Governor Charlie Baker takes a selfie with BPD Youth Services Officer Cynthia Beckford-Brewington and ABCD SummerWorks teens in the Boston Police Academy program that fosters positive relationships between police and inner-city youth. Boston Police Department Superintendent-in-Chief William Gross and other BPD officers also joined in the governor’s visit.
ABCD’s summer jobs program put approximately 1,050 at-risk youth to work this summer in meaningful positions at more than 250 non-profit worksites including hospitals, libraries, child care centers, summer camps and government agencies. Tutoring, mentoring, financial literacy programs and career preparation are part of the summer experience.
Ostiguy High School
“Ostiguy” is a “recovery high school” — an alternative high school diploma program serving 81 young people struggling with substance abuse. This partnership with the Boston Public Schools and the Gavin Foundation is a national model which recently celebrated its accreditation by the National Association of Recovery Schools.
The “Changing Tracks Initiative” is a community-based diversion program that seeks to significantly improve the life chances of youth of color in Boston affected by the juvenile justice system. Changing Tracks assists juvenile justice-involved youth through the application of an intensive case management model helping participants access gainful employment, education resources and mentorship services. These supports are aimed at preventing individuals being expelled from school, incarcerated, or remaining court involved with the ultimate goal of diverting youth from the “school to prison pipeline”.
City Councilor Tito Jackson joins ABCD “YEA!” teens in Council Chambers at Boston City Hall.
Youth Engaged in Action – “YEA!”
Starting youth on the path to financial success and building opportunities for their future is what YEA! is all about. ABCD created “YEA!” in 2013 to provide 13-year-olds from inner-city neighborhoods with a meaningful summer experience. YEA! provides a fun, engaging option for young teens too old for camp but too young to work. The three-week program builds youngsters’ financial capability and civic engagement awareness as individuals and online cyber citizens. Teens also learn key job readiness skills and have priority admission to the sought-after ABCD SummerWorks jobs and education program.
University High School
UHS is an alternative high school for students struggling in traditional public schools. Operated in collaboration with the Boston Public Schools, it offers 85 students a challenging education and a caring environment, featuring a year-round program, small classes and individual support. UHS has an ongoing graduation rate above 90 percent.
As noted under “New Initiatives,” on September 8, ABCD opened Dorchester Academy in Fields Corner with the mission of turning around this low-performing Boston Public School and providing 150 inner-city, often struggling students with the opportunity and inspiration to succeed in school and life.
This program offers 60 older and out-of-school youth opportunities to explore careers in fields that include Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, Health, and Building Trades.
ABCD WorkSMART is committed to helping Boston teenagers stay in school, graduate and move on to higher education and careers. Students are placed in supervised, paid internships, 15 hours a week and surrounded by a multitude of support systems that spell success in school and life.
ABCD’s Youth Programs investment this year is $4,367,726, spent on wages for 1,050 SummerWorks youth; the “YEA!” program in civic engagement, financial education and work readiness for 200 13-year-olds; teachers and counselors; and space and resources for three high schools serving 292 students.
ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew congratulates proud high school graduate.
HIGH SCHOOL GRADS EARN $6,800 MORE PER YEAR AND COLLEGE GRADUATES EARN THREE TIMES MORE THAN A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT. ABCD’S MISSION — CARRIED OUT THROUGH ITS THREE HIGH SCHOOLS, SUMMERWORKS, YEA!, CAREER EXPLORATIONS AND WORKSMART PROGRAMS — AND MULTIPLE NEIGHBORHOOD BASED INITIATIVES — IS TO ENSURE THAT STUDENTS FROM POVERTYLEVEL HOMES WHO STRUGGLE AGAINST MANY HARDSHIPS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED IN SCHOOL AND LIFE. ABCD’S HIGH SCHOOLS REGULARLY ACHIEVE GRADUATION RATES OF 80–90 PERCENT, FAR HIGHER THAN MOST INNER-CITY HIGH SCHOOLS.