supporting Cambridge public school students

Luz-Margarita: the power of mentorship

Dear friends,
Can you make a difference for local students this year? A gift to Cambridge School Volunteers ensures that students who don’t have “an in” still can “get in”: into the college or career of their dreams. A mentor or tutor can give the attention and care that enables a student to flourish. Students like Luz-Margarita.

Last year, college sophomore Luz-Margarita came back to her alma mater, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS), the city’s public high school, to speak to CRLS seniors about the college admissions process. She emphasized the importance of asking for help, and in particular, she highlighted the role of a mentor who helped her every step of the way through the admissions maze. She worked with her mentor – a volunteer in CSV’s College & Career Mentoring Program – over a period of months, once or twice a week, after school at CRLS. Luz-Margarita applied for and earned three different scholarships with the help of her mentor, Anne. You can see Luz-Margarita talk here about how Anne made a difference for her.

The heart of CSV’s programming is exactly this relationship between a caring, competent adult volunteer and a student like Luz-Margarita. These relationships develop to support learning through CSV’s program structure, support, and staffing. Our city is unique in the area due to the deep involvement of volunteers in our schools. Cambridge stands out in this way thanks to the diligent efforts of CSV to tap into community goodwill.

With Anne’s support, Luz-Margarita wrote her college essays about her cultural tradition celebrating a girl’s transition to womanhood through an event known as a quinceañera. Another essay described how she found her passion for a career in Information Technology thanks to the Rindge School of Technical Arts Program. She also wrote supplemental scholarship essays explaining her growth during her high school career and how she managed to balance a demanding practice schedule as a student athlete with maintaining her grades. Luz-Margarita achieved honor roll or high honor roll every quarter at CRLS.

CSV is a Guidestar Gold Charity, and while half of our budget comes from the Cambridge Public Schools, we rely on the community to raise the other half. Funding from foundations, corporations, and yes, individuals like you, allows us to keep our wonderful staff doing what they do best – supporting our teachers and students.

CSV builds programs that bring individuals and teams into the schools to meet the educational goals of teachers, students, and parents. This program is the envy of our neighbors, but we need your help to keep it going. Your support allows us to respond to teacher requests, take another student into the program, run recruitment campaigns, and set up training for volunteers. CSV’s volunteer programs work because you believe in the power of education. Thank you for believing in the potential of our students as they read, dream, and study.

You keep alive the engine that powers the work of more than 900 volunteer tutors and mentors, for our students. Every public school, across the city, CSV is there to help. Reading Buddies, the Tutoring Center, NetPals, KeyPals, Learning Centers, Elementary Literacy, Intergenerational Math, and the College and Career Mentor Program are just some of our beloved programs. These programs connect students with writers, researchers, programmers, lawyers, doctors, and retirees who believe in the power of education.

Please act on your values and make a gift today to support CSV. Click here to donate and give another student “an in”.




Thank you for your gifts,

Jennifer Fries Executive Director

P.S. And Luz-Margarita? She is thriving, majoring in Information Systems and Analytics with a minor in Sociology. She is also now giving back herself as a mentor to incoming freshmen students at Bryant as an Orientation Leader, thanks to you.