The Boston Foundation announces $250,000 in support for summer programs through My Summer in the City

June 24, 2020

My Summer in the City

Boston – The Boston Foundation today announced $250,132 in grants to Greater Boston nonprofit organizations through the Foundation’s My Summer in the City initiative. The grants, to 26 organizations, will support summer programs that host thousands of Boston students each summer, and provide jobs and opportunities to young people who are traditionally excluded from many summer youth programs, either because of language, immigration status, homelessness or LGBTQ status or because many younger teens are too old for many camps but too young for more employment-oriented programs.

“Summer opportunities can be difficult to come by for thousands of Greater Boston residents in normal times, and as the region reels from the impact of COVID-19, things are far from normal,” said Paul Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “We hope these grants can give nonprofits the flexibility to maintain or expand their services and provide opportunities for young people to gain valuable experience in a challenging time for nonprofits, families, and young people.

The My Summer in the City grants are part of a broader effort by the Boston Foundation and its donors to support summer programming and opportunities at a time when many such opportunities have been curtailed or canceled because of COVID-19.

“With so much scaled back by the pandemic, we are proud to partner with these organizations, many of which are both community-based and led by people of color,” said Orlando Watkins, Vice President for Programs at the Boston Foundation. “They play a critical role, providing job opportunities that give young people both experience and needed secondary income for their families in very uncertain times.”

In total, the My Summer in the City grants are expected to directly employ more than 300 young people, even as many of the supported nonprofit partners move their summer work from in-person to online and virtual settings.

Since 2010, My Summer in the City has helped to ensure that a range of high-quality summer programs and activities are available to Boston’s youth and families throughout the summer months. The program strives to create high-quality stipend pre-employment programming that offers young people stipends as well as a pipeline to full summer employment opportunities. MSITC takes a particular focus on middle-school-aged young people, who too often are left to care for themselves during summer months, with limited opportunities to participate in structured activities that offer enrichment as well as employment). Second, the program seeks to support employment experience and job training to those young people who have the least access to summer employment experiences. 

2020 Nonprofit Partners include:

African Community Economic Development of New England (ACEDONE)
$10,000: The summer learning program held at the Hannagan K-8 school will serve 100 youth. The program is centered on the social, emotional, and academic development of K-8 children under the supervision and mentorship of young adults. 

Bikes Not Bombs, Inc.
$10,000: Bicyclists Organizing for Community Action (BOCA) provides youth the opportunity to reflect upon and assess their own experiences and community needs as a basis for initiating social change around the cycling-related concerns of Boston’s most disenfranchised communities. Participants of BOCA emerge with skills in action research, public speaking, lobbying, organizing, and urban planning, while acquiring a sense of themselves, individually as well as collectively as formidable social actors and active citizens.

Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF)

$11,000: The BCYF summer program will engage 275 youth in activities and programs that meet their interests and build their skills in areas such as visual arts, sports, dance, and technology. The program runs for six weeks, with each week focusing on a specific skill set. 

Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Inc. (BCNC)
$10,000: The Youth Center during the summer months works with the City of Boston’s Department of Youth Engagement & Employment (DYEE) and My Summer in the City to employ 27 youth across the agency, offering weekly professional development and coaching for youth employees. 

Cape Verdean Community UNIDO 
$10,000: CVC UNIDO’s Youth Leadership Academy seeks to foster leadership skills among Cape Verdean youth.  The seven-week program provides teens the opportunity to develop their opinions and put their beliefs into action towards the social change they desire.  Youth will develop research skills, write and practice public speaking, participate in on-going community projects, and host a culminating Youth Summit.

Caribbean Youth Club
$12,000: The Haitian Youth Initiative (HYI) will support Afro-Caribbean immigrant and refugee youth ages 16-19, access summer employment, build leadership skills, and engage in safe evening recreation. 

Center for Teen Empowerment
$10,000: Center for Teen Empowerment’s summer leadership program will equip young people to create local teams in their communities. Young people will also receive skills-based training on campaign management, facilitation, and outreach. 

Center to Support Immigrant Organizing (CSIO)
$10,000: The CSIO summer Youth Ubuntu Program (YUP) engages youth from underrepresented backgrounds. YUP deals with teen and young adult grassroots leadership skills in facilitation, community organizing, root cause analysis, and teen-led workshops on anti-Muslim Racism and roots of migration.

Hyde Square Task Force
$10,000: Jóvenes en Acción/Youth in Action (JEA), combines intensive, year-round Afro-Latin arts training in music, dance, or theatre; mentoring, tutoring, and other college and career preparation activities; and civic engagement training. JEA offers a summer employment component in which youth work 16-20 hours per week as JEA Youth Leaders and use their training to develop enrichment arts, cultural, and civic engagement activities that benefit the community.

Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts
$8,000: Student Trainers will progress through a practical curriculum called Business Development 101 where they will learn how to create a small business around one product: healthy smoothies. Youth will progress through the following Business 101 modules: Product development (work with a food expert to develop 3-5 smoothies); Product testing (solicit feedback from LG gym members/local community); Financial literacy; Business planning.

Madison Park Development Corporation (MPDC)
$8,000: MPDC’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) creatively embeds academic support and enrichment, college and career exploration, mentoring, leadership, and workforce development.

Mothers for Justice & Equality Inc. (MJE)
$10,000: MJE’s summer youth program trains survivors of gun violence to become community leaders, to lead trainings for new participants, get involved in community action, undertake street outreach work, and gain sustainable employment.
My Life My Choice
$10,000: The Survivor Mentoring Program is a unique seven-week program for exploited youth that seeks to provide structured summer job and leadership development. Young girls served through the program will build the intangible skills that they need to be successful, healthy adults: self-worth, a positive self-image, the ability to trust, and the tools to know how and where to seek help when they need it. 

Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA)

$12,000: PBHA’s Summer Urban Program, or SUP, is a network of 10 summer camps at 11 different sites across Boston and Cambridge for seven weeks each summer. SUP is staffed by 130 college students and 90 local high schoolers. Each summer welcomes more than 800 young people ages six to 13.

Project Right
$ 10,132: Project Right’s summer leadership program will continue to prioritize campaigns to address the racial disparities that impact the Grove Hall neighborhood. The program incorporates skills-based trainings such as public narrative, facilitation, and team management.

Sisters Unchained
$ 8,000: In 2020, Sisters Unchained summer program will employ 10-12 participants as well as hire three young adult facilitators affected by parental incarceration. The program will consist of workshops that cultivate social and political awareness of how vulnerable communities are impacted by oppressive systems, while also supporting community/social action projects; strengthening communication, relationship, and community organizing skills; leading an introductory level transformative justice training, and providing mentorship.

Sociedad Latina, Inc.

$10,000: Sociedad Latina’s Summer Bridge Academy engages rising 9th graders who are Latino, English Learners, and youth of color in academic instruction, college access support, career exploration activities, and service learning projects throughout the summer.

St. Stephen’s Youth Programs
$12,000: The B-SAFE Program (The Bishop’s Summer Academic & Enrichment Program) is a five-week, full-day academic and enrichment program serving young people from first grade through high school.  The program runs ten programs in six Boston area neighborhoods.  Each site will include academic programs in reading, writing and math; visual and performing art workshops; science activities; recreational activities; and many field trips.

Student Immigrant Movement (SIM)
$8,000: SIM’s Summer Leadership Program provides skills-based training and political education to undocumented/immigrant youth. The program curriculum also includes self-care/healing techniques and allows for culture building and bonding. The youth also develop strategies and work plan the organizing work for the remainder of the year. 

Transformative Culture Project (TCP)
$10,000: Beyond Creative’s summer program is an intensive creative workshop and summer jobs program in creative digital media. Youth work on personal and community projects through video and photography to increase their community awareness, sense of self, and career readiness.

Triangle, Inc.
$5,000: Triangle, Inc.’s summer Career Pathway program will allow up to 15 students the chance to learn employment skills, specialized culinary arts training and credentialing, and a chance to explore different parts of the food world through culinary exploration days.  Ultimately, these students will be placed into career-track jobs throughout greater Boston after completing the program.

UMass Boston Immigrant Student Program Summer Leadership Institute 
$8,000: The summer leadership institute out of the Immigrant Student Program (ISP) at UMass Boston aims to serve vulnerable immigrant students at UMB. The summer leadership institute will directly serve 11 undergraduate students. Additionally, the program will offer ten undergraduate DACA, TPS, and other vulnerable immigrant students from UMB the opportunity to participate in an intensive leadership development training over four days. This training will teach them leadership, organizational, team building, and mentoring skills that they will then use as peer mentors throughout the 2018-2019 academic year

Urban Guild
$10,000: The Urban Guild’s summer program engages youth in healing activities, in addition to providing skills-based training on planning, outreach, and execution of community programs. 

West End House Boys & Girls Club
$10,000: West End House’s Teen Leadership will provide young people with virtual programming including academic support with distance learning, enrichment activities, and time for social connections. Older teens will launch their new virtual work schedule as well, complete with professional development, academic support, and college readiness opportunities.

YMCA of Greater Boston/East Boston Branch
$8,000: The YMCA East Boston branch is committed to providing summer enrichment activities with a specific focus on aquatic lessons. Young teens, who were previously campers themselves, are trained to become camp counselors/swim instructors over the summer months. 

Youth On Board (YOB)
$10,000: Through its summer programming YOB  will set out to develop the capacity of its youth to engage in one of Boston Student Alliance’s (BSAD) three primary issue-based programmatic subcommittees which employ community engagement strategies and district, city and state-level advocacy efforts to center youth voice in critical decision-making