Supporting the Next Generation

December 16, 2014

Just as a custom-made piece of furniture, a hand-made violin or a bespoke piece of jewelry gets handed down from generation to generation, the skills needed to work in the trades or become an artisan also get passed from generation to generation.

Violin Making graduate Francesco Rowe, VM '15

The value of a mentor when learning hand skills is invaluable. The wisdom and experience gained from years of work and practice is absorbed by students who watch, listen and learn.

North Bennet Street School is an incubator for the next generation of artisans and skilled trade professionals. Classes are small – a maximum of 13 students per instructor – and students spend the majority of their time practicing skills in dedicated work spaces with experienced instructors nearby to answer questions and provide guidance.

This type of education, with a high teacher-to-student ratio, and significant space requirements, each student has dedicated work space, is expensive. Higher education tuition is rising rapidly at all schools and NBSS is no exception. The school strives to keep tuition affordable and offer scholarships to students in need. Thanks to the generous support of donors, the school was able to offer 52 students, approximately 30% of the student body, scholarships. The total amount of NBSS scholarship support in this academic year is $300,000.

While this is a significant level of support, we are not yet meeting the need. There are dozens of talented individuals who are not able to enroll in North Bennet Street School due to financial limitations. Students who do receive scholarships speak eloquently about the value of the support they receive.

Francesco Rowe, a violin making student says “Student loans help pay for school, support from my mother allows me to focus on the program, but scholarship aid makes it possible to pursue violin making.”

Help an individual learn a skill and gain a meaningful career – gifts to North Bennet Street School are tax deductible.

Violin Making & Repair Program