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College to Career Initiative

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envisioned as a way to honor the students receiving the GBREB Foundation scholarship awards as well as the donors who contributed to the fund. Now held annually, the breakfast simultaneously recognizes Massachusetts business, government, education, nonprofit and community leaders with the uAspire First One Award, given to those individuals who were the first in their families to graduate from college and make noteworthy contributions to their field and society at large.

Presenting the scholarships and the First One Awards at a single ceremony allows participants to more fully appreciate the link between providing educational opportunity and achieving success in life. The event is hosted each year by students (one female, one male) who have participated for at least two years in the scholarship program and have completed the first two years of college. The hosts (and other students) share their experiences growing up in households with few resources and the impact that the college experience is having on their lives. The First One Award honorees also share their stories of how a college education paved the road to later success.

The First One Award, created by uAspire in 2011, encourages students to recognize how the power of higher education can propel individuals and families out of poverty and toward lives of opportunity and service. Kevin Phelan, Co-Chairman of the Colliers International Boston office, was the first to receive the award in direct conjunction with the Scholarship Fund Leadership Breakfast in 2015. In addition to his distinguished real estate career, Phelan was recognized for his prominent roles with philanthropic organizations such as The Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston and the United Way Real Estate Breakfast. In 2016, the award will be presented to Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay and Jack Spurr, President & CEO of real estate developer A.W. Perry.

The event also features a prominent keynote speaker, with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh featured at the inaugural breakfast in 2015. Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito will be the 2016 keynote speaker. For more information about the event or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Tom Doyle of GBREB at tdoyle@gbreb.com.