North End Educational Development Fund
The North End Educational Development (NEED) Fund is the largest Hispanic nonprofit educational fund in Western Massachusetts. NEED raises funds to help underprivileged youth attend primary and secondary institutions with the ultimate goal of college education. The NEED fund was established in 1988 to provide an equal opportunity for minority students who in many cases are the first generation in their families to receive a college degree.
Since 1995, the organization has given financial assistance to more than 100 students seeking to extend their formal education through a college or university. This opportunity has allowed some of these students to pursue further ambitions such as master's degree, medical and engineering programs.
The North End Educational Development Fund College Preparatory Program was established in 2004 to give qualified Hispanic middle-school students from the North End of Springfield a "level playing field" by preparing them to compete for a quality higher education at an institution of their choice. The program requires a high standard of performance, and students must maintain a minimum B grade in all subjects to stay in the program. Once they graduate, they will be mentored through the completion of their college education.
The North End Educational Development Fund's mission to is aid in the empowerment, aspiration and character building of the Hispanic youth of the North End community through education.