Mission and History


Beacon Academy closes the achievement 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.


Founded in 2005 by Cindy Laba and Marsha Feinberg, our school is the only one of its kind in the country. Cindy and Marsha are uniquely suited to lead Beacon Academy because of their combined past experiences in social work, education, and non-profit leadership. Cindy had the idea for an extra year of school between 8th and 9thgrades after her work at a Boston charter high school. She was deeply disappointed by what she saw, especially compared to the education that the children of her more affluent friends were receiving in private schools. Cindy started Beacon Academy because she believes deeply in the ability of low-income students to excel in competitive educational environments, in their ability to positively impact school communities and in the social injustice currently characterizing our school systems.

A wing of classrooms in Temple Israel, located on Longwood Avenue in Boston, has been our home since the day we started. Temple Israel offers us the space for a nominal fee (approximately $35 a day), which dramatically cuts our costs and allows us to invest in our students rather than infrastructure. We quickly learned that students came to school hungry, so we added breakfast, lunch and some dinners at Simmons College to our program. The racial composition of our student and alumni body is 57% black, 28% Latinx, 3% white, 3% Asian and 9% are bi-racial.