Belden and Pamela Daniels are Boston Foundation donors who are major supporters of the Success Boston College Completion Initiative through their Donor Advised Fund, with a deep commitment through 2019. Over the last two years, the Daniels have given $300,000 to Success Boston. Backing Success Boston “brings our respective life concerns together in a way that feels meaningful to both of us,” says Pamela.
Belden was educated in law, economics and finance, and early on realized that his mission was to take the skills learned in the private sector and apply them to community economic development. He became a pioneer of social impact investing, in the United States and globally. Pamela has spent her life in education, as a student, teacher, parent, writer, dean, advisor and advocate. Together they have pursued their journeys of learning, engagement and impact—trying to make things better for individuals, cities, organizations and whole economies.
In the context of a rapidly growing technology and innovation economy in Massachusetts, Belden is concerned about the paradox of an ongoing gap—in which thousands of good jobs go unfilled while local, underserved populations suffer high unemployment. “We could fill this gap if we could get people of color and more women into STEM jobs,” he says. “We’re personally committed to the idea that coaching through college completion—and on into the first job—is the next big step.” In fact, the couple recently matched a Boston Foundation grant of $50,000 to Hack.Diversity, an internship-to-career tech mentoring program.
The Daniels support Success Boston because it combines his desire to “participate in opening up the pipeline from schools to high-tech jobs” and her recognition of “the importance of creating an educational path that is workable and meaningful to a young person starting out.” As Pamela sums up, “We are in a time in our lives of de-accessioning and divestment of privilege. It is possible for us now—and compelling—literally to ‘spread the wealth,’ to deploy some of the means we have acquired through our own professional work to make a difference in worlds beyond our own.”