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By Scholar Athletes
Living in the projects and coming from a single-parent household, Sola Perez didn’t expect to go to college. Then she joined Scholar Athletes. The non-profit, founded by Suffolk CEO John Fish in 2009, is aimed at raising academic outcomes through athletics for high school participants across the Commonwealth.
Scholar Athletes has touched the lives of more than 35,000 young people, known as Zone members, over the last decade, boosting the graduation and college acceptance rates of its members to about 95%.
Many former Zone members credit the program’s encouragement, tutoring, and guidance with setting them up for success in college admissions and beyond. “They were the first people to actually sit us down and say, ‘Hey, you can do it. You can achieve your goals. You can go to college,’” says Yusuf Liban, a class of 2015 alumnus. “They really believed in us before we even believed in ourselves.”
Building off its reputation for success, Scholar Athletes continues to grow. In 2009, 300 students and 12 volunteers participated. By 2019, 5,000 students and 175 volunteers counted themselves as members of the program.
“[I saw] what I can become,” Liban says. “Now, I don’t strive for anything less than that because I know I can be great.”
Sponsored by Scholar Athletes
U.S. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley: “Don’t look left or right, just run your own race”
The U.S. Representative from Massachusetts speaks with an alumna of Scholar Athletes on the importance of gaining confidence and setting goals as a young woman.
Ready to launch
Two recent high school graduates have come a long way in four years, and now feel ready to embrace what’s next.
After a decade, Scholar Athletes and its student achievers are still reaching new heights
Achievement comes in many forms, but comes down to one thing: the willingness to work hard. That’s what Scholar Athletes has been working to instill in local students across Boston, Everett, and Springfield for over ten years.