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Making A Difference

Offshore Learning

Arthur Pearson (MBA 1991)

“Our classroom is a 204-acre island in Boston Harbor with two salt marshes, a fresh-water marsh, an inner tidal zone, meadows, and forests,” says Arthur Pearson (MBA 1991), president and CEO of Boston’s Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center.

Since 2005, Pearson has spearheaded a major capital campaign and expansion of the nonprofit organization’s programs, which include science education, character development, and summer learning opportunities for 6,500 local adolescents annually.

A key initiative is a multiyear experiential learning program for urban middle schoolers. “We’re building partnerships with Boston public schools to bring students in grades five through eight out to the island for hands-on science education,” Pearson notes. The goal is a sequential, four-year curriculum that is intended to develop leadership skills and determination in 2,600 students, in pursuit of careers by practicing science in an inspiring, natural environment.

“Our core mission is to help close the achievement gap in Boston schools,” says Pearson. “The city, our donors, and the schools have been tremendous in their support. Bostonians are embracing this island as a one-of-a-kind opportunity for our young people.”

(Published September 2016)