Future Achievement Starts Today FAST | City of Ideas

Posted 12/26/2012 by Collaborate Boston Application

Issue to be Addressed:
Future Achievement Starts Today (F.A.S.T.) will address many of the uphill battles facing black and brown boys living in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan that hinder their liklihood of success. It will counter the daily temptation to drugs, gangs, violence, welfare dependence, low academic achievement, and the low productivity that they witness regularly.  F.A.S.T. will address the critical out-of-school hours when boys must often face these negative influences by filling them with productive life-improving activities.  In addition, F.A.S.T. will address the achievement gap these boys have when compared to their Caucasian and suburban counterparts, beginning with a focus on low math and English performance.  F.A.S.T. will combat the lack of out-of-school time structure, discipline, and positive role models by arranging personalized tutoring, athletic outlets, mentoring, and positive role modeling.  Often these boys have images of low self-worth, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and poor social skills.  F.A.S.T. will address these as fundamental components of improving the lives and futures of black and brown boys.

Project Proposed:
Future Achievement Starts Today (F.A.S.T.) is an out-of-school program designed to keep Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan black and brown boys, ages 11-14, off the streets during the critical after-school hours and provide them with needed tutoring, athletics, and mentoring.  F.A.S.T. is comprised of intensive personalized tutoring in academic areas in which these boys are falling most behind their suburban counterparts, namely Math and English Language Arts.  Specific areas of focus in Math are decimals, percentages, fractions, geometry and measurement, data analysis and probability.  In English Language Arts, this program focuses on reading comprehension and language mechanics.  Boys enrolled in this program will meet twice each week and will be matched with tutors to give personalized instruction and enrichment in their greatest areas of need.
As part of this initiative, boys will also engage in the first Academy basketball league and play games through the South Shore Parochial School League.  A volunteer living in Dorchester will donate his time to serve as basketball coach and will provide practices each week and arrange for game participation.  Boys will also participate in friendly basketball games with employees from area businesses, and these professionals will serve as mentors and role models.

Role of Collaboration:
Collaboration is necessary to achieve F.A.S.T goals.  Boys will witness the support throughout the community, learn to realize that there's more than one option in life, and observe successful professionals.
The Academy will identify boys that qualify for this program and arrange for tutoring. 
Kevin McGowan will serve as basketball coach.
Let's Play It Forward will supply sporting equipment.
Steward Health Care/Carney Hospital will engage boys in basketball games, serve as role models and mentors, and provide a professional speaker series.
St. Matthew's Parish in Mattapan will engage boys in community service projects and healthy church-affiliated out-of-school activities through its Youth/Teen Ministry Group.

A Collaborate Boston prize would enable the collaborating partners to improve the lives of black and brown boys living in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan by helping to sustain the newly established F.A.S.T. program and allowing room for growth both in the number of boys that may benefit from this program and in expansion of opportunities offered to them.  As the initial phase of this program begins, boys will be tutored two afternoons or evenings each week, focusing on specific areas in Math and English Language Arts where these boys tend to score poorest on standardized tests.  A Collaborate Boston prize would allow the collaborating partners to consider increasing the number of hours the boys are tutored each week, intensifying instruction and enrichment in these areas, and it would also allow for expansion to other subject areas that, while not the lowest performing areas on standardized tests, are likewise substantially below their suburban counterparts.
The biggest obstacles to engaging these boys in healthy team sports are the fees associated with league play and bus expenses to travel to games outside of the city.  Families of these boys are not in position to help with expenses related to tutoring or athletics.

Other information:
Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy is non-descrimatory.  It accepts students of all faiths and does not proselytize.  Currently, 36% of students are non-Catholic.  A Collaborate Boston prize would be used to the benefit of all black or brown boys in need of tutoring, athletics, and mentoring, regardless of his religion.

Primary Contact:
Mr. Russ W. Wilson is Regional Director of this multiple campus elementary and middles school located on four campuses, three in Dorchester and one in Mattapan.  Mr. Wilson works with four principals, one at each campus, to ensure that the mission and goals of the school are met and that no student falls through the cracks.  He also manages a Regional Office staff that includes a Business Office, Office of Advancement, and Fine Arts Department.  As Regional Director, Mr. Wilson works with the school's fifteen member Board of Trustees to strategically plan for the future sustainability and growth of the school.

Partner 1:
Mr. Andrew Davis is CEO of Carney Hospital, a Steward Health Care Facility located on Dorchester Ave. in Dorchester.  Steward Health Care is the largest fully integrated community care organization in New England.  Carney Hospital is a 159- bed, community teaching hospital affiliated with the Tufts University School of Medicine and is committed to the values of compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence.  It provides clinical expertise and medical excellence in a wide variety of specialties, including primary care medicine, emergency medicine, psychiatry, critical care, pediatrics, cardiology, neurology and ambulatory services.

Partner 2:
Mr. Kevin McGowan is a resident of Dorchester and a teacher in Cohasset, MA.  He is volunteering his time to coach and supervise the boys during basketball practices and games.

Partner 3:
Let's Play it Forward is an organization based in Lincolndale, New York that provides new and gently used sports equipment to inner-city youth.  It was started as a grassroots effort by several high school boys looking to make a difference in the lives of less fortunate peers.  This organization has given to individuals and organizations in need throughout eastern New York and now, having learned of boys in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan struggling to find opportunities to participate in sports due to lack of leadership and financial constraints, it has offered to supply these boys with any needed sporting equipment.

Partner 4:
Fr. William Joy and St. Matthew's Parish Church in Mattapan.  Fr. Joy has been a Catholic priest for forty years and has served  in low income communities throughout the world.  He is currently pastor at both St. Matthew's Church and St. Angela's Church in Dorchester.  He presently serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustess for the Academy.
St. Matthew's Church and St. Angela's Church are adjacent multi-cultural parishes with an active congregation participating in many cultural and civic activities throughout the year.  These parishes are well-attended by black and brown families and offer masses in French Creole as well as English.  Many of the Academy's middle school students participate in the St. Matthew's Youth/Teen Ministry Group.

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

    Neighborhood is the wrong word to use. The word district would be more apporpriate. Dorchester had an independent identity for almost 250 years. When it comes to defining borders, doing it by neighborhood would be impossible. If people can't even agree on the borders between Dorchester and Mattapan and Roxbury, how would they split up Dorchester into smaller units. And splitting Dorchester up into dangerous and safe parts doesn't change the fact that it's all Dorchester. Franklin Field is just as much Dorchester as Neponset or Cedar Grove are.