Commencement Speaker Announcement: James Morton, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Boston to Address SJP Students
Commencement Speaker Announcement: James Morton, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Boston to Address SJP Students

James Morton, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston, will deliver the commencement address to Saint Joseph Prep Boston's Class of 2022 on June 2, 2022. SJP's baccalaureate mass and commencement will take place at St. Columbkille Church in Brighton, MA, and will be available to view via live streaming.

Mr. Morton has been an advocate and influencer of positive change in Boston and beyond through his work with the Greater Boston YMCA, which is America's first YMCA and one of the largest private social services providers in Massachusetts, offering programs and services that nurture the potential of every child and teen, supporting healthy living and well-being, and promoting social responsibility.

His impact on the community has not gone unrecognized. In 2022, Mr. Morton was honored with the Idealist Award by Social Capital Inc. He was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Boston by Boston Magazine in 2021 for his work providing remote learning support and feeding millions of children during the pandemic. He was also recognized as one of Boston's Power 50 in 2020 by the Boston Business Journal for his leadership during the COVID-19 health crisis.

The work of Mr. Morton and the YMCA of Greater Boston closely aligns with the mission of SJP and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston (CSJ). As a former educator in Springfield, MA Public Schools, Mr. Morton has a deep personal and professional connection to education. He was the keynote speaker for Founders' Day at Regis College, a fellow CSJ sponsored ministry. His moving remarks not only highlighted the values of the Sisters of St. Joseph but also explored how key relationships helped him overcome challenges he faced growing up.

Mr. Morton visited SJP on May 3rd in preparation for his commencement address. He visited classrooms and observed some Chapel Speeches, chatted with classroom teachers and administrators, engaged with our Robotics team, and participated in a roundtable discussion with a group of graduating seniors, some of whom are embarking on a month of service at Greater Boston YMCA branches for their Senior Service Projects. SJP's Senior Service Project is an initiative through which all 12th graders spend the month before graduating doing community service at a nonprofit of their choice. SJP students will volunteer at the Oak Square,  Roxbury, Waltham, and West Roxbury YMCA branches through this initiative.

Mr. Morton serves on numerous boards and committees. He is on the board of the Lynch Foundation and Rockland Trust Board of Directors. He is also on the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Boston After School and Beyond, My Brother's Keeper Advisory Board, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Community Advisory Board, among many others. 

Mr. Morton earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, a Juris Doctorate from Northeastern University School of Law, and an Honorary Doctorate from Salem State University. 

The Saint Joseph Prep Boston community is honored to welcome James Morton as the 2022 commencement speaker. Live streaming information will be shared closer to June 2nd. 

 

James Morton learns about Saint Joseph Prep Boston's robotics team and STEAM program from SJP student Kristen Coleman '22 and STEAM Director Nia Gipson.

Members of Saint Joseph Prep Boston's Class of 2022 share their experiences with James Morton, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston, in a roundtable discussion. 

James Morton, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston, meets with Saint Joseph Prep Boston seniors embarking on their Senior Service Projects, some of whom will be volunteering at YMCA branches throughout Greater Boston. 

 

1965 Firebirds to Compete in FIRST Robotics Competition

The 1965 Firebirds, Saint Joseph Prep Boston's Robotics team, will compete this weekend in the 2022 FIRST Robotics Competition (March 18-20, March 25-27). 

Livestream the competition using this link to cheer on the team. Unfortunately, no spectators will be allowed at the competitions due to COVID-19 restrictions. Look for team 1965. 

The best time to tune in is between 2pm-7pm on Saturday, March 19, and 9:30am-12:30pm on Sunday, March 20. 

There are 18 students on the 1965 Firebirds. The team is organized into three groups: Coding, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. 

At this year's competition, robots will compete in a game called Rapid React. The 1965 Firebirds designed their robot to optimize the number of points it can earn. In order to earn points, the robot will have to perform specific tasks such as picking up and delivering game pieces and climbing rungs. At the competition, students will assume a variety of roles, including driver, pit crew, and technician. Watch this YouTube video to learn more about the game.

To build their robot, students used industry-grade tools such as GitHub, VSCode, 3D printers, and much more. Students built the robot under the guidance of Ms. Nia Gipson, Director of STEAM, as well as industry professional mentors. These professional mentors bring their real-world knowledge and expertise to collaborate with the team while building their robots. The 1965 Firebirds are sponsored by Raytheon, Analog Devices, and Akamai.

More about FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology): "The mission of FIRST® is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership."

More about FIRST Robotics Competitions: "Under strict rules, limited time and resources, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It's as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team."