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Ben Franklin's living legacy

Posted by Anthony Benoit on Mar 22, 2016 5:00:00 PM

The U.S. Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, is often associated with the city of Philadelphia. The city where he helped draft the Declaration of Independence, participated in the Constitutional Convention, and performed scientific research. But Ben Franklin’s early life in Boston left a legacy that lives on today.

As a young Bostonian, Franklin was unable to afford traditional education. He became an apprentice in the printing trade, working with his brother James to establish an independent newspaper, The New England Courant. A sibling quarrel with James led to a split that resulted in Ben’s move to Philadelphia and the rest, as they say, is history. His early training, tireless work ethic, and infinite curiosity helped him become tremendously successful personally and alter the course of the young nation.

Ben Franklin's early life in Boston left a legacy that lives on today.

Despite these accomplishments, Franklin recognized the value of his apprentice experience, as well as the kindness of two friends in helping him set up his business, which became the basis of his fortune. In preparation for his death, he made a financial commitment in his will to help “in forming and advancing other young men that may be serviceable to their country.”

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology evolved directly from this bequest of £1000 to “the Inhabitants of the Towne of Boston.” Well over 200 years after his death, Franklin's legacy continues to do great public good. The world has changed. Technology has revolutionized industries. Yet, the need for career-based education for today’s young people remains as essential as ever.


Today, a young person like Ben Franklin still needs a clear pathway to a successful career. Today’s Ben is the student in Boston for whom a four-year liberal arts degree doesn’t make sense; the student looking for both a high-paying career in a high-tech field and an affordable education. Today’s Ben takes advantage of industries looking for workers with a specific skill set; companies that too often are unable to fill the demand for those positions due to a lack of qualified candidates.

Today's Ben Franklin is the student for whom a four-year liberal arts degree doesn't make sense; the student looking for both a high-paying career in a high-tech field and an affordable education.

Thanks to the generosity of Benjamin Franklin, that opportunity is still available at his namesake college in Boston. Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology offers associate and bachelor's degree programs, as well as professional certificates, that prepare students for a wide-range of technical careers. Students, many the first in their family to go to college, attend BFIT to become electricians, automotive mechanics, health IT project managers, licensed opticians, computer support specialists – jobs that are in high demand and have opportunity for advancement. They graduate not only with the job-specific training to add value from day one, they have completed general education coursework that develops vital professional skills like communication and critical thinking.

Ben Franklin likely could not guess how his investment would live on in today’s world. He would not recognize the changes in commerce or the new businesses thriving today. He would still clearly see the need for today’s students to gain a valuable education that leads to a rewarding career.

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