Nonprofit dedicated to helping underserved high school students find a pathway to success to celebrate milestone with a gala on June 19

Boston, MA (June 12, 2019)Scholar Athletes, a nonprofit organization that works with underserved students across Massachusetts, is marking its 10th year of creating opportunities for young people by using athletics as the vehicle to support academic achievement. Scholar Athletes currently serves more than 5,000 students in three school districts across the Commonwealth. Over the past decade, the organization has served an aggregate of more than 35,000 Zone Members. Scholar Athletes will commemorate the 10-year milestone at its annual gala on June 19 at the Museum of Science.

Scholar Athletes was founded in 2009 to address a major need to support and inspire Boston Public Schools students. John Fish, CEO of Suffolk and founder of Scholar Athletes worked with then-Mayor Thomas M. Menino to launch the organization with the mission of providing resources to underserved students that create pathways to success. Scholar Athletes is unique in that it creates “Zones” in each of the 24 schools it partners with which serve as spaces for Zone members to study, receive academic coaching, and college and career preparation. Scholar Athletes now serves Zone members in Boston, Everett, and Springfield.

“There was a deep need in our community to create a program that empowers students and creates opportunities for them succeed in academics and life,” Fish proclaimed. “In creating Scholar Athletes, we wanted to harness the power of sport while ensuring our program circled back to excellence in the classroom. We are extremely proud of what Scholar Athletes been able to accomplish during our first ten years and look forward to making and even bigger impact for students over the next decade and beyond.”

“The Scholar Athletes program makes a difference in the lives of so many young people in our city, and I want to thank all the Zone members and staff who are leading this important movement,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “The program is giving academic support to every student who enters the Zone and is helping students develop confidence and thrive in many different ways. I want to congratulate the program’s staff and all the scholar athletes on their success.”

Scholar Athletes’ programs leverage the power of athletics and wellness to cultivate the discipline, confidence and social-emotional skills needed to support success in school and in life. Zone members receive support in a targeted and tailored way, integrating lessons learned on the field or engaged in wellness into their everyday experience. The goal is for each Zone member to graduate from high school with a plan that is focused on the future, with the support, skills and tools to put that plan into action. With 84% of participants graduating with a confirmed post-secondary plan, the influence of the program is felt far beyond graduation as the students are equipped with the skills to thrive. Over the past decade, the Scholar Athletes ecosystem has seen tens of thousands of Zone members graduate high school, continue their education at top universities and offer their talents and passion in their communities.

“Preparing students for success in life has to start in high school and Scholar Athletes ensures our Zone members have the tools and resources to realize those opportunities,” said Linda Dorcena Forry, Scholar Athletes Board Member and Gala Co-Chair. “The Scholar Athletes model continues to evolve, serving more students and enacting positive change in communities. Every day I am inspired by the hard work and persistence of our Zone members and staff. They are the ones who have made Scholar Athletes into such as successful program as we celebrate our 10-year milestone.”

“As we look toward the next decade, Scholar Athletes will continue to grow so that we can impact the lives of as many young people as possible and positively influence communities throughout Massachusetts and beyond,” said Daphne Griffin, Scholar Athletes Executive Director. “Athletics are a powerful tool to cultivate future success in life and our organization will continue to work toward ensuring all our Zone members have equitable access to a successful future.”

To learn more about Scholar Athletes and support its mission, as well as get information about 10th Anniversary Gala tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please visit