First Literacy annually awards $1,000 scholarships to adults who have completed adult basic education or English language programs and are continuing on to vocational training or higher education. The scholars receive their First Literacy scholarships in recognition of their:

  • Educational achievements and potential,
  • Community service, and
  • Perseverance in the face of hardships.

All new applicants must be recent graduates of adult literacy programs located in Massachusetts. Students who have received a prior year scholarship can apply for a second year. Updated scholarship information and applications are posted every spring. Applications are usually due on or around June 1. We also mail announcements regarding the scholarship application posting to our program mailing list. For more information on First Literacy scholarships and eligibility requirements contact Evonne Peters, Program Manager, at 617-482-3336 x13 or at

2019 – 2020 Scholarships

Information at the link below provides a general description of our New and Continuing Scholarships application process and eligibility requirements. Our 2019-2020 application will be posted here in spring 2019.
First Literacy Scholarships General Information


Meet Our 2018 Scholars

Our Scholars have overcome many obstacles to continue their education; they are determined and willing to work hard. Yet, the way for these students is not always easy. Most are heads of households with financial and care-giving responsibilities. What unites all First Literacy Scholars is their resolve to improve their lives through education. While many of these adults are the first in their families to attend college, we know they will not be the last. We honor their efforts and achievements at our annual Scholarship Ceremony hosted by Boston’s mayor. To watch the 2017 Scholarship Ceremony, please click here.

First Literacy scholarships have helped over 450 adult learners with mentoring and monetary support as they continue on to higher education, taking the next step in improving their lives.

First Literacy Special Scholarships

The Mayor Thomas Menino Scholarship was created in 2014 to honor Mayor Menino’s commitment to adult literacy education and the potential of all students. Recipients are
2014 — Angelina Gigante
2015 — Jason Grant

2016 — Moses Kabwe

2017 — Marie Regine Paul
2018 — Edith Lorfils

The William Berman Scholarship recognizes Mr. Berman’s years of dedicated service to First Literacy and his love of learning throughout his life. Recipients are
2016 — Malquisua Sousa
2017 — Diandra Dawson
2018 — Adriana Echeverria