JohnsonGregIt is hard to believe that 2012 has come and gone.  Time flies at Bottom Line, especially at the end of the year when high school students are scrambling to send off their college applications and colleges students are wrapping up the fall semester and waiting anxiously for their grades.

I am pleased to say that in 2012, Bottom Line did our part to jumpstart the economy, adding 12 new full-time staff positions and producing 120 new college graduates. Some of the year’s other highlights include:

We launched our national support office and began to look at additional expansion opportunities.

Our New York office doubled in size from 4 to 8 staff and served more than 300 students in just our second year.

In September we kicked off a $5 million growth campaign in Boston and announced a $2.5 million dollar gift from the Grand Circle Foundation. Inside of 5 years, we expect to reach virtually every eligible high school and college student in Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury and provide them with Bottom Line’s one-on-one support.

We continued to refine our College Success program model and curriculum to ensure the highest level effectiveness and lead the national dialogue.

At Bottom Line, every year has been bigger and better than the last and we expect this to be true again in 2013.

  • Our NY office will once again double in size – growing from 8 to 16 employees.
  • We plan to open a second Boston location in Dorchester, MA to make it even more convenient for all Boston students who want access to our support.
  • We expect at least 160 new college graduates by Summer 2013.

As the year winds down, with few exceptions, we see very little movement on the national scene that would make our work unnecessary.  While there is constant rhetoric about making college accessible and affordable and ensuring more students graduate, the systems that surround higher education are very slow to change.  College costs continue to rise, student to counselor ratios remain ridiculously high and colleges rarely recognize that that the bureaucracies they have in place don’t yet serve the first-generation, low-income students who they enroll.

So Bottom Line must grow- we must continue to be available to serve the students who need us, and we must spread the word that there is another way.  High-quality, relationship-based advising can steer disadvantaged students towards the finish line and help build their impoverished communities that are so desperate for our help.

– Greg Johnson

CEO, Bottom Line

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Dear Friends and Supporters of Bottom Line,


16 years ago, Bottom Line began working with our first class of 25 students – helping them get in to college and graduate. We started Bottom Line because so few students were actually making it to and through college from Boston. We believed then, as we do now, that building strong relationships with students and providing meaningful long-term support would make the difference. After 16 years, with nearly 750 college graduates and a college graduation rate of 74%, we have shown that this is true.


On Wednesday September 12, we had the privilege of announcing to more than 100 of Boston’s community leaders that Bottom Line is launching a $5 million growth initiative over the next five years. We will expand our programs so that every eligible 4-year college-bound student in the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan will be able to receive Bottom Line’s support. Alan and Harriet Lewis and the Grand Circle Foundation have generously committed $2.5 million to Bottom Line over the next five years for this initiative, the largest gift in our history. We are launching a campaign to raise the second $2.5 million.


Through this ambitious plan, we will double the number of students we support in Boston – growing to nearly 2,900 high school and college students receiving our support annually, up from just over 1,400 students last year. We will focus our growth on Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan, the neighborhoods of Boston most in need of this support. And we plan to support these communities more deeply, through partnerships with the other organizations involved in the lives of our students.


As supporters and friends of Bottom Line, you already know the importance of our work, and it is entirely thanks to you that Bottom Line is able to impact the lives of so many students. We believe that growing to serve a critical mass of young people from Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan will have a ripple effect on the educational attainment, health and prosperity of those communities. As we begin this new trajectory of growth and renew and expand our commitment to the city of Boston, we look forward to sharing our success and learnings with you.


Thank you for your belief in our mission, our students, and our organization.


Mike Wasserman
Executive Director – Massachusetts

P.S. As always, if you have questions or want to learn more about our plans for community partnerships and our $2.5 million campaign, you can always contact me at or 617-524-8833.

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