MARLBOROUGH – A number of Marlborough High School (MHS) students will get free online SAT and AP test preparation help thanks to a recent donation from Quest Diagnostics.
Quest representatives presented the $97,350 award at a Marlborough School Committee meeting on March 22. MHS Principal Dan Riley, in turn, thanked Quest, Mayor Arthur Vigeant and the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for organizing the program.
The program had launched just two weeks prior, already drawing 60 students to enroll as of March 22, according to Riley.
Riley said that the program will now run for two full years, supporting up to 300 students. He added that MHS will measure the effectiveness of the program using milestones such as “enrollment, achievement and postsecondary prep outcomes.”
Quest operates a large-scale lab facility on Forest Street near the Advanced Math and Science Academy.
Speaking on March 22, Vice President and General Manager of Quest Diagnostics North Region Karthik Kuppusamy referred to his company’s Quest for Health Equity initiative. That, he said, is part of Quest’s efforts to address disparities that communities face with respect to health care.
“But we also know there is something called social determinants of health,” he said. “…Specifically education equity is as important as health care equity.”
Kuppusamy said this test prep program will provide an important gateway for students to colleges and the rest of the world. It will also help improve the quality of life for students and their families, he said.
Kuppusamy added that, while the donation is not like the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” – referring to a viral online challenge that raised awareness and donations for research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – many companies in Marlborough have the chance to contribute to the city’s community.
MEDC Executive Director Meredith Harris thanked Quest and praised their willingness to be innovative.
“When you originally came to us, it was talking about something different, health equity, and it’s really impressive to see companies like yours being willing to think outside the box and get involved with us on a different level,” Harris said.
Harris said that the program will make a huge difference for many students.
“It is the ice bucket challenge, we’ll say that here now,” Harris joked. “Hopefully all of the other companies will follow suit.”