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Mission Statement: Reach Higher MA is a diverse coalition of educators that collaborate to inspire all students to pursue, persist and achieve post-secondary aspirations.



The next RHM Coalition Quarterly meeting -

Thursday, February 1, 2024

8:30 AM to 10:00 AM





RHM and the MA State App Fee-Free Day encouraged 1,363 students to apply to college!






Meet your Reach Higher

Massachusetts Leadership Team!









2023 Convening Program!


'Welcome and Keynote Video



Convening Panel Discussion




University Logos | Fitchburg State University

Reaching Higher Massachusetts 2023 Convening 

Reaching Higher Massachusetts: Helping Students Create

Their Vision for the Future Through Post-Secondary Planning


This is a FREE professional development opportunity sponsored by RHM and Fitchburg State University!



About Reach Higher Massachusetts

Reach Higher Massachusetts was born when Bob Bardwell, Ruth Carrigan, Mark Bilotta, Tim Poynton, Scott Solberg and other charter members attended an event in Jacksonville, Florida in 2014. Then First Lady Michelle Obama had begun an initiative supporting school counselors and it was EXCITING! 

The RHM Leadership Team continued with Bob, Ruth, Tim, Scott and Mark, adding Jackney Joseph from the MA Business Alliance and Laura Dziorny from the Rennie Center. With Bob's leadership, the team created a mission and set out to do the work Michelle Obama motivated them to do! 

Mrs. Obama would go on to work alongside and celebrate school counselors until the end of her time as First Lady ended in 2016. She gave her final address as First Lady to school counselors. Even after leaving The White House, Mrs. Obama continued to support college and career readiness and inspire school counselors and those working with students. Creating Civic Nation and Better Make Room.

Today’s Leadership Team consists of nine members from various schools and organizations around Massachusetts, still continuing the work Mrs. Obama inspired back in 2014. Over the last nine years the team has grown and changed, but the commitment to first generation, low income and underrepresented students continues!

Current team photo from left to right: Ruth Carrigan-Whitman-Hanson HS, Taryn Tomkins-MassEdCO, Apelila Joseph-MEFA, Nyal Fuentes-DESE, Tim Poyton-UMASS Boston, Kevin Fudge-ASA, Christine Scafidi-GEAR UP/DHE, Scott Solberg-BU, Julie Shields-Rutyna-MEFA.


The Massachusetts School Counselor Association (MASCA) is pleased to host this page on behalf of ReachHigherMA.

Massachusetts School Counselors Association, Inc.  
All Right Reserved.

MASCA deeply values its diverse membership and is fully committed to creating an organization where each individual is welcomed, included, respected and empowered.  No person will be excluded from MASCA on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation or military status, or for any other discriminatory reason. These activities include, but are not limited to, appointment of its Governing Board, hiring or firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and the providing of services.  This policy is fundamental to the effective functioning of MASCA as an organization that supports counselors and promotes equity in our schools, districts and the Commonwealth.

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