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.
Fall & Spring Community Day
During the summer of 2018, as the program was growing from 17 Wily Scholars to 28 to start the 2018-2019 school year, we decided to try and bring Scholars from all seven colleges together. In October 2018, this dream became a reality… Wily Community Day was born. The event was so successful, the Scholars immediately asked to do it again, but didn’t want to wait a year! We now gather for Community Day twice each year, in October and April. Scholars and staff take part in organized activities like workshops and discussions, as well as play games, hang out, and simply get to know each other better.
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.