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Biogen Foundation Selects Grantees to Receive $10 Million Investment for STEM Education

June 18, 2018

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Biogen Foundation today announced the six nonprofits that will share a previously-announced four-year, $10 million grant to drive the development of local STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education ecosystems in Cambridge and Somerville.

The Biogen Foundation’s STAR Initiative is intended to strengthen and support educational offerings in these cities by helping increase access to STEM resources and opportunities for students currently underrepresented in STEM college or career pathways. STAR stands for Science, Teacher support, Access and Resources. Through a coordinated network of grantees, STAR endeavors to help low-income students develop and sustain their interest in STEM, gain necessary STEM exposure and enrichment opportunities, and successfully transition into post-secondary education in pursuit of STEM careers.

The six nonprofits selected by the Biogen Foundation will partner with Cambridge and Somerville public schools, focusing on students in grades 6-12. The nonprofits are: Breakthrough Greater Boston, Citizen Schools, Enroot, Lesley University, uAspire, and Young People’s Project. These organizations will provide in or out-of-school STEM awareness, exploration, and skill-building supports and activities.

‪”Cambridge is the innovation and biotech capital of the world. With the STAR Initiative grant from the Biogen Foundation, and the exemplary recipient organizations they’ve selected, Biogen has also proven themselves to be an inspired leader in corporate citizenship,” said Cambridge Mayor Marc C. McGovern. “I look forward to the robust learning experiences and the unique opportunities this will create for our youth in the ever-expanding local STEM job market.”

The six organizations underwent an intensive application and interview process, and had to submit recommendations from school departments. They were ultimately chosen based on an alignment with Biogen Foundation’s philanthropic vision, an ability to work with the schools, as well as together as a unit.

“We are honored to serve as a catalyst for collaboration among these six community partners to help students and teachers participate in the local STEM ecosystem,” said Biogen Chief Executive Officer Michel Vounatsos. “Biogen is proud to demonstrate our continued commitment to education in our community through this important Biogen Foundation initiative.”

The selected organizations will become part of a coordinated provider network managed by the Biogen Foundation. The STAR Initiative is intended to complement, supplement, and strengthen existing STEM education landscapes in Cambridge and Somerville. 

“We are incredibly grateful to the Biogen Foundation for their commitment, their vision, and their support of our students” said Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “We are so fortunate to have partners such as the Biogen Foundation that share that commitment and are willing to invest their time, expertise, and resources. By investing in programs that support students, they are investing in the future of our communities.”

For additional information about the Biogen Foundation’s STAR Initiative and the application process, click here.

About the Biogen Foundation
The Biogen Foundation supports access to science education and to essential human services for children and their families in the communities in which Biogen facilities are located. The Biogen Foundation is committed to sparking a passion for science and discovery, supporting effective science education initiatives, and strengthening efforts to make science education and science careers accessible to diverse populations.

The Biogen Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that focus on providing access to:

  • Hands-on science education
  • Teacher development opportunities in science
  • College readiness and support
  • Basic social needs (child hunger, poverty, and social mobility)


Nina Varghese, +1 617 914 4206

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Source: Biogen Inc.

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