LYNN — The KIPP Family and Community Learning Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary serving as a hub for community education and fellowship for Lynn’s families.

The KIPP Family and Community Learning Center in Lynn began at 25 Bessom St, KIPP Lynn Academy’s first location. In 2012, when KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate High School opened at 90 High Rock St, the Center moved there. Though the programs are run by KIPP Schools, the classes are open to all—60 percent of participants are not KIPP parents themselves. Participants live in Lynn and surrounding communities with people from more than 40 countries attending the school. More than 2,000 people in 10 years have taken part in the free programming, and today more than 300 adult learners are enrolled, with a wait list of 700.

KIPP’s long-range plan is to offer free adult education to more than 700 Lynn residents.

The Family and Community Learning Center in Lynn offers classes such as English as a Second Language, Financial and Computer Literacy and Zumba—with free child care for the duration of each session. The classes take place at 90 High Rock on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6-8 pm.

The Center also hosts potlucks, book clubs, movie nights, and civic engagement classes, as well as workshops on parenting, housing, and fuel assistance.

Hugo Carvajal, Director of Family and Community Learning, has been at the helm of this program since its inception. Carvajal built the program from just a few classes a decade ago to over 20 classes being taught for 12 hours weekly in Lynn and Boston.

“Lifelong learning does have a transformational impact,” said Carvajal, “and research from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard has demonstrated that building adult capabilities improves child outcomes.”

The Center also offers immigration and citizenship workshops and 50 community members became U.S. citizens through the Center’s programming.
“I am so grateful for being able to receive classes provided by the Family and Community Learning program. Thanks to the citizenship classes, I am now a US citizen, and even though I’ve been eligible to become a citizen for a long time, it wasn’t until I received those classes and guidance from the professor that made me feel ready to begin the naturalization process,” said participant Yaniris Rojas.

The Family and Community Learning Center in Lynn is also a site for voter registration, and free for use for local groups including Entrepreneurship for All, La Vida Scholars, the Highlands Coalition, the Lynn City Council (Mayoral Debate and a Ward 4 Polling Site) and others who have been able to offer programming to support the Lynn community.

“KIPP is an anchor in this community,” said Kevin Moforte, Executive Director of Entrepreneurship for All in Lynn. “They open their doors to organizations like ours and others to be able to work and collaborate on programs. KIPP is incredibly generous with their resources. They are always trying to bring the city and people of Lynn together to work to make Lynn a better place.”


BY HAROLD RIVERA | January 29, 2018

LYNN — New KIPP Academy boys basketball coach David White didn’t know what to expect when he was hired to direct the Panthers in October. White knew he’d be the third head coach in as many years for the Panthers and he was aware that the team was coming off a successful season last winter.

Fast forward to the end of January and things are looking great for White and his KIPP squad. The Panthers are 8-1 this winter and improving on a day by day basis as they adjust to White’s coaching system. KIPP won its first eight games before dropping a close contest at MATCH, a 56-55 loss, this past Friday.

“It’s a good feeling. It has been a great start,” White, an Everett resident, said. “They didn’t get off to such a fast start last season but they finished strong. The guys that were here last season are doing a good job getting adjusted to my coaching style. I’ve pushed them and they’re embracing it. It’s a good feeling but we still have a lot of work to do.”

A native of Medford, White was a former hoops star for the Mustangs who went on to play college basketball at Division III Springfield College. He spent a combined 13 years as an assistant and head coach at Medford High before serving as an assistant for the past two seasons at Methuen.

He took the helm at KIPP knowing that the Panthers had talent on their roster, but the strong start has been a pleasant surprise.

“I knew that they had some talent,” White said. “I knew they went to the (MCSAO) championship game last year and lost a close one. That’s really all I knew about them, until I got to see them. I knew we’d have a good team but I didn’t how good we’d be basketball wise.”

Leading the Panthers in scoring this season is senior guard Dominic Jette, a multi-sport athlete who was also on the school’s football team this past fall. Jette’s averaging 17 points per game this season.

In the paint, first-year starter Abdoul Barry has had a stellar season. Barry, a junior center, ranks second on the team in scoring at 15 points per game while leading in rebounds at nine boards per contest.

Running the offense is sophomore point guard Andrew Puati, who also played football this past fall. Puati averages five points and five assists per contest while assuming a “little things” role.

“Andrew’s one of those guys does the things that don’t always show up on the stat sheet,” White said. “He’s averaging about five assists a game and he does all the little things for us, the intangibles.”

Defensively, the Panthers have clamped down on their opponents. KIPP’s allowing 35 points per game, a testament to the work they’ve put in on the defensive end in practice.

“Defense is number one,” White said. “I’m a defensive-minded coach. If our guys don’t defend, they won’t play. The next thing’s effort. We don’t want to be outworked. We also stress fundamentals and character.”

Part of White’s coaching philosophy also includes hard work in the classroom. While the Panthers are off to a strong start on the court, the players are doing just as well on the academic end.

“Academically the team’s doing very well,” White said. “The guys are doing a great job in the classroom and I’m super proud of them for that. On the court, we’re doing a great job staying together. We’re doing a good job being a family. We preach a family approach. Everybody’s contributing, whether they’re playing a lot or not. It’s a great team effort all around.”

As they aim to get back to the MSCAO championship game, the Panthers will need to buckle down on the fundamentals. White believes his KIPP squad is at its best when it plays fundamentally sound basketball.

“We need to improve on fundamental basketball,” White said. “I came in assuming they had those fundamentals down. When we play fundamentally sound, we’re really hard to beat. When we don’t, we let other teams hang around with us. It’s a constant thing for us, playing fundamentally sound basketball.

“Our main goal is to win a championship,” White added. “I think the mix between my coaching style and their hard work will help us bring it home. We’re expecting to compete and have a good chance to win every game. We believe our preparation will help us get over the top.”

KIPP hosts Phoenix Chelsea tonight (6:30).



This year’s KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate Class of 2018 Posse and Questbridge scholars, (from left to right, front row) Brenda Torres (Hamilton), Taysha Gell (Vassar), Yamilex Perez Figuereo (Davidson), back row Andrew Doane (Bucknell), Oliver Pyram. (Courtesy Photo)

LYNN — Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) Academy is celebrating a record for scholarships awarded to the charter school’s high school students.

KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate (high school) seniors Brenda Torres, Andrew Doane, and Oliver Pyram have been selected as Posse Scholars, awarded by the renowned Posse Foundation. Seniors Taysha Gell and Yamilex Perez Figuereo have been selected as Questbridge Scholars. KIPP also announced three students have received early decisions on admission to higher education institutions of their choice this fall: Elizabeth Agbedun (Mt. Holyoke College), Amana Fernandes (Tufts University) and Jennifer Uchendu (Emory University).

“We are so proud of these student leaders and have great expectations for their futures,” said Drea DeAngelo, KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate high school leader. “Each of these scholars represent the very best of what Lynn has to offer and we know the colleges they attend will benefit from having them as a part of their community.”

Torres will attend Hamilton College in the fall. She plans to double major in Computer Science and Biology, play Division 3 soccer and study abroad. She would like to become a physician for athletes since she is passionate about sports.

She was on the KIPP waitlist for a year and attended another high school while she waited for a seat. But in 2015, her younger brother — then a 5th grader — got a spot at KIPP Lynn through the school lottery. This moved Torres off the waitlist as well.

“I can’t believe I was given this amazing opportunity. With the help of KIPP’s college counseling team, and rigorous courses throughout my high school years, I was able to make my parents happy and stress-free as I go into college paying about $5,000 a year in total,” Torres said. “I am still applying to more scholarships with the help of KIPP’s college counseling team. They truly don’t stop caring and helping all of us who are nearing graduation.”

Perez Figuereo, a Questbridge scholar, plans to attend Davidson College in the fall.

“Senior year I really understood how much impact KIPP has had in my success.  If it wasn’t for the college counselors I would not have the opportunities and experiences I was given access to,” she said. ” I am a Posse Finalist and Questbridge Scholar thanks to the unconditional support and dedication of my college counselors.”