Published On: May 12th, 2022

Photo courtesy of the CRLS Facebook page.

For Cambridge residents Lissa and Mel Hodder, linking a scholarship fund established by their family to the Falcon Pride Scholarship was a “no-brainer”.

“A typical scholarship ends after a year or two, and that’s a big anxiety point for college kids who rely on financial aid,” said Lissa, former Board Chair of Breakthrough Greater Boston, a local nonprofit that provides intensive academic preparation for low-income students from 7th through 12th grade. “Now with Falcon Pride, there will be guaranteed, multiyear support for our scholarship recipient, which is key to persistence and students’ completion of college.”

The new Falcon Pride Bushner Breakthrough Scholarship will provide $10,000 of support over four years of college to a graduate from Cambridge’s Breakthrough program. The program currently serves 380 CRLS students, helping 96 percent of them to matriculate to college and 82 percent to graduate with a postsecondary degree in six years.

This new scholarship will extend Falcon Pride’s reach to from four to five CRLS students each year.

“We’re grateful to the Hodders for connecting their family’s committed support of CRLS graduates through post-secondary education with our persistence model at the Falcon Pride Scholarship – and we love that a donor believed in Falcon Pride enough to fund a full scholarship,” said Andus Baker, who co-founded Falcon Pride with Rowan Murphy and Liz Keating in 2017. “This partnership brings an important expansion to our four-year scholarships, and we hope to continue growing the fund’s capacity to support more students over time.”

Last week, the inaugural Falcon Pride Bushner Breakthrough Scholarship was awarded to Elsa Haile, an outstanding student who’s bound for UMass Boston and has played an important role in Breakthrough’s unique Students Teaching Students model.

“She’s a proactive, competent, and dedicated leader who’s great at connecting with people, especially the younger students she now teaches in the program,” Lissa said.

We extend our warmest congratulations to Elsa and our deepest gratitude to the Hodders and all the Falcon Pride donors for their enthusiastic commitment to young Cambridge scholars!