2016 Annual Appeal

Every day, the office at Meridian buzzes with student requests. Students might need a pencil, ask to raid the teachers' stash of cookies or popcorn, or express a more serious request for academic or emotional support. Whatever it is, we listen. At Meridian, we believe that when they make requests, students are recognizing that their voices matter.

Two years ago, when we moved back to Jamaica Plain, students asked if they could design our new library. After forming a committee and working with an architect (who is also a Meridian parent), students came up with a design and proposed it to the faculty. Following this process, students, parents, and teachers worked together to carry out the design. The entire effort took nearly two years, but when we opened our doors this past September, the library was finished. Students flock to it now. They lie on the custom cushions of the reverse ziggurat reading a book, they work on projects at the moveable tables, and they schedule movie nights for screenings of their favorite films.

You, our larger community, helped to make all of this possible through generous donations. The funding from Meridian’s friends and family make our capital improvements, such as the library and a new exercise room, a reality.

The student-designed library is a key example of why student voices are so important at Meridian. When students see that Meridian responds to and acts on their requests, they become empowered citizens. Student voices have generated the addition of more language and music options at Meridian, as well as extracurricular activities ranging from rock climbing to ultimate Frisbee. Students come out of this community knowing that they have something to offer and that when they believe in something, they should speak up. At school, this sense of initiative might lead to creating a more comfortable space, advocating for a kiln in the art department, or requesting the addition of French to language offerings. But when they leave Meridian, it might lead to speaking at a city council meeting on affordable housing or pushing a local business to institute practices that reduce carbon emissions. If we’re going to improve our world, all students need a chance to practice using their voice.

In our community, your voice also matters. Generous donors spoke up to help found Meridian twelve years ago, and they regularly express their love for specific programs by providing the funding to make them happen. As a part of this ongoing conversation, this year we are coming to you, our community, with a special request.

If you, or someone you love, loves our school, please help us keep Meridian accessible to all students. Currently, forty percent of Meridian families receive financial aid in comparison to a median of twenty-one percent at other independent schools. However, all of our families benefit from Meridian’s tuition, as it is $18,000 lower than at other local schools. This lower tuition means that aid is focused on those who need it most, whereas those who might not qualify for aid elsewhere benefit from our lower cost.

Please help us continue to welcome and support our diverse community, so that we may cultivate and grow their voices. Please make a gift today.


Joshua Abrams

Head of School