Up Front

Educational Nonprofit Expands on the North Shore

100 Cummings Center

Beverly, MA – Educational nonprofit Change is Simple expanded this fall from an office in north Beverly to a 3,600sf facility at 100 Cummings Center. The new space houses the organization’s administrative function, as well as its virtual teaching operations.

Co-founded in 2011 by Co-directors Lauren and Patrick Belmonte, Change is Simple partners with Boston-area elementary and middle schools to deliver a multi-year STEM-based curriculum to more than 8,000 students each year. The nonprofit integrates hands-on environmental, sustainability, and climate education into the schools’ traditional teaching programs.

Cummings Properties chairman and CEO, Dennis Clarke (l) with Lauren and Patrick Belmonte of Change is Simple, at the 2013 Cummings Foundation Grant Winner Celebration

According to Lauren Belmonte, the firm’s new base of operations has allowed its seven-person full-time staff and team of college-aged interns to spread out in a socially distant setting. The space also houses multiple video studios, where instructors digitize educational content and deliver virtual lessons to live classrooms.

“Our goal is to help kids understand and become empowered by their place in the world; to know they don’t have to wait until they’ve grown up to improve their own health and the health of the planet,” she says. “Students develop a clear understanding of how they can live in the 21st century while remaining mindful of how the choices they make each day affect both the environment and their bodies.”

Cummings Center is the North Shore’s largest office park. The campus houses more than 600 businesses, including corporate headquarters, software firms, research laboratories, and micro-businesses. It is also home to more than 130 women-led businesses.

Change is Simple staff at a 2019 fundraising event (l-r): Back row: Dom Martinelli, staff director; Elisa Figueras and Tyler Comino, interns; and Skye Fournier and Ethan Janis, lead educators. Middle row: Amy Holland Crafton, director of outreach; Tayler Laycox and Sarah Couture, interns; and Patrick Belmonte and Lauren Belmonte, co-directors. Front row: Eric Owens, lead educator

“Our space at Cummings Center is so large and open, it was easy to tailor it to our current needs,” said Lauren Belmonte. “It was also considerably more affordable than we’d anticipated: Being able to triple the space we had before without tripling the price was just incredible.”

Cummings Properties business development officer Michelle Paul worked directly with Change is Simple on the lease.

“Cummings is a mission-driven organization, and it’s always very satisfying to partner with nonprofits like Change is Simple that are working to bring about a better tomorrow,” said Paul. “This large customizable space with a convenient entryway and parking access made Cummings Center a great fit for an organization whose staff is typically on the move from school to school.”

Change is Simple first became connected with Cummings Properties when the nonprofit received a $100,000 grant in 2013 from the firm’s philanthropic arm, Cummings Foundation.

Suite at Cummings Properties

“For the Foundation to pay attention to and believe in us at such an early point in our organization was pivotal,” said Belmonte. “The funding we received helped us to implement our program in both Woburn and Beverly district-wide. It was a big moment in our history.”

Lauren Belmonte has 15 years of experience in the environmental and sustainability field, including working as a scientist in the wetlands, contributing to large renewable energy projects such as Cape Wind, and developing the state-wide Resource Management Program for the Massachusetts Army National Guard. Patrick Belmonte is an entrepreneur and a marketing and communications professional with a background in the design and coordination of children’s programming for youth at all learning levels.

More information is available at www.cummings.com.

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