The Boston Latin Academy received $1 million from an alumnus, co-founder of Airbnb

The Boston Latin Academy received a $1 million donation from Airbnb alumnus and co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk, who visited the school on Monday as part of Boston Public Schools STEM Week.

The money will go towards new computer labs and an improved and expanded science education program, Blecharczyk said.

“Elizabeth, my wife and I would like to donate $1 million to the school,” Blecharczyk announced, to thunderous applause.

He added that he and his wife Elizabeth would match other donations to BLA up to $1 million.

Blecharczyk, a 2001 graduate of Boston Latin Academy, spoke with students attending BLA computer science classes. He shared tips about his time in school and his story founding Airbnb.

“You always have to challenge yourself, you can’t get comfortable,” Blecharczyk told the students. “Time is so precious and you should really try to make the most of it.”

Blecharczyk went to Harvard after graduating first in class from BLA and later moved to San Francisco to work on his startup.

He also advised students to choose good friends, do their best, and play sports, as he raced track and cross-country at BLA.

“If I hadn’t raced on the track, I wouldn’t have been first in my class,” Blecharczyk said.

“Nathan’s achievement is proof of the incredible talent we have in Boston’s public schools,” said Mayor Martin Walsh. “His gift will have a real impact on the lives of our students, and we are grateful for his dedication to BPS. We are proud that Nathan has chosen to invest in our schools, to have an impact on our world and on our students.

Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said, “It is inspiring for our students to see a BPS graduate achieve the kind of incredible success that Mr. Blecharczyk has had.

“It’s even more inspiring for them to see him return to his roots to share his success in a way that creates more learning opportunities for them. His generosity and example will encourage our students to pursue their own dreams and hopefully encourage other STEM industries from our own backyard to explore creative partnership opportunities,” said Cassellius.

Boston School Board Chairman Michael Loconto said, “As a school system and as a city, we need to do everything we can to show our students that they can learn and succeed in STEM, entrepreneurship and innovation, which is so important in today’s speed. changing economy.

BPS will host dozens of group science, technology, engineering and math activities for students inside and outside of school during STEM week.

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