This program—created for Boston Partners in Education, the City of Boston’s leading organization training and deploying volunteer academic tutors in the Boston Public Schools—is the nation’s first “CEO-driven” academic mentoring program for middle school students.
Background and Objectives
- Build the critical link between reading and career success.
- Expand middle school students’ sense of career possibilities.
- Expose all middle school students to at least one of the City’s corporate chieftains, as well as recruit volunteers from the corporate sector to serve as in-classroom academic tutors.
- Raise visibility, as well as private sector funds, for this historically low-profile organization.
- Corporate chieftains visit middle school classrooms to read to students and discuss those readings, as well as discuss the importance of reading to career success.
- An annual gala, at which chieftains don Big Cheese ties and scarves, serves to showcase both the program and the organization to prospective sponsors and participants.
- Funds are raised through a “CEO self-sponsorship” appeal, as well as through traditional gala fundraising.
- CEO’s are recognized in a campaign-capping full-page ad in the City’s leading business journal.
- Now in its 13th year, over 150 CEO’s participate as Big Cheeses.
- The program grows to the point that it raises half of the organization’s annual budget.
- In addition to raising almost $5 million, the program inspires numerous CEO’s to support the City’s middle schools with computers for classrooms, workplace tours, printing and other business services, and offers to pay college tuitions.
- Over 700 corporate volunteers per year now participate as in-class academic tutors.