tuition for remedial math courses. Freedom House’s innovative programming, supported by organizations such as the MLSC, offers students the opportunity to improve their math and computer competency at no cost, which enables them to be better prepared for college and, ultimately, the workforce.

“We are extremely pleased to have the financial support of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and the onsite tutorial expertise the grant will provide,” said Katrina Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Freedom House. “This vital financial contribution will enable us to extend our reach and continue our successful effort to support our inner-city students to excel in the competitive STEM skills so critical to college readiness and future career success.”

The Freedom House Global Classroom provides a multi-faceted structure including:

- The Timothy Smith Computer Lab, delivering multi-lingual computer, math, English, and science classes through onsite technology.
- UniversityNow, providing affordable, high-quality, post-secondary online coursework for high school and college students.
- Academic Competition & Challenge, focusing on literacy/writing skills and STEM training.
- The Global Exchange, promoting virtual and physical collaborations with shared-mission organizations and communities in other countries.

About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, research, development and commercialization. The MLSC is charged with implementing a 10-year, $1-billion state-funded investment initiative. These investments create jobs and support advances that improve health and well-being. The MLSC offers the nation’s most comprehensive set of incentives and collaborative programs targeted to the life sciences ecosystem. These programs propel the growth that has made Massachusetts the global leader in life sciences. The MLSC creates new models for collaboration and partners with organizations, both public and private, around the world to promote innovation in the life sciences. For more information, visit www.masslifesciences.com.

About Freedom House
For 64 years, Freedom House has served as a hub for Boston’s diverse urban community and a catalyst to promoting equality and civil rights. Today, Freedom House’s mission is to transform the economic and cultural fabric of high-need communities through education and leadership development, and its vision is to be an educational beacon in the community that will inspire, educate and motivate all people to commit to lifelong learning and civic engagement. Freedom House is committed to its work of devising strategies to overcome systemic educational and social justice issues, and policies that affect Boston’s inner city communities particularly in raising academic achievement in high school and increasing student persistence towards post-secondary graduation. Most recently, the organization has evolved to focus on Vision 2015 which bridges its civil rights legacy to the 21st century need to advance education, technology, and leadership development in the inner-city Boston communities through programs such as PUSH (Preparing Urban Students for Success in High School and Higher Education), CommUniversity, and the Global Classroom.


Freedom House Announces Innovative Alliance with UniversityNow to Improve the College Readiness of Boston High School Students and Recent Graduates

This partnership seeks to significantly improve college readiness by providing inner-city students free, high quality college readiness courses on UniversityNow’s self-paced, online learning platform.


BOSTON, MA, August 26, 2013
─ Freedom House, a community organization focused on education, technology, and leadership development programs for inner-city youth in Boston, Massachusetts, has announced a pivotal alliance with UniversityNow, a higher education social venture headquartered in San Francisco, California. The goal of the program is to help high school students and recent high school graduates transition successfully into college.  Piloted this summer at the Global Classroom during Freedom House’s Summer Institute, students were provided free access to UniversityNow’s online curriculum, including math and academic strategies courses. The pilot’s initial results demonstrated an improvement in math skills (with more than 80% of participants showing improvements over pre-test abilities) and an improvement in students’ attitudes towards math (with 82% stating that their view of math learning had changed for the better). Findings from the pilot will provide a solid base for the introductory launch of the fall program
at Freedom House.  

UniversityNow provides high-quality college education through its online learning platform, employing a unique model of instruction, which features exceptional faculty, self-paced learning and cutting-edge adaptive technology. The model promotes greater student-instructor engagement and more customized student feedback.   The partnership will further UniversityNow’s mission of making high quality and affordable higher education available to people everywhere.  

Gene Wade, CEO of UniversityNow and himself an alumnus of Freedom House’s Project Reach program, believes this type of partnership offers a cost-effective and replicable strategy for improving the college readiness, and ultimately the workforce readiness, of urban youth.  “To better prepare our youth for the challenges of the global marketplace, it’s imperative that students earn a quality college education and learn the competencies and the skills that employers value,” offers Wade.  “Over 20 years ago, the Project REACH program at Freedom House helped prepare me for college and career success.  I am grateful for the opportunity to help Freedom House continue fulfilling its important mission.”

Dating back to 1949 when it served as a meeting hub for social justice in the underserved Roxbury community, Freedom House has since evolved to become a transformational center providing educational programs with the mission to close the opportunity divide and eliminate disparities in educational attainment for low-income, immigrant, and minority students.  Through its Global Classroom, Freedom House is maximizing networks, technological advances, and resources to enhance students’ college-readiness levels.

Freedom House CEO Katrina Shaw can envision the College Success Program partnership with UniversityNow as a key component in the organization’s vision for providing local students and neighborhood residents with affordable access to post-secondary education.  “By introducing this pilot program of technology-assisted learning to our students through our Global Classroom, we are opening up the path for our community to attain life-long learning and help prepare a workforce that can better compete for jobs in our global economy,” said Shaw. “The College Success Program offers our students the three most critical and basic needs of learning -- affordability, accessibility, and acceleration.”

About Freedom House

For 64 years, Freedom House has served as a hub for Boston’s diverse urban community and a catalyst to promoting equality and civil rights. Today, Freedom House’s mission is to transform the economic and cultural fabric of high-need communities through education and leadership development, and its vision is to be an educational beacon in the community that will inspire, educate and motivate all people to commit to lifelong learning and civic engagement. Freedom House is committed to its work of devising strategies to overcome systemic educational and social justice issues, and policies that affect Boston’s inner city communities particularly in raising academic achievement in high school and increasing student persistence towards post-secondary graduation. Most recently, the organization has evolved to focus on Vision 2015 which bridges its civil rights legacy to the 21st century need to advance education, technology, and leadership development in the inner-city Boston communities through programs such as PUSH (Preparing Urban Students for Success in High School and Higher Education), CommUniversity, and the Global Classroom. 

About UniversityNow 
UniversityNow’s mission is to make a high quality college education available to everyone who seeks it by building the most affordable and accessible network of accredited universities in the world. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, UniversityNow operates two universities that offer Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree programs: Patten University, which is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and New Charter University, which is nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council. UniversityNow’s breakthrough learning platform employs a unique model of individualized instruction, self-paced learning, and cutting-edge collaborative technologies designed to facilitate student-to-instructor and peer-to-peer learning and support that is customized to each student’s needs. UniversityNow also makes it possible for working adults with tuition assistance benefits to earn a college degree with minimal out-of-pocket costs.  Learn more at www.unow.com 



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