Jose Moreno De Los Santos
Fior Daliza Pena
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.