BROOKLINE, Massachusetts – The Brookline Community Foundation (BCF) is pleased to announce the opening of four new funds as part of their growing portfolio: the Beverly Skende College Scholarship Fund, the Beverly Skende Florida Ruffin Ridley Literacy Fund, the Friends of Brookline Public Health Fund, and the Steps to Success Scholarship Fund. “We’re thrilled to formally launch these four new funds, all of which play critical roles in supporting equity and access in Brookline,” says Gioia Perugini, President of the BCF Board of Trustees. “Moreover, we’re committed to being a trusted partner and advisor for our donors and partners, who rely on us to ensure their gifts will have a long-term positive impact on the community.”
Each of these four new funds has been established to support important efforts such as building public health capacity, providing scholarships to students, and support student literacy:
The Beverly Skende College Scholarship Fund was created by Victor Skende to honor his sister Beverly Skende, who taught at the Florida Ruffin Ridley School (FRR) for 35 years until her retirement in 2001. In honor of this dedicated educator, the fund provides an opportunity to attend college for low income Black students, Indigenous students, and students of color with significant financial needs. The fund will provide scholarship awards through Brookline High School (BHS) to eligible seniors based on financial need, academic merit, and other criteria to be determined by the Brookline High School Scholarship Committee. Preference will be given to BHS seniors who are FRR graduates.
The Beverly Skende Florida Ruffin Ridley Literacy Fund was established by Victor Skende to honor his sister Beverly Skende, who taught at the Florida Ruffin Ridley School (FRR) for 35 years until her retirement in 2001. In honor of Beverly’s lifelong commitment to educating young students, this fund provides literacy support for low income students in grades K- 2 at the Florida Ruffin Ridley School who would benefit from this opportunity either before or after the regular school day.
The Friends of Brookline Public Health Fund, established by the Friends of Public Health, supports vital public health efforts in Brookline. “The Friends of Brookline Public Health strive to support the Brookline Department of Public Health and Human Services by fostering innovative programs to promote the physical, mental, and environmental health of our community, to reduce health inequities, and to support responses to emerging public health challenges,” says Amanda Hofer, a member of the Friends of Public Health. The fund will enable flexible, responsive grantmaking to support Brookline public health initiatives throughout the year.
The Steps to Success Scholarship Fund provides scholarship assistance to Steps to Success students, allowing the organization to close financial gaps that prevent students from beginning or completing post-secondary education. “As college costs increase, more of our Steps to Success students face insurmountable financial barriers without significant scholarships or financial aid. Thanks to the Town of Brookline and the American Rescue Plan Act, we have now established a scholarship fund that supports low-income graduates from Brookline High School with multi-year scholarships. These students will also receive coaching from Steps to Success’ College Success Initiative, which boasts a 90% graduation rate for its cohort of college enrollees,” says Steps to Success Executive Director Juan Cantu.
To learn more about the Beverly Skende College Scholarship Fund, the Beverly Skende FRR Literacy Fund, the Friends of Brookline Public Health Fund, and the Steps to Success Scholarship Fund please visit BCF’s website. All four funds also accept donations from community members who would like to support their missions.
The Brookline Community Foundation is a public charity dedicated to advancing opportunity and promoting equity through the transformative power of giving. By leveraging core strengths in building philanthropic partnerships, supporting nonprofits and community efforts through grantmaking, and driving the research that informs a shared community agenda, the organization is helping build a better Brookline for all who live, learn, work, and play in the community. Learn more at www.brooklinecommunity.org.
Contact Meghan Guidry for further comment.