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Mission & History


Beacon Academy closes the opportunity gap for a cadre of Boston’s bright and determined students. Through education and social advocacy, we help our students create life-changing opportunities as they build lives of integrity, economic independence, and impact.


Trusted with the responsibility of an exceptional education, Beacon graduates are bold contributors to a more authentic, just, and compassionate world.


December 2003

Cindy Laba had the idea for Beacon while working at a Boston charter school and learning that just 7% of their freshmen passed all their first quarter classes. She realized these students would benefit greatly from an extra year of school and decided to create a program to address the opportunity gap in education.

July 2004

Beacon Academy was launched by founder Cindy Laba and founding Board Chair, Marsha Feinberg at the Temple Israel of Boston. The founding faculty and staff included Sally Baker, Laura Coleman, Dean Conway, Robert Greene, Cindy Laba, and Mervan Osborne. The founding Board of Trustees included Priscilla Cohen, Cindy Laba, Carolyn McClintock Peter, Victoria Monroe, Shashi Rajpal, the late Greg Ricks, and was led by founding Board Chair, Marsha Feinberg.

June 2006

Beacon Academy’s first class graduated.

first beacon academy graduation

July 2007

Marsha Feinberg officially became part of Beacon’s staff and Carolyn McClintock Peter was elected Board chair.

October 2008

Beacon Academy introduced its first Symposium.

July 2010

Patrick Day was elected Board Chair.

January 2012

Beacon Academy’s college advising program was introduced.

September 2013

Pam Dickinson was elected Board chair.

June 2015

Mervan Osborne became Head of School.

July 2018

Amy McCarthy was elected Board chair.

July 2019

The 10-year model was introduced to prepare and support Beacon students through competitive secondary schools, higher education, and careers.

July 2020

Beacon Connect launched as a career network and job board for the Beacon community.

December 2020

Founding Board Chair Marsha Feinberg retired.

June 2021

Charles E. Carter, Jr., Ph.D., LICSW joined Beacon as CEO and Head of School. Dr. Carter brings more than 25 years of experience working with and leading nonprofit organizations that focus on youth development and education, and he has committed his career to improving social and economic justice for Black and Brown communities. As Beacon’s new leader, Dr. Carter envisions Beacon as a place where students expand their brilliance and discover their power to achieve their dreams!

August 2021

Beacon moved from Temple Israel of Boston to its own building in the heart of Roslindale Village. This impressive 17,000 square foot granite church has spacious meeting areas, classrooms, and offices, which have facilitated efficient communication and collaboration among faculty and students.

beacon academy exterior of school

January 2022

Founder Cindy Laba retired.

Fall 2022

Beacon to host an open house for the community.