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November 1, 2023

Pressley Joins Northeastern, RCC Leaders to Celebrate $1 Million in Federal Funds for New Associate’s to Master’s Workforce Accelerator

With Education Equity Under Assault in Courts, Funding Will Help Black, Brown, Under-Served Students Become Leaders in Health, Biotech Industries

Photo (Dropbox)

ROXBURY Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) visited Roxbury Community College (RCC) to celebrate $1 million in federal community project funding she secured for Northeastern University’s Roxbury Associate’s to Master’s Workforce Accelerator (RA2MWA), an accelerated pathway program connecting students from Roxbury Community College—which predominantly serves Black and brown students—to valuable higher education opportunities in high-demand fields that lead to good-paying jobs.

Joining Congresswoman Pressley at the event were RCC President Jackie Jenkins-Scott, Northeastern University Chancellor Ken Henderson, Suffolk County Sheriff and Chair of the Board Steve Tompkins, Northeastern University Professors Earlene Avalon, Liz Zulick, and Francesca Grippa; along with students, faculty, and staff.

“I was thrilled to join our partners at Northeastern and Roxbury Community College to celebrate the $1 million in federal funding for their brand-new Roxbury Associate’s to Master’s Workforce Accelerator program,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “At a time when education equity is under assault by the corrupt, far-right majority Supreme Court, it’s encouraging to see our institutions of higher learning re-commit to creating pathways for Black and brown students to be leaders of our health, biotech, and IT industries. This is the type of bold, intentional, and race-conscious investment needed in this moment to address the glaring disparities in access to education and close the racial wealth gap. I thank Chancellor Henderson, President Jenkins-Scott, and the entire Northeastern and RCC communities for their ongoing partnership in the work to build a more just and equitable Massachusetts 7th.”

“At Northeastern we prepare learners to not only achieve personal career goals but to have a positive impact on the world. Understanding and solving humankind’s problems requires constant interaction among people who bring their own diverse contexts and experiences to the conversation,” said Northeastern University Chancellor Ken Henderson. “Through this remarkable pathway program, we hope to forge a deeper and more interactive connection with those who live and work in our neighboring greater-Boston communities. Equipping them with the knowledge, tools, and expertise to pursue their highest aspirations and to solve both local and global challenges.

“Raising scholarship funds is a top priority for RCC’s interim leadership team,” said Roxbury Community College Interim President Jackie Jenkins-Scott. “We cannot allow the cost of tuition and fees to be a barrier to degree completion. We extend our deepest thanks to Representative Pressley for securing funding that students can use throughout their educational journeys. We are thrilled to partner with Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies to offer this exciting A2M pathway to Boston residents.”

RA2MWA builds on the successes of Northeastern University’s existing Associate’s to Master’s program, which prepare learners for success in high-demand fields by shortening the time to completion, and by providing valuable research experiences, paid internships, industry and peer mentorships, specialized advising, and other tailored academic, career, and social supports.

Photos from the event are available here (photo credit to Matt Modoono, Northeastern University).

Rep. Pressley secured the federal funding for the RA2MWA in the government spending package that passed Congress and was signed into law by President Biden in December. Rep. Pressley secured millions for 15 community projects across the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District in this major Congressional appropriations bill, capping off nearly a year of advocacy by Rep. Pressley and local leaders.

  • In June, Rep. Pressley visited Chelsea to celebrate the $2,000,000 in federal funding she secured to improve the city’s Downtown Broadway Corridor—home to an array of BIPOC-owned small businesses, vibrant public spaces, high frequency public transit routes, and dense residential housing.
  • In April, Rep. Pressley visited Randolph to celebrate $524,000 she secured for Randolph Public Schools to support a mobile library and STEM programming.
  • In March, Rep. Pressley visited Dorchester to celebrate $250,000 in new Community Project Funding she secured for Big Sister Association of Greater Boston’s one-to-one mentoring and enrichment programs for girls.
  • In February, Rep. Pressley visited the African Community Economic Development of New England (ACEDONE) to celebrate the $643,003 in community project funding she secured for ACEDONE to support small businesses in predominately Black, brown and African immigrant communities.