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  Wednesday, March 4, 2015
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xtra xtra!
Steppingstone Foundation Update
By Rick Winterson


                        Anthony Flaherty, a                     Ngoc-Tran Minh Vu,

                        Steppingstone Academy              a Steppingstone

                        Academy member, who               graduate, who has

                        is going to Fessenden.                accepted Brown



     About a year ago (Online’s June 5, 2005, issue, page four), we reported on a young lady from Old Colony.  Her name is Ngoc-Tran Minh Vu – she likes to be called “Tran” – and she’s a graduate of the Steppingstone Academy. 

     The Steppingstone Academy and its companion course of study, Academy Nine, are tuition-free intensive programs that prepare motivated students for acceptance and success in Boston’s best independent and exam schools.  These two programs aren’t easy.  They are both taught outside of regular school hours, several afternoons a week plus Saturdays, and they require two six-week intensive courses during summer vacations.  But they work very well.

     After completing her requirements as a Steppingstone scholar, Tran was accepted at the Winsor School, where she is finishing her high school requirements.  She hoped to attend a liberal arts college in New England, and her dream has come true.  She was accepted at Brown University, the prestigious Ivy League college in Providence, where she’ll begin studying in September.

     Not only that, Tran has been awarded a full Gates Millennium Scholarship, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Her plans are to obtain a Masters in Education and then join “Teach for America”, an organization that provides skilled teachers to underserved areas in the U.S.  This summer, she will journey to Vietnam to renew family roots.  It will be her first visit since the Vu family obtained a visa and left there in 1992.

     Anthony Flaherty is the 13-year-old son of Sherry and Fran Flaherty.  The Flaherty family lives on Bolton Street.  Anthony has been a scholar in the Steppingstone Foundation’s Academy Nine program since last summer.  He is graduating from St. Peter’s School this spring; he’ll complete the Academy Nine six-week intensive program later in the summer.

     Anthony has been accepted into the Fessenden School in Newton, where he will be a boarding student.  Fessenden enrolls 480 boys, and it offers electives in media like television.  One of Anthony’s possible future interests is news broadcasting, so he is delighted with how well Fessenden’s facilities fit his ambitions.

     Despite the demanding schedule in Academy Nine, Anthony points with pride to his athletic pursuits.  He plays both hockey and baseball, managing to squeeze in practices and games between his scholastic schedules at St. Peter’s and Academy Nine.

     Both Tran and Anthony endorse the Steppingstone Academy and Academy Nine programs enthusiastically.  These programs enabled them to achieve the scholastics they needed as a platform for their educational plans.  The Steppingstone Foundation is located at 77 Summer Street in Downtown Boston.

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