You can learn a lot from University of Massachusetts Boston professors.
But you can also learn a lot about the value of a UMass Boston education from the contributions of the university’s alumni, particularly when they become leaders in giving back.
After a 15-year career in investment banking, Pam Trefler ’93 returned to school and earned a degree in English literature at UMass Boston. Now she is a philanthropist who has partnered with her alma mater to make a difference in urban public education.
“The quality of the teaching was outstanding,” Trefler recalls of her UMass Boston experience, “and the proximity to Boston made it so convenient for me to attend classes.”
Power of Urban Public Education
Trefler shares the values of UMass Boston and recognizes the power of public education to change individual lives and the broader communities in which they live.
In 1996, Trefler and her husband formed the Trefler Foundation, which focuses on improving urban public education and expanding opportunities for young people. Between 1996 and 2004, the Trefler Foundation made nearly $9 million in grant commitments toward this effort.
Trefler partnered with UMass Boston to give a $1 million grant for the restructuring of nearby Dorchester High School into the multi-school Dorchester Academy. This partnership was so successful that it led to others.
Teach Next Year
With support from the Trefler Foundation, UMass Boston's College of Education and Human Development created a program called Teach Next Year.
As part of the one-year program, master's degree candidates combine on-the-job teaching in urban classrooms with classroom work, bringing new, committed teachers into the workforce. President Barack Obama recognized the program on a recent trip to TechBoston Academy.
Trefler is herself a teacher, on how to give back to our communities.