Build Him Up Collaborative | City of Ideas

Posted 01/10/2013 by Collaborate Boston Application

Issue to be Addressed:
The voices, opinions, life experiences, and expertise of Brown and Black Boys (BBB), nine to fifteen years of age, living in Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester neighborhoods, are absent from current public health interventions that are funded by public and private dollars to address issues that directly affect young people residing in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan communities, namely, violence, teen pregnancy, and HIV/AIDS.  That is the issue that IGYDP wants to address. Currently, there are no structured mechanisms or processes to involve BBB in community boards, advisory groups, research teams, and partnerships addressing Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan’s health problems. Those opportunities that exist do not attract the most affected. Without the active and meaningful involvement of young people in the decision making process or formative planning such interventions will remain ineffective.

Project Proposed:
The proposed project consists of three phases: Basic Learning on Social Problems; Telling the Story; and Community Involvement. IGYDP will conduct the first phase which consists of training BBB in three components of social problems affecting Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester youth (i.e., violence, teen pregnancy, and HIV/AIDS): 1) the nature of the problem; 2) its impact on the community; and 3) what has worked in other communities.   This training will consist of a middle and High school level curricula that covers the three components. The training curricula will be developed from existing materials available from the Office of Minority Health Resource Center in Washington DC. The second phase, Telling their Story will be led by our partner WEATOC.  They will use their community theatre training expertise to bring to life what these young people have learned in the first phase to tell their community’s stories in a personal way and suggest possible solutions.  The third phase, Community Involvement, will be led by our third partner, the Black Ministerial Alliance High Risk Youth Network. They will facilitate and support the involvement of our program participants in existing community coalitions, community programs, and research studies conducted in our community by academic institutions.

Role of Collaboration:
IGYDP as lead agency will oversee the entire project and conduct the first phase of the project. WEATOC will implement the second phase. The BMA will lead the third phase. Other collaborators include: JSI to assist with program evaluation; Simmons College will provide in-kind training space. McKinley School and Roxbury Boys and Girls Club will serve as a recruiting pipeline and will receive free theatrical presentations and workshops. The model is highly adaptable and can be implemented at various schools that address high risk youth as well as highly vulnerable youth in the Roxbury Dorchester and Mattapan areas of Boston.

Through the Collaborate Boston prize we intend to achieve the following outcomes:

-Recruit and employ black and brown youth as spokespersons and role models for their peers living in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.

-Create a platform for youth to share their concerns and educate their peers.

-Provide agencies and organizations addressing violence, teen pregnancy and HIV in the community a cadre of well-informed BBB that can share their expertise to enhance the effectiveness of their programs.

-Provide a leadership program that enables young males to build their workforce development skills, community service and advocacy skills.

-Create opportunities for Program participants to become employed as IGYDP program veteran training staff.

-Through the Build Him Up Collaborative we are able to implement a shared decision-making process to create authentic visions and strategies for addressing the joint problems facing black and brown boys while implementing a comprehensive strategy for Action which is based on empowering the target population as community and civic leaders.

-Hire 10 adolescent BBB males as Build Him Up Scholars in the Summer Peer Institute.

-Create a white paper on implementing the BHU Collaborative for Black and Brown Boys.

Other information:
IGYDP has successfully launched the Build Her Up Program since 2007, launched the Build Them Up Coalition in 2011; and the Build Him Up Summer Peer Institute in 2012. Training and providing leadership jobs focused on health disparities, health equity, community service and volunteerism for over 142 youth (BHU Scholars and IGYDP Rhode Scholars).  IGYDP has provided outreach to over 2,485 youth and families in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan; Maintained collaborative partnerships with over 70 community based organizations and implement a program advisory board of 25 community leaders, youth and experts in the field. IGYDP is a largely volunteer run organization; however we hire four to eight program veterans as staff and consultants to implement our programs and services yearly. 95% of IGYDP's program staff and youth are residents of Roxbury Dorchester and Mattapan communities; and 85% have attended Boston Public Schools. 80% of eligible graduating seniors enter college and of that number 75% are first generation college students.  The BHU Collaborative partners have over 35 years of experience in providing services to Black and Brown Boys in the Roxbury Dorchester and Mattapan Communities.

Primary Contact:
IGYDP was established as a 501 C3 non-profit organization in 2003 for the joint purpose of creating health equity and increasing education, social and economic opportunities for youth and young adults from disadvantaged communities. IGYDP’s mission is to build youth and community leadership and provide opportunities for professional development, educational enhancement, health promotion and prevention education, mentoring, spiritual wellness, business development and long-term stability for youth, young adults and families. IGYDP provides a series of male focused, gender responsive programs designed to build self esteem of young men and boys. Our signature programs include the Build Him Up Summer Peer Institute and the Build Him Up Youth Catalyst Project which implements leadership and health prevention trainings, focus groups and employment opportunities by and for young men.

IGYDP will serve as the lead agency, Babanina James will be responsible for staff recruitment, training, supervision, youth employment and overseeing partner relations which include, subcontracting and negotiating memorandums of agreement, hosting planning and partnership meetings and overseeing program evaluation efforts.  Christopher Rivera, (Behavioral therapist) will serve as the Program Manager, responsible for implementing evidenced based adolescent male focused prevention training, hiring and recruiting youth staff, near peer trainers and mentors to serve the target population. Mr. Rivera graduated from Bridgewater state school of social work, resident of Roxbury and has worked with the agency for two years and he developed the Build Him Up Program.  James Cutts will serve as the Build Him Up Program Coordinator. James is a veteran peer educator, graduate of Boston Public Schools, resident of Roxbury and is currently enrolled in Bunker Hill Community College. James was promoted to Assistant Program Director for the Build Him Up Summer Leadership Institute at Simmons College. All staff are experience in implementing gender responsive programs for high risk males, conducting community focus groups centered on the needs of adolescent males of color.  IGYDP will be responsible for donor relations including financial reporting, program reporting, attending mandatory and informal funders meetings and submitting program evaluation reports to funders, partners and stakeholders. IGYDP will create a white paper outlining program goals, accomplishments, challenges and benefits to adolescent males of color. Additional information about IGYDP programs and services can be found on

Partner 1:
John Snow Research and Training Institute (JSI) will serve as the lead evaluator under the direction of Dr. Rudy Vega, (Program Evaluators). Dr. Vega will oversee all component of program evaluation. Dr. Vega is a senior Official for JSI and will provide services in-kind to the organization. Dr. Vega will monitor the accomplishments of all objectives outlined above. Specifically the evaluation plan will track: the documentation of recruitment, hiring and training of well-qualified facilitators and other program staff, youth participants and volunteers; agreements or MOUs in place with partners; an attendance log to be completed for each session (to measure attrition rates); a completed session  activity log (to assess whether the content of the session is being completely covered); completed satisfaction surveys; and the occurrence of session observations (how well is the session content being delivered, and how well are the sessions being facilitated). These activities will be tracked and analyzed, with findings to be reported on a weekly basis along with recommendations to the program staff and stakeholders. These findings and recommendations will also be used to modify program objectives, make changes to the intervention, identify retention and engagement challenges and propose and implement solutions to address challenges.  For additional information on JSI please visit

Partner 2:
WEATOC Inc., will serve as Collaborative Training Partner, responsible for youth recruitment, developing Brother to Brother theatrical presentations highlighting the needs of adolescent males as it relates to health prevention, (HIV/AIDS, STD, Substance abuse, violence, unwanted pregnancy, positive self-esteem and leadership training).  WEATOC is the first Peer Education Program in Boston dedicated to uplifting youth from high risk communities and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to eliminate high risk behaviors among youth. WEATOC’s Brother to Brother program is designed to encourage young males to make smart, informed decisions about the difficult issues facing them. Brother to Brother creates a special Troupe of male Peer Educators to work together, support each other, serve as role models, and create original theater productions and workshops to educate the broader community about the issues young males face today. For additional information about WEATOC please visit

Partner 3:
Collaborative Partner- the McKinley School will serve as a service recipient site and will receive free training and prevention services for high risk youth at the McKinley school. The McKinley Schools serve students with serious emotional, behavioral and learning needs in grades K-12. There are four schools - Elementary, Middle, Preparatory High and South End Academy - plus three satellite programs. The schools provide a full range of academic programs, including college preparatory courses, as well as therapeutic supports and a highly structured behavior management system. Students are referred through a Special Education Evaluation Team meeting.  Student Population 407 students: 48.4% African American, 31.4% are Hispanic, .07% Asian, 15.7% white, 3.7% mixed other, 97% Special Education and 78.9% Males and 21.1% Females and 58.5% of students are low income, 10.7% Annual Student Drop Out Rate; student mobility rate 53%, Number of students suspended 256. 81.4% daily attendance rate and 87.7% students are promoted the next grade level. Data compile from 2011.

Collaborative Partner- the Yawkey Club of Roxbury - Boys and Girls Club of Boston will service recipient site assist with youth recruitment and retention efforts.  The RBGC is one of the oldest and deeply valued boys and girls club in Boston. RBGC Provides services Monday through Friday for youth 6 years of age to 18 years of age. The Club is uniquely positioned to meet the challenges of the community through its work engaging at-risk youth in comprehensive programming aimed to develop them into responsible citizens and leaders.  BGCB continues to confront multiple challenges including poverty, inadequate education, unemployment, prevalent crime and high levels of substance abuse and addiction. IGYDP has a long standing collaborative relationship with RBGC on both federal and state grants. The Club features state of the art facility for more information please visit

Partner 4:
Collaborative Partner: The Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston (BMA), established in the early 1960s, is an alliance of over 80 faith-based and community-based organizations with a 40+ year history of serving the Black community in Boston. The BMA’s mission is to provide spiritual nurture for clergy, and advocacy and program services for the larger Black community.  The BMA High Risk Youth Network  was established in 2004 as a public planning process  intended to strengthen the connections between youth services providers in the city and state agencies, public schools, faith-based and community nonprofits; to expand and enhance services for youth at high-risk and reverse the trend of youth violence.  BMA has reached over 350 individuals from 150 agencies. To learn more about BMA please visit

Resource Collaborative Partner: Simmons College will continue to provide in-kind state of the art training space to house both the Build Him Up Collaborative and the Build Him Up Summer Peer Institute. Other resource partners include the Boston Youth Fund, the MA Department of Public health, who will also provide funding to employ male peer educators to support the BHUC’S outreach initiative.

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

    Indeed, we don't expect cosnnesus on borders, but it will be interesting to see what the minimum area of cosnnesus is for each neighborhood—there will be at least some central part that everyone agree is in the neighborhood.Good point about the unclaimed areas, too, and I think our use of only the quasi-official top-level neighborhoods here may produce some of that. People may not want to assign the Longwood Medical Area to any of them, for example, or the Bullfinch Triangle, the large green spaces in the south, c.