18th Annual Adopt-A-Student Foundation Dinner

In an incredible display of support, benefactors and partners celebrated a highly successful Adopt-A-Student Foundation Dinner to fund scholarships for students at Cathedral High School. The Seaport Hotel in Boston hosted more than 380 supporters on the evening of Thursday, October 24 to raise $1.4 Million.

Steven Connelly of Connelly Partners receives the award from Cathedral

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Paul Chisholm (left), presents the award to Steve Connelly (second from left) along with the AASF Dinner Co-Chairs.

With a focus on the unique partnerships that enable the academic and professional success of Cathedral High students, the dinner honored Steve Connelly, President and Copywriter at Connelly Partners. Steve and his marketing firm created learning opportunities for CHS students, including a hands-on, applied learning marketing class in their agency offices.

The Mentor-Mentees of Cathedral High

Three other pairs of mentors and mentees were highlighted at the dinner through a “fireside chat” with emcee Dr. Keith Motley, the 8th chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Jalen Marcelo ’19 discussed his experiences with mentor Tom DeVesto, President and Founder of Como Audio, through the Innovative Panthers Club. The pair worked together to create a wireless Bluetooth speaker as a part of last year’s Innovative Panthers Club, which Tom spearheaded.

Madeline Mitchell, Director of Fixed Income Trading and Infrastructure Products at Fidelity Capital Markets, was joined on stage with her mentee, Madeline Gomez ’20. They discussed their shared love of mathematics and how Maddie’s internship at Fidelity helped her hone in on a first-choice college and a possible major: accounting.

2019 Adopt-A-Student Foundation DinnerOne of the longer-standing mentorships was also highlighted in Thomas Engel, founder of T. R. ENGEL Group—a Boston-based hospitality asset management firm, and Patrick Joseph ’15 who is now a rising junior at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Patrick and Thomas started having lunches together at a South End café more than 5 years ago through Cathedral High School.

In the fireside chat, both mentors and mentees emphasized how much the relationship impacted them.

$1.4 Million in Philanthropic Student Support Raised

The Adopt-A-Student Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization established to ensure that students of all economic, educational, and faith backgrounds have access to a quality, values-based college preparatory education. The $1.4 Million raised directly enables Cathedral High School to open the doors of educational opportunity for Boston youth. Fundraisers such as the Adopt-A-Student Foundation are mission critical to fund the school.

Donors and students at the 2019 Adopt-A-Student Foundation Dinner at the Seaport Hotel Boston“We are very appreciative of our sponsors and donors who support the Adopt-A-Student Foundation as well as for the tireless efforts of our co-chairs Theresa Brockelman and Karen O’Toole and the whole dinner committee,” said Paul Chisholm, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Interim Head of School. “Without everyone involved in the Adopt-A-Student Foundation, our mission at the school simply wouldn’t be possible.”

Added Recognition

His Excellency, the Most Rev. John A. Dooher, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston, gave the invocation and offered his greetings and gratitude on behalf of Cardinal Seán O’Malley who could not attend due to his participation in the Synod in Rome.

Principal Nampeera Lugira speaks at the 2019 Adopt-A-Student Foundation Dinner

Principal Nampeera Lugira speaks at the 2019 Adopt-A-Student Foundation Dinner

At the dinner, Principal Nampeera Lugira highlighted the daily work of the faculty and staff made possible by philanthropic support. “I’d like to say ‘thank you’ to all of you for your tireless efforts… These special people provide a whole new world and open doors for our students every single day.” After a round of applause for the faculty, Principal Lugira added special recognition for Carmel Lynch, former Assistant Principal who retired this summer after 29 years of service to CHS, describing Mrs. Lynch as “the bedrock of the community.”

Interim Head of School Paul Chisholm also recognized the late Principal Robert McGurrin—a 15-year teacher and administrator at Cathedral, who passed away unexpectedly in April. Mr. McGurrin’s family was present at the dinner to witness Mr. Chisholm announce that the second-floor wing of the school’s newly-opened Applied Learning Center would be named in honor of Principal McGurrin.

Participate in the Success

Contributions towards critical student scholarships can still be made online or by contacting the school at 617-542-2325.

See more photographs from the 18th Annual Adopt-A-Student Foundation Dinner on the Cathedral High School Flickr.

Cathedral 7-12 High School is a philanthropy-based, urban, independent, Catholic, STEAM-based, applied learning school in Boston’s historic South End serving boys and girls of all faiths from grades 7 through 12.