Thank you

to all who took part!

On November 16, nearly 200 education leaders gathered at Babson College to explore a critical question: how can we live up to our promise in Massachusetts as education leaders when supporting students across the secondary-to-postsecondary divide?

The event brought about important conversations addressing student equity through panel discussions and workshops. A big thank you to all panelists, workshop leaders, and Summit attendees for sharing in community, for lifting up the voices and needs of our classrooms, and for the work you do to advance a mission for postsecondary access and support every day.

Together, we can realize our vision that every student in Massachusetts will have the opportunity to achieve their greatest postsecondary aspirations!

Moderator Amanda Seider, executive director of OneGoal Massachusetts, with keynote panelists Dr. Jerry Whitmore, assistant professor in higher education administration at Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development; Amanda Fernandez, founder and CEO of Latinos for Education; and The Honorable Patrick Tutwiler, Ph.D., secretary of education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Together, panelists explored barriers to education access, and priorities for increasing equity in postsecondary readiness and support.

OneGoal CEO Melissa Connelly led a keynote conversation with OneGoal alum Lennasia Dixon (Framingham State University ’23); Phebean Ogunsanwo (Brandeis University ’25); and Karen Lopes (Bunker Hill Community College ’23) along with educators Gavin Smith, head of school at Boston Latin Academy and Felicia Andre, ELA teacher at Dearborn STEM Academy. Together, they discussed their perspectives on what attendees can do to advance equity in postsecondary access.

Attendee Testimonials

“It was a wonderful experience being in the room with so many education thought leaders working towards a better system.”


“It was empowering to be in the room with stakeholders, and a reminder that we do not need to work in isolation.”


“I left feeling inspired!”


“The Summit experience was a remarkable day of networking, critical thinking, and an action oriented event.”

Workshop Sessions Included

How Philanthropy Impacts the Postsecondary Pipeline in Massachusetts


  • Josh Biber, Toolbox Foundation
  • Rahn Dorsey, Eastern Bank and Franklin Cummings Tech
  • Katrina Shaw, Senior Program Officer, Liberty Mutual Foundation

Join this workshop for a discussion on how Massachusetts’ philanthropy community can support a more equitable secondary-to-postsecondary pipeline for students in the Commonwealth. This is a “get behind the curtain” space featuring a dialogue about how philanthropy can impact, and is impacting, the secondary-to-postsecondary education landscape in the state. Join us to gain a deeper understanding of how these sectors intersect.

Higher Education Affordability and Postsecondary Access and Success in Massachusetts



  • Bahar Akman Imboden, The Hildreth Institute
  • Ben Forman, MassINC
  • Chanthy Lopes Toro, EdTrust
  • Colin Jones, MassBudget
  • Femi Stoltz, uAspire

How is affordability impacting higher education access in Massachusetts? What is driving increasing costs for students and families? And what is at stake for our students? Join this workshop for a conversation that explores these questions, as well as an overview of current legislation, how that would impact students and families, and recommendations for state action.

How Early College Can Drive Equity


  • Jen McGuire, New Bedford Public Schools
  • Dan Riley, Marlborough High School
  • Drew Woodward, Fall River Public Schools
  • Emma Santoro, BMC Durfee High School
  • Damara Reid, Brighton High School

The Massachusetts Early College Initiative is designed to give thousands of Massachusetts students, especially first-generation college-goers, access to college completion and career success. Join four schools at different stages of Early College implementation to discuss and learn about their best practices for implementation and student support, and plans for future practice.

Exploring Postsecondary Pathways Outside of 2- and 4-year Colleges


  • Lauren Flinn and Juan David Lozano, Excel Academy
  • Norma Rey-Alicea, NextGen Talent
  • Tiffany Johnson and Cynthia de la Rosa, OneGoal

We know that a postsecondary credential can lead to a life of opportunity and choice; however, as expectations change in the workforce, so do expectations for credentials. Join this workshop to explore the emerging world of postsecondary credentials outside of 2- and 4-year colleges. Learn about best practices for student support from leading organizations, including pathway criteria and vetting, how to approach a wide band of support needs, and questions we’re asking ourselves as this area of work continues to be redefined.

Working with Actionable Data: Driving Equity in Postsecondary Readiness + Success in Your School and District


  • John Boumgarden, OneGoal

This workshop will explore how schools and districts can drive equity in postsecondary access and attainment through the use of data on postsecondary leading indicators and continuous improvement cycles.

Storytelling and Student Belonging: Supporting Resilience In BIPOC and/or First Generation College Students


  • Kathryn Riviera Bethea, Brandeis University
  • Tahkeya Blake, Tufts University

When students of color and first-generation students apply to college, they’re encouraged to share their personal stories, helping colleges understand how they might support their campus culture, and how they might support individual students. But when these students enroll and enter campus life they may find those same stories valued in a much different way. Join this workshop to hear two experts discuss how to support BIPOC students and/or first generation college students in building important dimensions of community at different milestones across their college experience in order to support their college success.