The Leg Up Scholarship program is a scholarship program that aims to support students from Chelsea, East Boston, Revere, Lynn, or Medford, Massachusetts to excel in college and launch their careers. It is a unique scholarship program that provides flexible and individualized financial and social support to students to help them maximize their academic and social experiences in college and to achieve their long-term goals. Leg Up Scholars graduate from college prepared to take on life’s challenges and opportunities and do so with limited to no student debt.

The program is funded by Doreen Portnoy Bilezikian, born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and administered by The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI).

Open to any student from Chelsea, East Boston, Revere, Lynn, or Medford, Massachusetts who meet the eligibility criteria listed below.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • U.S. citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents
  • Permanent resident of Chelsea, East Boston, Revere, Lynn, or Medford Massachusetts
  • Excellent financial aid award package at college/university
  • No more than approximately $5,000 in loans per year or $20,000 over their college career
  • Senior or recent high school graduate who will be enrolling as a first-year student in a competitive four-year degree program, at a US accredited, not-for-profit, private or public college or university full-time in 2024-25
  • Superior academic record in high school, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4 (based upon a max 4.0 or equivalent)
  • Involved in a balance of community, school, and work activities
  • Motivated to excel in college
  • Students who will not be receiving significant financial and mentoring supports from other programs (e.g. Posse, Thrive Scholars, Upward Project, Gates)



Once you create an account and log in, there should be an opportunity to enter an Access Code at the top of the page. Please enter: LEGUP24


May 15, 2024 by 5PM: Applications due

Late May through Early June: Finalist will be invited for interviews

June: Scholarship recipients will be announced by the end of the month