MGH Bicentennial Scholars

In 2011 Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) celebrated its 200th anniversary. As one of many important activities to mark this occasion, MGH renewed its commitment to the local community by creating the MGH Bicentennial Scholars Program, a birthday “gift” to the young people of Boston, Chelsea and Revere. The MGH Bicentennial Scholars Program supports college completion for youth who are interested in health and science careers, and is coordinated by the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI).

As the largest private employer in Boston, MGH has provided educational opportunities for youth for more than 20 years through science fair mentoring, paid internships for high school students and its annual summer jobs program. Through CCHI, MGH has provides these opportunities to serve youth in grades 3-college with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Compared to other urban areas, Boston public school students have high rate (70 percent) of admission to two- and four-year post-secondary education. However, their rates of college completion are low. A Boston Foundation report found that only 47 percent of the class of 2005 had graduated six years later.

The evidence indicates that to succeed in college, youth need not only financial assistance, but also college preparation, peer support, mentoring, tutoring and jobs. The MGH Bicentennial Scholars Program encompasses all of these components. In 2012, Partners HealthCare announced a new scholarship program inspired by the MGH Bicentennial Scholars. At least 145 more MGH Youth Scholars will receive college prepation, peer support, mentoring, tutoring and a $5,000 scholarship each year for four years.

The 26 MGH Bicentennial Scholars graduated from the high school in 2012. All have been provided with the intense college planning and SAT preparation needed to select their current college. In addition, students have participated in paid internships and will continue to do so through their college years as a way to further explore the fields of health care and STEM and to develop important skills that will help them to be successful in school and work. Each student receives a $5,000 scholarship each year they are enrolled in the program.

Lastly, keeping students in college requires more than just financial support. That’s why the Bicentennial Scholar and MGH Youth Scholar students are connected to on-campus tutoring, mentoring, peer support and opportunites for jobs at MGH that work around the students’ class and exam schedules.

2014 Outcomes for Bicentennial Scholars and college-age MGH Youth Scholars:

  • 82% of the Bicentennial Scholars and MGH Youth Scholars college students (classes of '16 and '17) are still enrolled in college, and 77 % participated in paid positions at MGH during the summer. In survey results, 100% said they are the first in their families to go to college, and 81% said the MGH Youth Scholars program was Very Helpful in getting accepted into college.
  • 100% of the 20 MGH Youth Scholars in the high school class of 2014 graduated from high school, and 100% enrolled in college.


Margo McGovern

Phone: (617) 724-3210