For Release: For Immediate Release CONTACTS:
Melissa Berczuk – John Hancock
Terrence Donilon - Archdiocese of Boston
John Hancock Financial Pledges $1 Million to the Campaign for Catholic Schools
Funds to support literacy and history programs, faculty recruitment and the Freedom Trail Foundation involvement
Boston, Mass. – March 26, 2012 – John Hancock Financial today announced the company has pledged $1 million over five years to the Campaign for Catholic Schools in support of Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy (PJPIICA), the largest elementary school in Boston.
The gift, announced in ceremonies at the Academy’s Columbia Campus in Dorchester, will be used to support successful literacy programs for English and non-English language learners, and recruitment programs to improve faculty diversity. Given on behalf of its employees in celebration of its 150th anniversary year, this gift emphasizes John Hancock Financial’s commitment to its long-standing mission to support Boston’s youth most in need.
“As we celebrate our 150th anniversary, I’m proud we’re able to provide this meaningful gift to benefit the next generation of leaders in our city,” said Jim Boyle, president of John Hancock Financial. “This gift, along with additional civic engagement activities, underscores our deep commitment to ensuring the educational success of Boston’s students and supports Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy in carrying out its important work.”
In keeping with its tradition of creating innovative programs, John Hancock is supplementing its financial gift with a robust in-school history program. The company has deepened its partnership with the Freedom Trail Foundation to deliver a custom-designed supplemental history and civics curriculum to PJPIICA’s students. On behalf of John Hancock Financial, the Freedom Trail Foundation will provide a special American Revolution history education kit, with year-round activities and materials, including comprehensive lesson plans to guide teachers. Additionally, John Hancock’s strong core of employee volunteers will spend time with students on special activities throughout the five years.
“We are grateful to John Hancock Financial for this generous gift given in support of Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy,” said Cardinal Seán O’Malley. “This significant contribution will make a meaningful difference in the lives of the students attending the Academy and, through the students’ success and achievements, have a positive impact on their families and the local community. We are blessed by John Hancock’s commitment to the neighborhoods of the City of Boston.”
Regional Director of PJPIICA, Russ Wilson, said, "On behalf of the students, faculty, and staff of the Academy, I extend our deepest gratitude to John Hancock Financial. I consider this gift to be a blessing upon all our students that will enrich their educational experience and empower them to be the authors of the next chapter in Boston’s rich history.”
“The Freedom Trail Foundation is honored to be part of John Hancock Financial’s admirable and ambitious program with PJPIICA,” said Mimi La Camera, president of the Freedom Trail Foundation. “We have worked with John Hancock Financial on other education initiatives and know that their commitment to the betterment of youth education, particularly those students most in need, is at the core of their corporate strategy. Our commitment to tell the stories of the American Revolution and the establishment of the country to form a well informed citizenry matches their goals in this and our previous partnerships with them.”
Campaign for Catholic Schools Chairman Jack Connors, Jr. said, “A founding father of our country, John Hancock stood for values such as integrity, consistency, and enduring support. We also know that charity was important in his life and that he helped a lot of people with his personal wealth. In making this gift to help educate Boston’s children, John Hancock Financial is reaffirming its long-term commitment to the company’s corporate values, the same ones John Hancock the American patriot lived by – and the same ones we promote here at Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy. We are so grateful to Jim Boyle and everyone at John Hancock Financial for this tremendous gift and educational partnership. We wish them at least 150 more wonderful years as a world-class leader in insurance and financial services.”
More than 200 PJPIICA students attended the announcement ceremony and were treated to a visit from the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars program’s 18th century costumed “John Hancock,” as well as interactive re-enactments of the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. In addition, The Bostonian Society loaned a number of artifacts owned by the patriot John Hancock for viewing by the students as part of the celebration.
John Hancock Financial
John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, John Hancock celebrates 150 years of serving clients across the United States, while Manulife celebrates its 125th anniversary. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, Manulife Financial Corporation offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$500 billion (US$491 billion) as at December 31, 2011. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.
Campaign for Catholic Schools (CCS):
The Campaign for Catholic Schools is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charged with raising the philanthropic funds required to implement major systemic changes to strengthen urban Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Boston. The CCS’s work comes out of the recommendations of a two-year strategic planning effort called the 2010 Initiative for Catholic Education (2005-07) and encompasses significant reforms in: school consolidation, governance and management; academic and faith formation curricula; technology; enrollment marketing and fundraising; and facilities and infrastructure. The CCS is focused first where the needs are greatest: inner city Catholic elementary schools. Since 2007, the Campaign for Catholic Schools has raised $60 million for school systems in Brockton, Dorchester/Mattapan, South Boston and Gloucester. For more information, please visit
Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy:
Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy is the largest elementary school (private or public) in Boston, educating 30% of all Catholic elementary school students in the city. The Academy serves over 1,300 students in Grades PreK-8 on four campuses in Dorchester and Mattapan and welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds. In part because of its size and complexity, it is considered to be the flagship school in turnaround efforts in urban Catholic education set in motion by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley through the 2010 Initiative in Catholic Education (2005-07) and chaired by Boston business and civic leader Jack Connors, Jr. The Academy’s goal is to provide its ethnically and culturally diverse students with a high quality, effective, values-based educational foundation that will prepare them to be accepted to and matriculate at the best high schools, and later colleges, putting them on the path to better futures. For more information, please visit
About the Archdiocese of Boston:
The Diocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of 1.8 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 288 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 42,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach. Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit
Freedom Trail Foundation:
The Freedom Trail Foundation is the non-profit organization established in 1964 to market and help preserve the 16 sites of Boston’s Freedom Trail. In addition, the Foundation offers educational programs, including the Freedom Trail Scholars program, to support and supplement the American history curriculum in schools in Boston, Massachusetts and other New England states. Engaging, effective, interactive in-school and out-of-school programs help meet curriculum goals and also include teacher training, curriculum guides, bibliographies, and other teaching materials. The Foundation has presented the Freedom Trail Scholars program to over 10,000 school children. For more information, please visit