Daily News

MCLA’s LEAD Academy Expands with Support from Greylock Federal Credit Union

NORTH ADAMS — LEAD Academy, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) almost two-decade-old program to help new students integrate into college life, is getting a huge boost thanks to Greylock Federal Credit Union.

Greylock pledged $100,000 to support a reimagined Greylock LEAD Academy, allowing the program to grow from around 30 MCLA students each year to this fa­ll’s cohort of 200 participants. Thanks to Greylock’s generosity, LEAD is now available to all MCLA first-year students at no cost.

“Our LEAD program has a long history of being incredibly successful at boosting student retention rates,” MCLA President James Birge said. “With help from Greylock Federal Credit Union, we now are able to offer this meaningful experience to all of our incoming first-year students.”

LEAD, which stands for Leadership, Education, Action, and Development, is a college success, leadership, and civic-engagement program designed to help students develop leadership skills and the skills necessary for college preparation, which they can immediately apply. Beginning Aug. 26, this year’s LEAD students will participate in a holistic onboarding experience before the start of fall classes. The first five days will provide a signature experience focusing on leadership development, team building, community building, and workshops conducted by student leaders.

“Greylock is excited to support this longstanding initiative, which we believe creates success for new college students in our region,” said Jennifer Connor-Shumsky, Greylock’s assistant vice president for Community Support and Events. “The LEAD Academy equips the next generation of leaders with the tools they’ll need to thrive in their academic experiences and professional development. At Greylock, we believe in the power of financial wellness, and we’re thrilled to provide support for the financial-literacy presentation during the first five days of LEAD.”