Bowdoin Geneva Soccer Academy | City of Ideas

Posted 01/13/2013 by Collaborate Boston Application

Issue to be Addressed:
The Bowdoin-Geneva Corridor, where many Cape Verdean families live, has long been identified by police as one of the top 5 hot spots for youth violence in Boston.  Additionally, the schools that serve the largest amount of Cape Verdean youth from this neighborhood, Dearborn and the Jeremiah E. Burke High School, were unfortunately recently designated turnaround schools as a result of their students' poor academic achievement.  Over the last few decades, the city of Boston and private foundations, have invested significant resources in this community to provide youth an opportunity to remain engaged in the critical time when they are out of school.  However, existing recreational engagement opportunities in the Bowdoin-Geneva area are unfortunately often isolated from human services and the academic support that participants need.  While sports in particular, can be used to positively impact the lives of young people, some existing recreational programs miss that opportunity to effect a change in young people's lives.

Project Proposed:
We propose to hold a 12 week youth Soccer Academy at Ronan park for 54-66 youth, ages 11-16, from the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood.  Through the Soccer Academy, teens will participate in Under-12, Under-14, and Under-16 soccer teams in local leagues and the MAPLE League.  The Soccer Academy's regular practices and soccer clinics will be facilitated by Peer Mentors, father volunteers, and Student Athletes from the neighborhood, who participants can relate to.  Unique about the Bowdoin-Geneva Soccer Academy will be our close partnership with established community organizations to offer youth participants wrap around services.  These services will include the culturally competent Mental Health support, Academic Enrichment, and positive youth development that many youth from this community currently lack.  Through extensive outreach to families, we will involve fathers in a successful area of their sons' lives through roles of volunteers and fans, with the ultimate goal of building stronger relationships among families and improving family stability.  We intend to use teens' interest in soccer as an incentive to connect them with support services.  Additionally, teens will develop a relationship with staff from partnering support agencies, enabling youth to reach out to those organizations in the future for support, should a need arise.

Role of Collaboration:
Strela Negra will use established partnerships with local schools, including the Dearborn Middle School, Lilla G. Frederick, and Orchard Gardens, to collect information and with Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter's to offer mandatory additional academic assistance based on their individualized learning needs from the school.  Through a partnership with Cape Verdean Community UNIDO, we will outreach to youth in the neighborhood whose individual interests, academic needs, and existing plans for the summer suggest they would benefit from the academy.  CVC UNIDO staff will assist with enrolling participants in the program and provide on-going support in communicating with parents, partners, and schools about teens' progress and needs.  Finally, we will partner with the Bowdoin Street Health Center to offer youth mental health support services in the form of a weekly focus group and individualized mental health services as needed.  Teens will develop a relationship with staff from these different support agencies, enabling youth to reach out to those organizations in the future for support, should a need arise.

A Collaborate Boston prize would enable us to hold this academy in the neighborhood.  Currently, potential partners are funded to run their own programming and partner to offer general support to each other and collaborate on particular events.  While many of these organizations work with these communities, most are at or exceeding their existing program capacity.  The result is that a particular segment of the population remains disconnected from services despite the best intentions of the organizations.  This money would increase capacity to serve these teens by offering organizations concrete and segmented steps they can take as part of engaging these youth.

Other information:
mentoring relationships, developing relationships with family, youth fitness to address growing obesity problem in community, coaches and adults in the lives will be positive adult role models, feedback from Bowdoin-Geneva Youth Council about interest in engaging youth in soccer, which they identified as a major interest among teens in the neighborhood, Teaching soccer and associated soft skills that are necessary for students to become successful student athletes in school

Primary Contact:
At Strela Negra Community Sports Club Inc., our mission is to promote the game of soccer, provide a positive soccer experience for all participants, and to provide a program that: Develops the concepts of personal self-discipline and team work to enhance the team sports experience for all participants, develops the skills necessary for all participants to be competitive within all age groups at various levels of competition, meets the competitive needs of the player to achieve the skill level of which the individual is capable and desires, develops respect for all participants through good sportsmanship as demonstrated by the actions of the Strela Negra board of directors, coaches, parents and player participants, and is fiscally responsible resulting in accost-effective program for all participants.

Partner 1:
CVC UNIDO promotes the power and the potential of the Cape Verdean community.  We advocate for, inform, and organize our community to reach its cultural, social, and economic well-being.

Founded in 2000 as the Cape Verdean Task Force, CVC UNIDO has a long history of advocating on behalf of the community’s needs.  Key victories include the hiring of a Cape Verdean community liaison in the Mayor’s Office, successful campaigns for more Cape Verdean DCF social workers and Police Officers, gang dialogues in response to gun violence, support groups for mothers victimized by gun violence, the creation of a Cape Verdean Family Nurturing Program and culturally competent curriculum, as well as the formation of the Cape Verdean Providers network.  Additionally, CVC UNIDO is consistently working to improve the characterization of the Cape Verdean community in the media.  Currently, the Board of Directors is working with the Massachusetts Policy and Organizing Leadership Academy to prepare and implement an effective organizing campaign.

Partner 2:
The Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter’s provides after school and evening programming for neighborhood teens between the ages of 12 and 19.  Programming begins at 2 PM and continues through 8:30 PM each weekday, with monthly weekend field trips and community service projects.  Summer hours expand to include all day and the Teen Center’s joins with our partners in Safe City to assure that programming is available from 10 AM to 10 PM every day during the summer, including weekends.

The mission of the Teen Center is to provide education, enrichment, leadership development, and recreational activities to the adolescents living in or near Bowdoin Geneva.  Through the Teen Center, adolescents have academic and work opportunities, access to various support services,  and a safe place to recreate.  Work and activities aim to provide the skills necessary for academic success, while increasing self-esteem and enhancing the perception of teens as a positive force in the community.  In addition to working with the teens, staff work with parents, police, courts, and school personnel to meet the overall needs of Teen Center members.

Partner 3:
Bowdoin Street Health Center

Founded in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood in 1972 by community residents, Bowdoin Street Health Center remains focused on providing outstanding medical care while maintaining a tradition of working with residents to identify and meet their unique health needs. The mission of the health center is threefold: caring for patients; caring for families; and caring for the community.

Bowdoin Street Health Center offers comprehensive primary and specialty care with specialized expertise in the careful management of chronic disease, especially diabetes. The Center is also an innovator in transforming its practice into a Patient-Centered Medical Home, improving patient outcomes through stronger provider-patient partnerships in co-managing one’s health. Bowdoin’s approach includes a self-care program, a multidisciplinary care team, group medical visits, screenings for depression and home visits.

Recognizing how social and economic factors in the community can also influence an individual’s health status, Bowdoin Street actively engages with community organizations and government to improve public safety, access to affordable foods including fresh fruits and vegetables, recreational opportunities for children and adults, and job creation.

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  • # Shammamy's gravatar Shammamy said:
    6/16/2017 4:16 PM

    Good lord,Made of cigarette ash and flies, and that's all annoye needs to know?All you needed to do to know more (and lay waste to the simplistic angle that facilitated the writing of your piece) was take a ferry across the strait to Santo Antao, an island which is lush and verdant (green, not St. Vicente brown) and features some of the most spectacular topography in the world. (And that's not being hyperbolic at all. I've, like, seen the world. And stuff.)And plenty other islands are beautiful as well (e.g., Fogo, Brava, Santiago).It's one of my favourite places in the world, even more amazing than, say, New York City (which I feel compelled to call a depressing dump based upon that one evening I spent in Queens).