Cummings Foundation Funds Promise Program
Thanks to the Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 grant, Essex County graduates who participate in Northern Essex Community College’s Early College Program and earned at least 12 credits by the time they graduate from high school and remain in good academic standing, may be eligible for funding to complete an associate degree through the Promise Program.
Northern Essex will receive $25,000 a year, over the next four years, to provide bridge funding for Promise students who reside in Essex County. The Promise Program guarantees educational expenses for students. The Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 grant bridges the gap between federal and state aid and the cost of attending college. This includes covering the costs of purchasing books and a laptop.
NECC’s Early College Program allows high school students to enroll in NECC classes as early as the sophomore year of high school. By the time they graduate from high school, they could earn up to 36 college credits. Under the Promise Program, these students can continue their education at NECC and earn an associate degree. Now, the 100K for 100 grant picks up where state and federal aid leaves off.
“Through the generosity of the Cummings Foundation, Northern Essex is able to broaden the scope of the Promise Program allowing us to support students throughout Essex County,” said NECC President Lane Glenn. “This type of investment boosts the entire region.”
Promise students are assigned a Promise coach, set check-in times, established registration periods, and an academic pathway and plan. Participants sign a commitment letter.
The Cummings Foundation’s $100K for 100 grant supports nonprofits based in and primarily serving Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this initiative, the Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the communities where it owns commercial buildings. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of space.
“By having such a local focus, we aim to make a meaningful, positive difference in the communities where our colleagues and leasing clients live and work,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “We are mostly grateful for the nonprofit organizations that assist and empower our neighbors and we are proud to support their efforts.”
President Glenn along with Mark Forman, a member of the NECC Board of Trustees, joined some 300 other guests at a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn, in early June, to celebrate the $10 million infusion into the Greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. With the conclusion of this grant cycle, the Cummings Foundation has awarded more than $260 Million to Greater Boston nonprofits alone.
The Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc., was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn. Its largest single commitment to date has been to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.
The history behind Cummings Properties and Cummings Foundation is detailed in Bill Cummings’ self-written memoir, “Starting Small and Making It Big: An Entrepreneur’s Journey to Billion-Dollar Philanthropist.” It is available on Amazon or cummings.com/book.