Mayor Menino Announces New ESOL Funding for New Bostonians @ “We Are Boston” Gala

Dec. 16, 2013, — Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Office of New Bostonians (ONB) tonight handed out awards for four individuals for their outstanding contributions in promoting Boston’s rich diversity at the eighth annual We Are Boston gala on Dec. 12, 2013. Mayor Menino also announced $200,000 in funding to strengthen English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programming through English for New Bostonians.

“Here in Boston, we welcome immigrants from around the world who want to call our city home. We work every day to connect them with the opportunities and access to services that will empower them to reach their full potential,” Mayor Menino said. “I’m proud to celebrate tonight with so many friends and supporters as we honor an extraordinary group of individuals who have worked so hard to continue to break down barriers for their fellow Bostonians.”

This year’s honorees include:

  • George A. Russell, Executive Vice President, State Street Corporation with the We Are Boston Leadership Award, for his many inspiring contributions in education and workforce talent development, as well as his leadership in a city-wide effort to address youth violence.
  • Jim Hogan, Senior Group Vice President of Stores, New England, Target Corporations with the Corporate Courage Award, for demonstrating consistent commitment in creating opportunities for Boston’s diverse communities to thrive and be successful.
  • Clementina M. Chéry, President and CEO of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute with the Community Champion Award, for nurturing a dialogue and inspiring action to facilitate the full integration of immigrants in Boston and beyond.
  • Edwin Soto, 2013 Class Valedictorian, Boston International High School and Newcomers Academy with the Youth Action Award for translating the perseverance, courage and idealism of New Bostonians into action and making significant contributions to empower their communities.

The $200,000 in funds, raised through this year’s Gala, will help support the English for New Bostonians project, a city-private-community partnership providing access to English classes to more than 1,000 New Bostonians.

Since its inception in 2006, the We Are Boston Gala has been ONB’s flagship annual event.  The gala has attracted thousands of friends and supporters over the years, to celebrate and support the dreams, drive and contributions of the immigrant and diverse communities of Boston and across the Commonwealth. This year’s gala is made possible with the generous support of State Street Corporation, Eastern Bank, Target, Tufts Medical Center, DTZ, Clear Channel Outdoor and other sponsors.

In 1998, Mayor Thomas M. Menino created the Office of New Bostonians to ensure that new immigrants have full access to the civic, economic, social and cultural life of Boston. ONB established a nationally-recognized model for assisting newcomers in overcoming the barriers and challenges of immigration. For more information, please visit