Program To Help Prepare Students of All Means and Backgrounds For Success in Boston’s Thriving Innovation Economy
Boston, Mass. (November 20, 2023): Boston College High School is excited to announce that the school has received another transformational gift from alumnus, healthcare entrepreneur and philanthropist Jack Shields ’79, P ‘06. The Shields Fellows Program is a new initiative to help students from Brockton, Jack’s hometown, who have the motivation, will, and aptitude to succeed. The Program intends to break down barriers to success and bridge the gap to the rapidly evolving innovation economy.
BC High and Shields shared the news in Brockton at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro South, a program he co-founded in 1990 that will serve as a primary hub for the Shields Fellows Program. Brockton is also where Shields MRI grew from a single site in 1987 to more than 35 facilities across New England before Jack formed Shields Health Solutions in 2010, a specialty pharmacy solution for over 1,000 hospitals and one of the fastest-growing private companies in America.
The Shields Fellows Program will pilot in Brockton, with hopes to expand similar partnerships in other neighborhoods, such as Dorchester and Roxbury, in future years. The pilot will include four incoming 9th grade students who will be named Shields Fellows. These students will receive tuition funding for their four years of high school, an investment that is designed to create new pathways to student success, both in terms of academic programming and professional networking. Shields Fellows will also have access to exclusive experiential learning pathways in and around Boston, including innovation accelerator programs, workshops, conferences, internships and mentorship opportunities.
“Shields Fellows will have unique experiences and programs that will open their world – incubating their drive to innovate and fostering a growth mindset,” said Shields. “Beyond the classroom, this program will create a robust structure for academic, social, college and career support that embodies BC High’s Jesuit ideal of cura personalis, or ‘care for the whole person.’ My aim is to continue to provide access to opportunities that will nurture and grow young men (and women) from cities through programs and partnerships like this with BC High, Boys & Girls Club of Metro South and Next Level Football. I cannot think of a better place to anchor this initiative than the Brockton Boys & Girls Club and it is my hope that this program will draw a new roadmap for our students to gain access to Boston’s innovation highway.”
“We are incredibly grateful for Jack’s enduring commitment to and support of BC High and its students,” said BC High Vice President of Advancement Kelly DeGregorio. “The Shields Fellows Program is yet another example of Jack’s generosity and how he lives his life as a true man for others. Thanks to Jack’s vision, BC High is poised to nurture and grow future generations of leaders, here at BC High, in Boston, and beyond.”
“My time at BC High meant so much to me and my family,” said Shields. “I’ve always said that the path to my accomplishments started in the hallways of BC High, and I consider it an honor to be able to give back to the school that made me who I am today. My hope is that the Shields Fellows Program will enable young men – especially those who might not otherwise have the opportunity – to not only discover Boston’s innovation economy, but also realize their place in it, both now and in the future.”
The Shields Fellows Program builds upon Shields’ $5M gift in October 2020 to establish the successful Shields Center for Innovation. The Shields Center for Innovation, which helps students prioritize entrepreneurial thinking and prepare for the rapidly evolving innovation economy, offers an innovation curriculum; provides students and alumni with networking programming and opportunities, including the ongoing Virtual Event Series; and gives students, faculty, staff and alumni access to hands-on experience in computer science, robotics and media.
“Jack continues to ensure BC High is at the forefront of the dynamic, fast-paced innovation highway,” said BC High President Grace Cotter Regan. “His contribution and commitment to our school – both in terms of his own personal time and funding – cannot be overstated. Jack’s leadership and support, through the Shields Innovation Center and now the Shields Fellows Program, is helping our young men embrace entrepreneurial thinking in this increasingly complex and interconnected world.”
The news comes just three weeks after BC High announced Illuminating Excellence: The Campaign For BC High, the largest and most comprehensive fundraising effort in the history of BC High. With a goal of $125 million, the campaign aims to provide the essential resources needed to advance the school’s mission and legacy of leadership on campus, in Boston and beyond.
Shields’ gift brings the total amount raised in the campaign to $97 million, including $49 million to build the 50,000-square-foot Patrick F. Cadigan ’52 Family Foundation Wellness Complex; $10 million to endow the Michael D. White ’70 Center for Emerging Leaders, fund capital improvements, and enhance financial aid; $2.5 million to build Murphy Family Stadium; and $5 million to endow the Imago Dei Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
More information about the Shields Fellows Program, the Shields Center for Innovation, and Illuminating Excellence: The Campaign for BC High is available at www.bchigh.edu.
About Boston College High School: Boston College High School is a Jesuit, Catholic, college-preparatory school for young men in grades 7 to 12. Founded in 1863, the school enrolls more than 1,400 students from more than 100 communities in eastern Massachusetts. For more information, please visit bchigh.edu.