Improving education for our young people has long been a national concern. Over ten years ago, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, in partnership with community members, business leaders, and educators, identified improving the education of youth as a priority for the Commonwealth. The challenge is as compelling now as it was more than ten years ago. In 2006, the MA Department of Education identified 37 percent of the state's public schools, including charter schools, as failing to meet federal standards for at least two years. That's why Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts continues to work with organizations such as the Private Industry Council, INROADS, POSSE, Mass Mentoring Partnership, Madison Park Vocational Technical High School, and Fenway High School, to help students reach their full potential.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has a significant partnership with the Private Industry Council (PIC), INROADS and POSSE to bring inner-city and multicultural high school and college students into the workforce. Today, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts employs approximately 90 students from Madison Park Technical Vocational High School and Brighton High School during the summer through PIC and provides a number of internship placements for college students during the school year through INROADS and POSSE.
In 2001, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts partnered with Madison Park Technical Vocational High School to create the Blue Scholars Program, a four year college preparatory program that matches Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' associates with high performing students to provide academic and enrichment experiences. To date, more than thirty students have completed the Blue Scholars program, 95% of whom have enrolled in two or four year colleges and several of whom have received full scholarships to colleges such as Boston University and Northeastern University.
In 2007, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts created a program to serve 11th grade students in the Junior Ventures Program at Fenway High School. Through the partnership, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts mentors work with Junior Ventures students on a weekly basis to generate entrepreneurial ideas for a business or service in their community. With the help of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts mentors, the students translate these ideas into real-world business plans.
In 2006, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts joined the Mass Mentoring Partnership, State Street Corporation, and Boston Financial Data Services to provide students at North Quincy High School with mentors. Throughout the school year, mentors meet weekly with their students to support their academic success and provide them with an additional source of encouragement.