Transforming Dorchester – One Student at a Time


Though the Red Line has been more than groan-worthy this winter, this particular subway line represents more than just a (sort of) reliable way around the city; the Red Line is an uncanny illustration of Boston’s dichotomous relationship with education.

Take a closer look: To the north lies Cambridge, where you can’t take a step without bumping into a Harvard, Tufts, or MIT student rushing to class with coffee in hand.  To the south lies Dorchester, where 33 percent of students will not graduate from high school.

Though some of the best universities in the world are a simple 30 minute ride away for Dorchester students, many of them do not consider post-secondary education even a vague possibility.  It is not that they lack the “stuff” to thrive in an overworked, over-stressed, over-caffeinated Harvard classroom.  On the contrary, they have vast potential –  potential that has been dismissed due to the stigma surrounding their neighborhoods as well as their past actions. It is this potential that can ultimately transform both their lives and the entire community.  As Mark Culliton explores in his article published in the Boston Herald, College Bound Dorchester is awakening that potential , one student at a time.

Through extensive educational intervention, College Bound Dorchester bridges that 30 minute educational gap on the Red Line.  The organization prepares Dorchester youth for college through extensive academic and personal support.  By pushing students to succeed academically and personally, College Bound Dorchester ultimately transforms the community at large.

“We are investing resources in young people who have been deemed ‘least likely to succeed,’ students who have flunked out of school, been incarcerated, or are gang involved. Some call them gang bangers, drug dealers, or pimps. We call them ‘Core Influencers,'” writes Culliton, CEO of College Bound Dorchester, in an article for the Boston Herald.

The mission of College Bound Dorchester is to get these Core Influencers on the path to college and career success.  In doing so, the program slowly but surely catalyzes wide scale change in the entire Dorchester Community.  Ultimately, the goal is ensure that all students, regardless of zip code, can make that 30 minute trip on the Red Line – not to just pass through, but to grab a coffee before heading to class.

Discover more about College Bound Dorchester here.

Read Mark Culliton’s full article published in The Boston Herald here.

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