Creating Social Value Blog / Social Innovation

Babson and The BASE Awarded $100K Grant to Amplify Urban Youth Empowerment

Babson and The BASE a the $100K for 100 reception
Attending the $100K for 100 reception were Stephanie Monteiro-Merrit (The BASE’s chief operating officer), Cheryl Kiser (The Lewis Institute’s executive director), and Melissa Partridge (Babson’s director of corporate and foundation philanthropy).

We’re thrilled to announce that Babson College, in a special partnership with The BASE, is one of 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program. The partnership was chosen from a total of 574 applicants during a competitive review process.

Funding from the Cummings $100K for 100 grant will allow Babson’s Youth Impact Lab to bring its ACTIVATE curriculum to The BASE in Roxbury, empowering more than 300 urban student-athletes, as well as at least 40 of their educators and coaches, to be entrepreneurial thinkers and actors.

The Need

We recognize that educational and workforce landscapes are drastically changing in the United States. More and more, young people will need entrepreneurial skills to be able to create meaningful opportunities for themselves and their communities. Too often, students graduate high school without even the basic skills of communication or critical thinking. These transferable skills, along with strategic goal-setting, adaptability, resourcefulness, self-motivation, and problem-solving, comprise the foundation of cognitive and social competencies required to succeed in an increasingly unknowable and unpredictable world.

This need is especially prevalent for the urban youth who are served by The BASE. These young adults are Boston’s next generation of leaders, yet often they do not have the same access to opportunities and resources as their more affluent and networked peers.

The Opportunity

The BASE empowers student athletes to achieve their full potential both on and off the field by building on their athletic training and providing access to workforce and college entrance resources.

By equipping The BASE and its extended partners with our ACTIVATE curriculum and toolkit, we can further amplify their impact. We teach the basics of Babson’s Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® methodology, which is a method not only for starting things, but for navigating uncertainty and solving problems. Our curriculum teaches high school youth how to turn their ideas into action and translate their passions into purpose, while preparing them to take on college, forge career paths, and change their communities.

The Partnership

The relationship between The Lewis Institute and The BASE is not new. The Lewis Institute team have been longtime fans of The BASE, and are proud to have founder Robert Lewis Jr. as one of our Senior Fellows in Innovation. Our executive director, Cheryl Kiser, has been honored to serve on The BASE’s Board of Directors for several years, and a few of our MBA students have served as nonvoting Board members through Babson Board Fellows.


About Youth Impact Lab

The Babson Youth Impact Lab activates youth changemakers through entrepreneurship. Our learning solutions are designed to encourage youth to see obstacles as market opportunities, and themselves as empathetic citizens of the world. Since 2014, the Youth Impact Lab has served over 10,000 youth across the globe through our full portfolio of offerings, and we are on target to reach 1,300 youth participants enrolled in our ACTIVATE curriculum in 2019.

About The BASE

The BASE aims to shift the national mindset about what it takes for urban youth to succeed and to build citizens who are committed to their success. The organization was founded in 2013 to re-imagine pathways to success for urban youth with a distinctive methodology that cultivates excellence, belief, and love. The BASE combines best-in-class baseball, softball, and basketball training and competition with empowering education and career training, resources, and opportunities. Since inception, The BASE has served 8,000+ youth on 600+ teams, achieving much success and recognition at the local, regional, and national level.

About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn. Its largest single commitment to date has been to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.