Two KIPP Massachusetts Students Receive $60,000 Each from the Dave Goldberg Scholarship Program

Scholarship provides non-tuition financial assistance and mentorship 

Lynn, Mass – May 3, 2021 – Today the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) Foundation and the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation (SGFF) announced two KIPP Massachusetts students have been selected as 2021 recipients of the Dave Goldberg Scholarship. Bhenzel Cadet and Indy Rodriguez were among the 16 selected from hundreds of applicants and will join the 60 students already in the program.  This video shows the moment most of the students, including Indy, received the news they had been selected for the scholarship and a special welcome message from Sheryl Sandberg.

“When we created this program, we hoped to honor Dave’s memory by lifting up a new generation of leaders who embody his best qualities,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org. “Finding ways to keep his memory alive—to do the good he would be doing if he were still with us—means the world to our family. We are thrilled to welcome this new class of scholars, and we have so much hope for the brighter future they will build for us all.”

All 16 students in the 2021 cohort of Goldberg Scholars will receive a unique combination of financial support and mentorship during their four-year college experience. Highlights include:

  • A “Goldberg Mentor” to provide guidance and support on a regular basis throughout college
  • Critical financial support totaling approximately $15,000 a year per student to cover a range of non-tuition needs not traditionally met by college-based financial aid
  • Support from “Goldberg Connectors” – a network of professionals who will help scholars secure summer internships and job opportunities

“The Goldberg Scholarship program has been critical to assisting our outstanding KIPP alumni on their path to becoming the leaders of tomorrow. The Goldberg Connectors, who are professionals at the top of their fields, offer our alumni support and life guidance that is beyond powerful,” said Richard Barth, CEO of the KIPP Foundation.

Bhenzel Cadet

Bhenzel Cadet is a senior at KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate, headed to Bucknell University to pursue his entrepreneurial interests and aspire to major in business and marketing. He is a devoted peer counselor and teacher assistant for Algebra II. “As a first-generation college student, I do not have the institutional knowledge of how to navigate many of these collegiate systems. I am excited to meet other people who have both similar and different experiences than I have. Together, we can support one another with the shared experience of going to and through college,” said Cadet. 

Indy Rodriguez

Indy Rodriguez, also a senior at KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate, looking to major in neuroscience in the hopes to diminish the disparities in the medical field for people of color. Indy has played an active role in her community outside of school by working with a non-profit organization that targets the significant food insecurity Lynn, her town, faces. She was able to play a part in growing over 200,000 tons of organic produce donated to soup kitchens or sold to the community at an affordable price. “The Goldberg Scholarship will equip me with the mentors, network, and support system (in personal and financial aspects) that I need to serve the world best,” said Indy.

The Goldberg Scholarship Program was established by SGFF in October 2017 to support graduating high school seniors from KIPP schools across the country who have demonstrated remarkable leadership and achievement. The scholarship honors the legacy of Dave Goldberg by supporting a new generation of trailblazers who have demonstrated Dave’s qualities of leadership, resilience, achievement, character, and entrepreneurial spirit. In 2022, the program will graduate the first cohort of Goldberg Scholars, who began their undergraduate studies in 2018.  

“It means so much to me and everyone who loved him that these students will extend Dave’s legacy,” said Rob Goldberg, Dave’s brother and Founder and CEO of Fresno. “Dave believed strongly in helping people and that everyone should have an equal chance to succeed in this world. He was constantly connecting people as a way of acting on that belief. He would be so proud to see how this program is helping these amazing scholars access the opportunities they deserve.”

“As one of the fortunate ones who had the privilege of knowing Dave personally, I’ve now seen firsthand how this program embodies his spirit of helping others have every opportunity to work hard and accomplish everything possible for themselves,” said Tom Bernthal, Dave’s friend and Co-Founder and CEO of Kelton Global. “Each and every class of students amazes me with all they’ve overcome and all they’ve achieved.”

KIPP has a proven track record of helping students from educationally underserved communities develop the knowledge, skills, and character strengths necessary to succeed in college and life. KIPP currently operates 255 public charter schools educating over 112,000 students across 20 states and the District of Columbia. KIPP students graduate from four-year colleges at a rate that is above the national average for all students and approximately four times the average for students from similar economic backgrounds nationwide.

KIPP high school counselors stay in touch with their graduates through college and early into their careers. Two recent surveys of KIPP alumni in college showed that both financial and social support are critical for students to succeed and graduate. In 2016, KIPP alumni reported that they experienced financial challenges beyond tuition expenses and had limited access to career-relevant internships. In 2017, the KIPP alumni survey showed connections between students’ sense of belonging and their mental health in college. The Dave Goldberg Scholarship was designed with this research in mind. 


About the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Foundation

The Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation works to build a more equal and resilient world. SGFF brings people together to support each other through three key initiatives: LeanIn.Org, OptionB.Org, and the Dave Goldberg Scholarship Program.

About KIPP

KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of 255 public charter schools that are dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life. KIPP schools are ​part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. Started in 1994 as a middle school program, KIPP has since expanded to enroll students in all grades from pre-K through high school.

DESE Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of KIPP MA

KIPP MA – April 13th, 2021-

During the week of May 10, 2021 the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of KIPP Boston and Lynn Charter Schools. The Office of Public School Monitoring visits each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations. Areas of review related to special education include student assessments, determination of eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process, and IEP development and implementation. Areas of review related to civil rights include bullying, student discipline, physical restraint, and equal access to school programs for all students.

In addition to the onsite visit, parent outreach is an important part of the review process. The review chairperson from the Office of Public School Monitoring will send all parents of students with disabilities an online survey that focuses on key areas of their child’s special education program. Survey results will contribute to the development of a report. During the onsite review, the Office of Public School Monitoring will interview the chairperson(s) of the charter’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Other onsite activities may include interviews of district staff and administrators, reviews of student records, and onsite observations.

Parents and other individuals may contact Erin VandeVeer, Public School Monitoring Chairperson, at (781) 338- 3735 or to request a telephone interview. If an individual requires an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in an interview, the Department will make the necessary arrangements.

Within approximately 60 business days after the onsite visit, the review chairperson will provide the charter with a report with information about areas in which the district meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and areas in which the district requires assistance to correct or improve practices. The public will be able to access the report at

Four KALC Football Players off to Compete in the NESCAC This Fall

For the first time in program history, four KALC seniors were actively recruited to play collegiate football. Mike Brice (#54), Taj White-King (#5), Daniel Oluwasuyi (#3), and Dave Filias (#10) helped establish the panther football program in 2017 and because of their success the group is now heading off to college next fall to compete in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). 

Mike and Taj were recruited by several NESCAC schools, but ultimately decided on Trinity because of how they felt during their recruitment conversations with the coaching staff. Mike is a four year captain and someone head coach James Rabbitt describes as a natural leader on and off the field, and especially throughout the KIPP community. Mike explains, “because of KIPP I’m more mentally prepared, I’m mentally stronger- I’m able to take feedback, setbacks, and push forward.” While KIPP has been a huge influence over the past four years, Mike also credits his support system to his teammates and fellow captains for pushing him on the field and in the classroom. 

One of those teammates is Taj, who will be joining him at Trinity this fall. Coach Rabbitt describes Taj as “charismatic” and knows he will be successful at Trinity because he is extremely coachable. Taj, who claims he used to not be coachable, credits his development over the past four years to coach Rabbitt and his teammates. He explains, “Rabbitt and my teammates saw leadership qualities in me that I didn’t see in myself and they pushed me as much as they could – they stuck with me.”

Similar to Taj and Mike, Dave and Daniel were also recruited by a number of NESCAC schools, but the open environment and coaching staff drew them both to Middlebury. Dave, who coach Rabbitt describes as “the best player to coach on and off the field,” says he became more driven to play football at the collegiate level because of the support from coach O’Connor and fellow captain Mike Brice. Dave goes on to say that “my coaches helped build up my mental toughness, but KIPP taught me a lot about managing my work and managing my free time,” which will help prepare him to be a student athlete at Middlebury. 

Daniel will also be stepping foot on Middlebury’s campus this fall, and is a player that developed the most under coach Rabbitt’s leadership. Coach Rabbitt describes Daniel as someone who “doesn’t have a lot to say, but when he does people always listen- his teammates respect him immensely.” A quiet leader, Daniel says his biggest motivator has been his mom, “I just wanted to go to a good college so I could make her proud.”

Coach James Rabbitt reflects on the leadership of his departing seniors and the future of the program: “one thing I have to say is that all four of them have been incredible on and off the field-especially in the classroom. In football, one of the major things a coach has to do is make sure grades are up, and this group we’ve never had an issue with that. Even though we’re losing a lot of talent this year, I’m hopeful for the program. I’m hopeful that the imprint this group left on the team will be pervasive throughout the program, and that our younger players will follow in their footsteps and see what is possible for them.”

Mike, Taj, Dave, and Daniel left some words of advice to their younger teammates who are hoping to play at the collegiate level. The key points: Trust your teammates, make sacrifices, work hard on the field and in the classroom, and don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. 

We cannot wait to see what Mike, Dave, Daniel, and Taj accomplish at Middlebury and Trinity. Their excitement to start their next athletic and academic chapter is palpable – they are eager to step foot on campus, meet their new teammates, and make an impact. We’ll all have to tune in for the Middlebury versus Trinity showdown next season!

If you’re a Trinity, Middlebury, or NESCAC alum and are interested in connecting with our players or supporting our athletic program please email Rebecca Hazlett at

About Trinity College

Trinity is a private liberal arts college located in Hartford, CT. Trinity enrolls 2,235 students and offers 41 majors and 28 interdisciplinary minors. The college is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

About Middlebury College

Middlebury is a private liberal arts college located in Middlebury, VT. Middlebury College currently enrolls 2,526 undergraduates from all 50 states and 74 countries and offers 44 majors. The college is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

About KIPP Massachusetts

KIPP Massachusetts is part of a non-profit network of college preparatory, public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. KIPP MA operates five public charter schools across Boston and Lynn, serving more than 2,000 students in grades K-12. KIPP MA has a 15-year track record of preparing students in educationally under-served communities for success in college and life.

About KIPP

KIPP is a non-profit network of college-preparatory public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. There are 242 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia educating over 100,000 students on their path to and through college, careers, and life. KIPP believes that great teachers and school leaders, a supportive learning environment, and an emphasis on both academics and character are the foundation for student success. KIPP students complete college at a rate that is above the national average for all students and four times higher than that of students from similar economic backgrounds.

KALC Football Stays Undefeated Heading Into Lynn Tech Game

March 21st, 2021- As featured in the Lynn Item by Mike Alongi below:

LYNN — The KIPP football team overcame a slow start and had a huge second half Saturday afternoon, eventually rolling to a 33-6 win over Greater Lowell Tech at Manning Field. The defense was the story for KIPP, as the Panthers allowed less than 100 yards of total offense for the entire game.

“To be honest, we didn’t have the greatest week of practice and it definitely translated into the start of this game,” said KIPP coach Jim Rabbitt. “We came out with a sloppy start and made plenty of mistakes, and we needed our defense to bail us out a bit at the start. Eventually we were able to get back to our style of football and I was happy with the way the guys responded.”

Quarterback Piero Canales got into a great passing rhythm, completing 10-of-17 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for one touchdown. Running back Dave Filias stepped into the backfield after Daniel Oluwasuyi went down with an injury, and Filias finished with 117 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Victor Mafo had four receptions for 57 yards and one touchdown, while Joseph Tolentino had two receptions for 35 yards and one touchdown.

After a three-and-out on their first offensive possession of the game, KIPP forced a three-and-out on defense to get the ball right back. The Panthers capitalized this time around, running a seven-play drive that was capped off with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Canales to Tolentino to make it 6-0.

KIPP’s offense couldn’t get on the scoreboard for the rest of the first half, but the Panthers’ defense made sure that initial score held up. KIPP held Greater Lowell to -17 yards of total offense in the first half, never allowing a play of more than five yards at any point.

“I think we have one of the best defenses in the North Shore, and our guys have really rallied around the idea of not giving the other team an inch,” said Rabbitt. “Our guys really fly around on defense, they’re ball-hawks and they make plays. I’m really proud of the way those guys have stepped up.”

Despite having been in control for the entire first half, KIPP was in danger of throwing that all away early in the second half when Greater Lowell connected for a 73-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 6-6. But the veteran KIPP group never wavered, as the Panthers responded with an eight-play, 70-yard drive of their own and retook the lead after a 16-yard touchdown run by Filias.

From there, it was all KIPP. The Panthers’ defense held strong for the rest of the game, while Canales rushed for a touchdown and threw another to Mafo. Filias also rushed for another touchdown in the offensive barrage to close out the game.

KIPP (2-0) takes on cross-town rival Tech Friday night (7:30).

“We didn’t even need to tell the guys who we’re playing next week, they already know and they’re excited for it,” said Rabbitt. “This is a Thanksgiving rivalry game even though it’s not Thanksgiving, so we know everyone is going to be pumped up to play. We’re expecting our guys to rise to the occasion.”