A central component of Wily’s program is community — the Wily “Pack.” Wily frequently hosts events for Scholars to come together. However, Wily events are not just about sharing a meal or seeing a movie – the program facilitates opportunities for Scholars to connect: a place to belong, to be accepted, to get to know and rely on each other, to develop connections that will serve them now and into their future.
Wily Community Days
In 2019, Scholars, coaches and staff were fortunate to come together for two Wily Community Day celebratons. These fall and spring events have become a foundation of our programming. Because each year we say goodbye to our graduates and welcome new faces, it is essential to create opportunities for social interaction and meaningful connection. Scholars relish the opportunity to gather with their peers from other schools. On both occasions, we enjoyed a great turnout, beautiful weather, fun games and activities (some challenging, some relaxing), and delicious meals. Each COmmunity Day reinforces and strengthens the relationships in our Pack, providing a powerful resource for Scholars: each other.
Dining Out with Wily
Each month, a local restaurant hosts Wily Scholars and staff for dinner. The meal is provided at no cost to the students, which makes for a relaxing night free of financial worry and a welcome distraction from the hectic pace of campus and the pressures of academics. Some restaurants offer a prix fixe meal, and at others Scholars can order from the menu. Many times the restaurant arranges for a private room, which enhances the Scholars’ experience of sharing this time with their Wily peers. We at Wily are so grateful for partnerships with Myers + Chang, The Local, Commonwealth, the Fairmont Copley hotel, Trade, Sweet Cheeks, Dillon’s, Boston Public Market and Stella and for their generous in-kind donations.
The vast majority of Wily Scholars receive financial aid. Each year, Wily’s Financial Aid Coach schedules a “FAFSA Day” at each college to work with Scholars to prepare their FAFSA applications and CSS profiles. The Financial Aid Coach answers Scholars’ questions about the complicated criteria and requirements to ensure their eligibility for financial support is confirmed and maximized. Outside of FAFSA Day, Scholars have the opportunity to work with the Financial Aid Coach individually on their specific concerns, ranging from filing taxes to documenting their status as financially independent.
With Wily, I felt like I wasn’t doing this alone. And something that’s really hard to put down on paper is how much of a family environment Wily has fostered. I’ve met kids in the Boston area that had similar upbringings as mine, understood the situations I’ve been in. But also have similar career aspirations of mine. And I can say that with Wily, I have not only financial support but … You know, family support here in Boston that I can go to with any worries. So, with Wily I am able to do so much more than I would have been able to do.