Campus & Community

13 Allston-Brighton nonprofits to receive grants

4 min read

Partnership Fund awards $100,000 to support programs

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined Harvard President Drew Faust at the Harvard Ed Portal in Allston on Wednesday to honor the recipients of the ninth round of the Harvard Allston Partnership Fund (HAPF) grants. Thirteen local nonprofits were selected to receive grants totaling $100,000 to support programs in the Allston-Brighton community. Since its creation in 2008, the partnership fund has provided $900,000 in grants to dozens of local organizations, supporting programs that serve thousands of residents.

“All of what happens here at the Ed Portal underscores the fact that we are more together than we are alone,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “The 13 nonprofit organizations we recognize and celebrate today don’t just help individuals grow — they help individuals grow into citizens, into neighbors, into a community. We are proud to welcome them as partners in the effort to bring more opportunities to more people throughout our community.”

“The Harvard Allston Partnership Fund is a great example of a public-private partnership that is making a real difference in people’s lives,” said Walsh. “Now in its ninth year, the fund has served more than 25 local organizations, reaching more than 4,000 Allston-Brighton residents. I am grateful for Harvard’s partnership in this joint effort that is having a positive impact in our neighborhoods.”

The program, established by Harvard University and the city of Boston in collaboration with the Allston community, was created to support nonprofit organizations providing neighborhood improvement, cultural enrichment, and educational programming for residents of North Allston-Brighton. This year’s awards support educational programs, youth enrichment activities, family activities, health and wellness programs, and English literacy and citizenship classes.

The recipients of the ninth round of HAPF grants are:

  1. Allston Brighton Youth Hockey Association$14,000 to support the Learn to Skate and hockey programs.
  1. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay$3,700 for mentoring 40 area boys and girls.
  1. Boston Boxing and Fitness $4,800 to provide intensive fitness instruction to area youth.
  1. Boston String Academy $12,500 to provide an after-school string musical program and offer performance opportunities to elementary school students.
  1. CommonWheels$8,000 to support “Pedal Power,” a program to teach bike safety to area youth.
  1. Family Nurturing Center $11,000 to maintain and grow two existing playgroups serving roughly 50 families in North Allston/Brighton.
  1. The Fishing Academy $5,000 to teach area youth how to fish.
  1. Friends of the Honan Allston Branch Library $5,000 to provide sewing instruction to approximately 50 people.
  1. Gardner Pilot Academy $13,500 to support an after-school enrichment program.
  1. The Literacy Connection $10,000 to provide tutoring in English literacy and citizenship preparation to 15 adults.
  1. Midas Collaborative$2,500 to provide financial coaching to area residents.
  1. Oak Square YMCA$5,000 for scholarships for aquatic programs.
  1. West End House Camp — $5,000 for scholarships to send 10 boys to overnight summer camp for two weeks.

“Our Fitness for Life program, which we’ve been doing for 11 years, is an after-school program where students work out, but it’s also a mentoring program,” said Ed Lavache, owner of Boston Boxing and Fitness, one of this year’s award recipients. “Fitness is an important part of life, and it’s important to introduce our students to that at a young age. But it’s also important to introduce them to different people in different professions. The grant we received will help us with our new summer program that expands on our Fitness for Life program by bringing our kids over to Harvard to meet with College athletes, and to the Ed Portal for an end-of-the-summer celebration.”

“We are honored to be one of the recipients of this year’s HAPF awards,” said Tom Myers, executive director of the Oak Square YMCA. “Thanks to Harvard’s continued support, dozens of local youth will have the opportunity to learn life-saving skills in our aquatics programs and become strong, confident, and healthy swimmers.”

“We appreciate Harvard’s support of the Allston Brighton Youth Hockey Association. This grant will help us to sustain a low-cost hockey program for area families by supporting additional skill development for our travel players and introduction to the sport of hockey in our Learn to Skate program,” said Craig Cashman, president of the league. “This partnership is a win-win for the community, and we are incredibly grateful for being chosen.”

Funding decisions are made by a volunteer board of community members following careful review of all applications received.

For more information please visit, the Harvard Ed Portal’s website, or email