Team uAspire Bio – Toby Romer

By: Chris Loney | Sunday, April 20, 2014

Toby RomerBio

City & State: Roslindale, MA

Occupation: Director of Prof. Development at Boston Public Schools

As a former Boston school teacher, assistant headmaster of English High, headmaster of Brighton High School, and current administrator at Orchard Gardens K-8 School, I know firsthand the impact of uAspire. I have been deeply impressed with the organization’s growth and mission-driven programming under Bob Giannino-Racine’s leadership. Having worked closely with uAspire advisors such as Pete Shungu at Brighton High, I know the powerful impact that advisors can have on our students’ post-secondary aspirations and the financial capacity to afford college. Most importantly, I know how the work of uAspire complements and enhances the college-preparatory focus of each high school in Boston.

Why I Am Running the 2014 Boston Marathon for Team uAspire?: My belief in uAspire is based on two big ideas. First, the mission of uAspire complements my own career goals perfectly. I have dedicated my career in education to providing high quality educational experiences to students in urban K-12 schools. As the students I work with plan to continue their education in higher education, uAspire is there to provide crucial financial aid planning and last dollar scholarships to close the gap between their aid packages and their families’ true needs. Without the existence of uAspire, the work that I have dedicated myself to in the K-12 educational space would end in a dead-end for students unable to afford college.

Second, I feel strongly that the mission and programming of uAspire is so well designed to complement the work of schools and counselors working to create college preparatory cultures in their schools. Unlike so many other organizations working in the college access field, uAspire programming is truly a partnership provided to first-generation students benefit not only each student served, but also the entire school community that is striving to create clear and attainable pathways to higher education in their schools.

In addition to these two big ideas, I would like to add that I have seldom participated in large scale fundraisers such as this fr any organization. In this case, where I feel so strongly about the quality and importance of uAspire’s work, I look forward to appealing to my friends, family and professional networks to raise money to support uAspire. In addition, in a year when the 2013 marathon bombings will be on everyone’s minds, I want to run the marathon as a community celebration where the strength and pride of residents of Boston can be celebrated in benefit of a local cause that also strengthens our community.

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