Sunday, May 19, 2024

Catered food, champagne and live music draws some 100 people to the 2009 garden party fundraiser for the Community Learning Center’s Bridge to College Program. This year’s garden party is June 13.

A Sunday garden party in Cambridge. La-di-da.

Only this one isn’t so la-di-da — it’s a catered affair, all right, but it’s also a fundraiser for the Community Learning Center’s Bridge to College Program, which provides free services to help send people to college. Most of those helped are immigrants and women for whom the center’s services, including tours of area colleges and helping completing college and financial aid applications, can be life altering.

“The Bridge to College Program makes a crucial difference in the lives of adults who lacked educational opportunities when they were younger,” center director Mina Reddy said. “These days, it is difficult to earn a living wage without a college degree or at least a vocational certificate. Our students have dreams of making a greater contribution to society as well as supporting their families. However, because many of them are the first in their families to go to college in the United States, they have little knowledge of college expectations, how to select a college or program, how to get financial aid, and how to succeed in their classes. They also need to boost their academic skills to be prepared and confident.”

Here’s how center workers describe the program:

Bridge students complete a rigorous academic program that develops their reading, writing, math and computer skills for college-level coursework. At the same time, Bridge students develop study, time management and financial management skills required for college success. … Since 2004, 80 percent of the Bridge graduates have enrolled in two- and four-year colleges, including Bunker Hill Community College, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, Simmons College, Northeastern University, Middlesex Community College and Urban College.

The Community Learning Center, a division of the city’ Department of Human Service Programs, serves about 1,000 residents each year, ranging in age from 16 to 80 and representing as many as 70 countries. The overwhelming majority of Community Learning Center students, some 90 percent, are immigrants, and about 70 percent are women.

Its Bridge to College Program is supported and sustained by individual and corporate donors, but more funding is needed. Last year’s garden party drew about 100 people.

This third annual event, with food, champagne and live music, is scheduled for June 13 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the home of Mark and Carolyn Boyes-Watson, 222 Erie St., Cambridge. Tickets are $60 and may be bought in advance or at the door. Members of the community are welcome and encouraged to attend.

For tickets, call (617) 349-6363 or check here.

This post was written from a press release.