Globe staff photo by Jonathan Wiggs
CHELSEA -- In a city struggling to keep its students in school, Chelsea educational advocates joined two major institutions today to give them something to aim for.
Called the Chelsea Compact, a new initiative would award 25 full yearly scholarships to high school seniors in Chelsea -- 20 at UMass Amherst and five at Bunker Hill Community College.
To qualify, students must participate in the Families United in Educational Leadership college savings program, which targets families of students in middle and high school. They must do three things: commit to save a fixed amount each month that will be matched by the program; support their student's attendance; and participate in at least six "savings circle" meetings per year.
"We're not looking for the monetary amount," said Robert Hildreth, a Boston financier who is executive director of the program. "We're looking for parental involvement. It's enough to get parents to care."
Under the compact, UMass will offer as much as $13,000 per year to FUEL participants. In addition, as many as 20 FUEL students annually with the greatest commitment and potential will be eligible for the Chelsea Chancellor's Award, which essentially covers the major costs of attending UMass, the compact says.
"This distinctive partnership leverages public and private dollars, paired with a family's commitment, to prepare students for success in the 21st century workforce," UMass Chancellor Robert C. Holub said in a statement.
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