Chairwoman Peisch Observes Work-Place Learning at Boston PIC/Sociedad Latina’s Escalera Program

IMG_0971Building on recent visits to elementary-school and middle-school Summer Learning Project programs, policymakers concluded this series at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. Representative Alice Peisch, Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, and DESE staff Cliff Chuang, Keith Westrich, and Nyal Fuentes were in attendance to see how summer learning can prepare high-school students for post-secondary success.

IMG_0974Managed by the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) and Sociedad Latina, the Escalera Program combines college and career readiness for English Language Learner students with hands-on work-based learning experience. This summer, the program served 32 students from five BPS high schools — the Jeremiah E. Burke, Boston International, English, Charlestown, and East Boston.

IMG_0973Escalera aims to provide students, many of whom are bilingual and newcomers to the United States, with the tools they need to make college more accessible. The four main goals of the program are to inspire students to think critically about their personal strengths and challenges, determine their best fit among different types of colleges (as seen in the adjacent photo), learn how to pay for college, and produce a personal statement.


In addition to this unique college readiness curriculum, students spend their afternoons in paid work-based learning sites, such as Cooper Community Center and Salvation Army-South End. Through these opportunities, students gain critical hands-on work experience that helps set them up for future success. For more information about how the PIC/Sociedad Latina partnership advances postsecondary readiness, please check out their full program profile here.

Many thanks to the PIC team, including Neil Sullivan, Jonathan Rosenthal, and the PIC career specialists, and Sociedad Latina, especially Lydia Emmons, for their great leadership.