Congratulations to the twenty-five (25) students from the Lawrence High Schools this year who have received acceptance letters to top colleges, including Cornell and Georgetown for 2013, and will be receiving scholarship funds from the Massiah Foundation. All students have top academic performance, highly admirable personal character and a demonstrated commitment to earning a college degree. The Massiah Foundation first began giving performance-based scholarships in 1999 to students from Lawrence High Schools in Lawrence, Massachusetts and is incredibly proud to have financially supported 183 students to day who have excelled academically in top colleges across the country. The Foundation believes that education is the means to better lives and to better communities and seeks to help provide these students with the means to achieve the best education possible so that they in turn can transform both themselves and their community, in this case Lawrence, Massachusetts. The objective of the scholarships is to inspire students from Lawrence High Schools to pursue higher education and achieve excellence while doing so, and the students have surpassed all expectations in their achievements.
Students who are awarded scholarships are also encouraged to then give back to their community. In this regard, the Lawrence High Schools were chosen for the unique challenges Lawrence itself faces in comparison to other Massachusetts communities. At one time, Lawrence High School was the only unaccredited high school in Massachusetts and in 2002, was ranked #257 out of 302 high schools. The objective of this program is to inspire students from this school district to pursue higher education in top institutions and to provide them with some financial help in order to do so. The latest report in 2009 showed that 40.7% of residents in Lawrence lived below the poverty level. Compared with the national average of 80.4%, only 58.2% of Lawrence residents had a high school education, with the Lawrence High Schools graduation rate at 48.1%. The college graduation rate is even drastically lower, as only 10% of the Lawrence population have a bachelor degree or higher, compared to the national average of 24.4%. Nonetheless, graduates of the Lawrence High Schools have been admitted to Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown, Cornell, and many other top college institutions. Providing some additional financial support to ensure the success of Lawrence High Schools’ students at these colleges is such a privilege for the Massiah Foundation. Congratulations again the recipients of the 2012 scholarships, and we wish you the highest levels of success and happiness as you embark on your college educations.