Essex Tech Receives Three-Year, $150,000 Grant from Cummings Foundation
Essex Tech students hold a sign thanking the Cummings Foundation for a three-year, $150,000 grant that will help fund the creation of a STEAM Academy on campus.

HATHORNE – Superintendent Heidi Riccio is pleased to announce that Essex Tech has received a three-year, $150,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation.

The grant will be paid out in $50,000 installments over three years, and will be used to help fund construction projects such as renovation of Gallant Hall to create a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) academy.

Grant funds will be used to pay students and teachers who will work on the project during the summer and school vacations.

As the need for additional seats at Essex Tech continues to rise, the school is taking advantage of existing space that can be renovated. This space is located on the south side of campus. The STEAM Academy will include space for Design & Media Communications, Engineering Technology, and Information Technology.

Students in the building trades will renovate the space over the summer months. Students will also add space on the main campus by creating classrooms and an integration learning space in a former vocational program area.

“We are incredibly excited and grateful to have received this grant, which will help us renovate Gallant Hall to add a much-needed STEAM academy,” said Superintendent Riccio. “This grant allows us to provide additional opportunities for experiential technical learning during renovation. The new academy bridges like programs where they share content and equipment. This will enhance opportunities to integrate curricula for our students enrolled in these programs with the intention of deeper learning.”

Essex Tech is one of 150 local nonprofits that will share in $30 million through the Cummings Foundation’s major annual grants program. The Hathorne-based organization was selected from a total of 630 applicants during a competitive review process.

The Cummings $30 Million Grant Program primarily supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.

“The way the local nonprofit sector perseveres, steps up, and pivots to meet the shifting needs of the community is most impressive,” said Cummings Foundation Executive Director Joyce Vyriotes. “We are incredibly grateful for these tireless efforts to support people in the community and to increase equity and access to opportunities.”

Foundation volunteers discuss grant applications and determine which requests would be funded. Among these community volunteers are business and nonprofit leaders, mayors, college presidents, and experts in areas such as finance and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion).

The Foundation and volunteers identified 150 organizations to receive three-year grants of up to $225,000 each. The winners included first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings grants.

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including housing and food insecurity, workforce development, immigrant services, social justice, education, and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 46 different cities and towns.

Cummings Foundation has now awarded $480 million to greater Boston nonprofits. The complete list of this year’s 150 grant winners, plus nearly 1,500 previous recipients, is available at

About the Cummings Foundation

The Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences, LLC. Additional information is available at

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