GBREB, uAspire, and Rockport Mortgage Team Up to Help Greater Boston Students Afford College

From graduations to galas to business conferences, the global COVID-19 pandemic has cancelled most celebratory events; but one thing that it hasn’t postponed is the passion and purpose behind them. Rockport Mortgage, The Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB), and the nonprofit uAspire, recently teamed up to award $50,000 in scholarships to Boston area students heading to college this fall.

On Thursday, June 4th, our Managing Partner and President Dan Lyons was set to be recognized by both GBREB and uAspire as the recipient of the 2020 GBREB Humanitarian Award for his philanthropic efforts with many deserving organizations, including the GBREB Foundation. The celebration was to take place at Boston’s Westin Copley, and would also recognize Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts Karyn Polito as the recipient of uAspire’s First One Award.

Although the gala was postponed until the spring of 2021, it did not stop the intention of the event from continuing. “The pandemic may have cancelled our celebration, but not our purpose,” noted Dan. Rockport Mortgage provided $50,000 to the GBREB Scholarship program to provide students with needed additional tuition support.

The GBREB Foundation is a charitable, tax-exempt organization committed to expanding college access for students from Greater Boston’s low-income communities. uAspire, a leading national provider of financial aid advising, recently partnered with the GBREB Foundation to manage its scholarship program. In 2015, GBREB and uAspire partnered to raise one million dollars for the students of Boston by 2018, a goal which they more than doubled. Mayor Martin Walsh then challenged them to raise another million in only three years, a goal which is currently underway despite the obstacles presented by the pandemic.

This year, the GBREB Scholarship will give approximately 40 students “last dollar scholarships” which provide up to $5,000 per student and are designed to meet any remaining financial need not met by their college without affecting the financial aid package itself. uAspire Manager of Individual Giving and Events Erika Del Rosario says that recipients will be notified of their awards by the end of the month.

The Class of 2020 scholarship recipients will be known as Rockport Mortgage Scholars in honor of the company’s donation.

“There has been no other personal donor since the inception of this scholarship that has put as much compassion, care, and dedication into the lives of young people, than Dan Lyons,” said GBREB President and CEO, Greg Vasil, in a press release.

Meanwhile, organizers at both GBREB and uAspire are already looking forward to next year’s celebration. “This event has been going on since 2012,” says Vasil. “It’s a perfect example of the commitment that the industry has to education and the young people in our communities, and we can’t wait to celebrate our success together in 2021.”

Over the years, it has been our honor and privilege to support dozens of local, regional and national nonprofit organizations in fulfilling their missions. The Rockport Mortgage culture reflects the spirited and giving nature of Dan and his desire to help others succeed, not just professionally but in all aspects of life. It is certainly our belief that everyone deserves a level-playing field; particularly with respect to education. We wish to congratulate and honor this year’s Rockport Mortgage Scholars and look forward to meeting each of you in person.

Rockport Mortgage Scholars

Jessica Dai

Northeastern University

Donna Gee


Floriesha Bastien

Brandeis University

Sidney Miller

Northeastern University

Jessica Valerio

University of Massachusetts Boston

Jaycen Tan

Northeastern University

Ashley Fernald

University of New Hampshire

Majesty Jackson

Howard University

Alrina Sharra

George Washington University

Mansi Thakkar

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Salma Hazimeh

Cornell University

Jiayi Chen

University of Massachusetts Boston

Lily Hanlon

Boston University

Gianfranco Yee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jenifer Atallah

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Jose Moreno De Los Santos

Union College

Martina Vo

Simmons University

Jocelyn Sammy

Lesley University

Aisha Veras

Loyola University Maryland

Ashley Giang

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Fior Daliza Pena

Bunker Hill Community College

Kinga Syper

University of Massachusetts Boston

Ashley Dossous

Boston College

Ai-Quyen Le

Suffolk University

Rachel Huynh

Tufts University

Hui Lu

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Victoria Cignotti

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Rebecca Gallant

Bridgewater State University

Lordorina Hercules

Fitchburg State University

Satoya Isophe

Providence College

Jessica Asare

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Deja Straughter

Howard University

Dania Hallak

Amherst College

Carolina Assis

Salem State University

Lindsey Perry

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Akaoluchukwu Ogbue

Tufts University

Jonnai Howard

Howard University

Ajuna Mwesigye

Ohio State University