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Northeastern opens neighborhood center to connect Boston residents with university resources

Northeastern University has opened a new neighborhood center to connect Boston residents with a variety of university resources, from classes and workshops to space for computer access and community events.

The center, which is called Northeastern Crossing and located on Tremont Street, represents the university’s latest investment in Boston’s neighborhoods and expands upon its deep partnership with the city. It is Northeastern’s first formal venue dedicated to fostering dialogue, creative collaboration, and new connections between community members and the university community.

Northeastern will formally unveil the space at a ribbon cutting on Monday afternoon. President Joseph E. Aoun will be joined at the event by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, City Councilor Tito Jackson, and other members of the campus and Boston communities.

“Today, Northeastern’s impact reaches across continents, but begins here at home in this vibrant community,” said President Aoun. “We are proud of our partnership with Boston and with Mayor Walsh. Northeastern Crossing will connect our neighbors with university resources and provide a space where creativity, collaboration and learning can flourish.”

The range of programming offered to Boston residents at Northeastern Crossing will include English-as-a-second-language classes, legal counseling by law students around applying for U.S. citizenship, and classes focused on how the arts serve as a vehicle to pursue social justice. The space also includes computers, Wi-Fi access, and equipment such as drop-down screens and projectors for use during meetings and lectures.

Northeastern Crossing will also display the work of local artists, including a current exhibit by Boston-based painter and collage artist Ekua Holmes.

“Northeastern Crossing will create opportunities for collaboration and connections between the university community and the residents of Boston,” said Mayor Walsh. “This new center will not only offer residents access to the university’s resources, but will also serve as a catalyst for building community, which is fundamental to the strength of our city. I thank Northeastern for their efforts and partnership as we work to make Boston a better place for everyone.”

Today, Northeastern’s impact reaches across continents, but begins here at home in this vibrant community. We are proud of our partnership with Boston and with Mayor Walsh. Northeastern Crossing will connect our neighbors with university resources and provide a space where creativity, collaboration and learning can flourish.
— President Aoun

Derek Lumpkins is leading Northeastern Crossing as director of neighborhood partnerships and programs. Prior to Northeastern, he was executive director of Discover Roxbury, a nonprofit that promotes civic engagement and economic development in Roxbury through tours and events that leverage the community’s artistic, cultural, historic, and culinary assets. He is also a member of the Boston Cultural Council.

Northeastern Crossing continues the university’s longstanding commitment to programs and initiatives that benefit the communities surrounding campus:

Scholarships that support local youth
Northeastern graduates a higher percentage of Boston Public Schools students than any other university. The university last year provided 150 graduates of BPS with full tuition scholarships, in addition to hosting college readiness events for BPS students and their families. Northeastern’s substantial financial aid commitment includes nearly $12 million in scholarships that support local youth.

Transformation of city-owned playground
In May, the university announced a $26 million investment to transform the city-owned William E. Carter Playground on Columbus Avenue. The unique public-private partnership between the university and the city will expand recreation opportunities for both Northeastern students and Boston residents.

The only university to host a Boston public charter school
Northeastern is the only university to host a Boston public charter school on its campus. The Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, a college preparatory high school for Boston students exploring careers in health and health-related professions, is housed rent-free on the Northeastern campus.

Strong partnership on community-based programs
The university has partnered with the city of Boston and Mayor Martin J. Walsh on a host of community-based programs, including Foundation Year, Step-Up, and Healthy Kids/Healthy Futures, and has led many youth education initiatives, such as those through the Center for STEM Education, the Urban Health Research and Practice, and the Balfour Academy at Northeastern.

Co-op students that staff the mayor’s city hotline
Every six months the university provides the city with six co-op students to staff the mayor’s 24-hour community hotline, covering the students’ wages.

Summer jobs for Boston teenagers
Through a partnership with Action for Boston Community Development, the university contributes $50,000 annually in summer jobs for Boston teenagers.

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