Mayor Martin Walsh attends the First Literacy Scholarship ceremony in the Eagle Room at Boston City Hall, August 15, 2019. (Mayor’s Office Photo by John Wilcox)

First Literacy New and Continuing Scholarships

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.

First Literacy scholarships have helped over 500 adult learners with mentoring and monetary support as they continue to higher education, and the next step in improving their lives. First Literacy Scholarships are awarded in recognition of students’:

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

What unites all First Literacy Scholars is their resolve to improve their lives through education. Many are the first in their families to attend college, and the way is not always easy. Most are heads of households with financial and care-giving responsibilities, and many hold more than one job. We honor their efforts and achievements at our annual Scholarship Ceremony hosted by Boston’s mayor. To watch the 2019 Scholarship Ceremony, please click here.

2019 – 2020 Scholarships

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 with the Continuing Scholarship Application. Scholarship applications and deadlines are posted here and announced every Spring to our program mailing list. To join our mailing list click here.

For our 2019-2020 applications, general description, deadlines and eligibility requirements click on the links below:

First Literacy Scholarship Information 2019
First Literacy New Scholarship Application 2019
First Literacy Continuing Scholarship Application 2019

For more information contact Terry Witherell, Executive Director, at or call 617-482-3336.

Meet Our 2019 Scholars

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
2019 — Tatiana Jean Philippe

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
2019 — Geraldine Calderon

The First Literacy Board of Directors’ Scholarship in honor of Skye Morrison Kramer recognizes Ms. Kramer’s nine years of dedicated service to First Literacy as Executive Director.
2019 — Julia Dupere