Boston Education Fund Raises Over $100,000 at the Inaugural Fundraiser for EdQuity Boston Initiative.

BOSTON, November 14 – On Tuesday, the Boston Education Fund (BEDF) hosted the inaugural fundraiser for its EdQuity Boston initiative, a groundbreaking effort to combine philanthropic funding with participatory budgeting in support of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) system. More than 250 people attended the event, raising over $100,000 that will be invested back into BPS with the guidance of community members.   


Founded in 1984, BEDF serves as the fiscal sponsor 501c(3) and fundraising partner to BPS, helping to facilitate access to philanthropic funding and administer those resources to sustain and expand educational opportunities for students, educators, and families. BEDF manages upwards of $10 million annually in philanthropic funding for BPS, and the EdQuity Boston initiative represents an innovative approach to allocate specific funding through a participatory budgeting process, whereby members of the BPS community are engaged and empowered to help identify key priorities for funding. 


“At BEDF, our mission is to leverage philanthropic funding to advance equity and opportunity for everyone in the BPS system,” said Pamela Leins, Executive Director of BEDF. “The EdQuity Boston initiative is a natural evolution of the work that BEDF has done for decades and represents one of the first efforts nationwide to marry philanthropic funding with participatory budgeting in an education context. Through EdQuity Boston – and with the support of a visionary group of donors and funders – we’ll put the power in the hands of students, educators, family members, and residents to help identify the highest-impact investments that will benefit everyone in the BPS community.” 


November 14th’s event – held at Grace by Nia in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood – was co-chaired by Mayor Michelle Wu and BPS Superintendent Mary Skipper. James “Jimmy” Hills, the host of Java with Jimmy, emceed the event, which featured a variety of auctions and raffles, as well as live entertainment from Mike Rollins and Lisa Bello.


Executive Director Leins also joined Superintendent Skipper, Boston Teachers Union President Jessica Tang, and Brianna Millor, Chief of Community Engagement for the City of Boston, to honor the 2023 Educators of the Year from the Boston Public Schools: 


  • Tanisha Milton, Grade 8 History Teacher at TechBoston Academy; 
  • Donald Neville, Grade 7 Math Teacher at Mildred Avenue K-8 School; 
  • Sally Ng, K2 Teacher at East Boston Early Childhood Center; 
  • Kelly Gallagher, Region 8 Social Worker; 
  • Elizabeth Rymarczyk, Occupational Therapist, OSS Related Services at Beethoven Elementary; 
  • Deborah Doherty, Nurse at Jeremiah Burke High School; and, 
  • Sheila Santana, Paraprofessional at the Sarah Greenwood K-8 School.  

“We were so proud to honor the incredible educators who are the heartbeat of BPS,” said Leins, and “we’re grateful for our event sponsors – Rodman for Kids, Berkshire Bank, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and Northeastern University City and Community Engagement – without whom last night’s celebration would not have been possible. We look forward to continuing to work alongside city leaders, educators, students, families, and funders to expand educational equity and opportunity in Boston.”


You can learn more about BEDF’s work, including the EdQuity Boston initiative, by visiting