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Remembering Robert C. Hayden Scholar, Educator, Historian, Activist

Scholar, Educator, Historian, Activist

by Paula Paris

Black History Month 2022 coincides with a celebration of the life and works of scholar, educator, and historian Bob Hayden, who passed away on January 23 just thirteen days after his son Kevin was sworn in as Suffolk County District Attorney. A quiet, soft-spoken man, the full volume of Bob’s expression was projected through the voices of the multitude of individuals whose lives he chronicled in his oral histories and publications.

Remembering 911

We promised to NEVER FORGET

JFYNet staff remembering that fateful day.

Paula Paris

September 11, 2001, was a day that changed the narrative of life in the United States as we once knew it. Wars were always fought somewhere else. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the thwarted attack on the mystery target of United Flight 93, changed that narrative irreparably.

Red Sox Honor a JFY Student. Collaboration with Bridgewater State and Durfee High leads to a 4-year scholarship.

by Greg Cunningham

Collaboration with Bridgewater State and Durfee High leads to a 4-year scholarship

On Saturday, June 26 the Red Sox beat the Yankees 4-2, but the high point of the evening was a pre-game ceremony honoring this year’s Red Sox Scholars. One of the honorees standing on the hallowed turf was Habiba Haji, who graduated from Durfee High School in Fall River after transferring from John D. O’Bryant in Boston. Habiba was a student in JFYNetWorksdual enrollment program at Durfee with Bridgewater State University.

Specialists’ messages to the 2020 graduates

Hats off to the Class of 2020

from Cathie, Eileen, Joan and Greg

Cathie

When I graduated from high school, our class motto was “At this peak we begin climbing.” My message to this year’s graduates is, You have climbed the peak! Congratulations! As you stand there, you look back to your high school days and ahead to all that is before you. This is not the only peak you will climb in your life. You will pass through some valleys, and you will ascend other peaks. Cherish your time in the valleys. It is there that you grow, learn things about yourself, and gain strength to conquer the next peak. As you prepare for that next climb, I wish you a smooth ascent and a beautiful view from the top!

Early College Reduces Inequity

A Promising Pathway to College and Careers

Bridgewater State University, B.M.C. Durfee High School and JFY’s New Partnership

by Eileen Wedegartner, Blended Learning Specialist

The college admissions scandal that broke in March kept unfolding through the weeks and months like an origami of shame, exposing story after sordid story of gross inequity in the college admissions process.

As the national networks uncoiled twisted tales of bribery and deception that famous parents of means had braided to get their kids into elite colleges, local news stations were swarmed by flocks of ordinary people calling in anonymously to admit that they had written their children’s essays for them.

Education and Inequality, trying its level best, the “Great Equalizer” needs a lift

Education and Inequality

The “great equalizer” of education can only nudge the scales so far.

By Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

In his FY20 budget proposal, Governor Charlie Baker has waded into the discussion of fair funding for school districts in Massachusetts. He has proposed large increases for districts that have been clearly underfunded for years. While presenting the proposed changes and recognizing the fight many districts have been waging for years, some even threatening legal action against the state, Baker proclaimed the adage we have heard many times: “Education is the great equalizer.”

From Ethiopia to Architecture: My Journey - Selamawit Balcha's Journey

by Joan Reissman, Blended Learning Specialist

One Student’s Brave Journey

As a Blended Learning Specialist with JFYNetWorks, I have met many students. It’s the best part of my job– meeting people and helping them succeed. I enjoy working with all students, but some naturally stand out. Selamawit Balcha is one of those stand-outs. She was in one of my classes at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in 2014 and I was immediately impressed by her determination and focus. I knew she would be successful. She is now working towards her architecture degree at Wentworth Institute of Technology. I asked her to share her story and she responded with the following account.

Labor shortage continues. 99% of jobs go to college graduates

Labor Shortage Continues

99% of Jobs Go to College Graduates

by Gary Kaplan, JFYNetWorks Executive Director

“There are no jobs for high school diplomas.”

The May jobs report reiterates a theme we have been hearing with increasing urgency: the shortage of skilled labor. The current 4.3% unemployment rate is a 16-year low. That means there are very few unattached workers available at a time when job openings are near all-time highs. For employers who can’t find qualified workers it means foregoing opportunities for expansion. For the economy at large it means slower growth. But it’s not just a quantitative problem, it’s also qualitative: there aren’t enough workers with the specific skills employers need. The wide range and varied dimensions of the skills shortage are indicated by a survey of Saturday’s newspaper reports.

Madison Park Technical Vocational High School Student

It’s Time for Madison Park To Get Some Respect

by Gary Kaplan

The Boston Globe Magazine’s recent article on vocational education (School of Work, 10/2/16) came down like a ton of raw concrete on Boston’s Madison Park Technical Vocational High School.  One commentator blamed Madison Park for “vocational education’s tarnished reputation in Massachusetts” while another recommended scrapping the school altogether and “start[ing] over again.”  There are legitimate reasons to be frustrated with Madison Park; but there are better options than the dumpster.

Rising to readiness through blended learning

Readiness through blended learning reaps benefits for all students.

by Eileen Wedegartner, Blended Learning Specialist

Since joining JFYNetWorks as a Blended Learning Specialist last fall, I have had the opportunity to visit many schools and interact with many students. Despite my many years of experience in the classroom and additional years in statewide education administration, this was a new and eye-opening experience. It has proved to be challenging, and extremely rewarding.

Having spent the better portion of my professional life working with students who face barriers to learning, I can empathize with their struggles and with the challenges their teachers face on a daily basis. As an educator, I have always believed that where there is a will, there is a way.