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Recipients of 2021 Youth Development Fund grants announced

$1 million investment in youth and young adult violence prevention, doubling FY20 allocation for Fund

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Offices of Health and Human Services and Public Safety today announced the nonprofit organizations selected to receive grants from the 2021 Youth Development Fund. Totaling $885,000 in funding, 34 Boston-based organizations will receive funding to support and increase youth development and violence prevention programming. Organizations selected will implement programming for either priority area previously identified by the Office of Health and Human Services: Youth Violence Prevention or Continuum Support.

“A fundamental part of our residents’ public health and public safety is expanding existing services and implementing additional strategies to increase the accessibility of youth programming and violence prevention,” said Mayor Walsh. “It’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed added burdens on the wellbeing of residents, going beyond their health. That’s why I’m proud to work with these organizations who will complement the City’s ongoing efforts and I want to thank all of these partner organizations for their collaboration in these vital efforts.”

Youth Development Fund Recipient Orientation
On Tuesday, December 29, Mayor Walsh joined Chief of Health and Human Services Marty Martinez for the Youth Development Fund Recipient Orientation.

Grants targeting youth violence prevention have been funded to organizations using evidence-based strategies that work to shape individual behaviors, and address relationship, community, and societal factors that influence risk and protective factors for violence. 


Funding support nonprofit organizations that address the City of Boston's identified needs in the youth and young adult violence prevention continuum, including services for youth and young adults up to age 30 that address unmet needs created by or directly related to COVID-19; case management or supportive services for school-age youth ages 13-18 who are Department of Youth Services-involved or high-risk for gang involvement due to history of neighborhood or family gang activity; and programs aimed at mitigating or preventing the use of social media to incite or promote violence, focused on ages 18 to 30.

Of organizations receiving funding, 45 percent are led by a woman and 55 percent are led by a person of color. Of programs awarded, 33 percent are led by a woman and 88 percent are led by a person of color. Seventy-six percent of organizations will service Dorchester, 76 percent will service Roxbury and 55 percent will service Mattapan, in addition to other neighborhoods.  

“YouthConnect is excited to deepen our partnership with the City of Boston and work with the other recipients of this grant,” said Andrea Perry, Executive Director of YouthConnect. “This will ensure that, even during the most challenging times, our collective efforts can strengthen Boston’s neighborhoods and ensure that young people have access to the services they need to thrive in the future.”

“This funding is a lifeline to help us continue our work as an organization dedicated to empowering Women of Color, said Erika Rodriguez, Executive Director of Chica Project. “We thank Mayor Walsh and his administration for creating this funding resource, which allows so many local non-profits to continue working towards social justice and equity.”

“Sportsmen's is thrilled to learn that we will have the opportunity to work even more closely with the City of Boston to provide crucial services to youth and families along the Blue Hill Corridor,” Toni Wiley, Chief Executive Officer of Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center. “We know that this pandemic has had devastating and long-lasting effects on our youth and young adults, many of which will be evident for years to come and we are committed to working collaboratively to mitigate those negative effects.”

Mayor Walsh has doubled funding for the Youth Development Fund each year for the past three years. For Fiscal Year 2019, Mayor Walsh invested $250,000 into the Youth Development Fund, $500,000 was allotted for Fiscal Year 2020, and for Fiscal Year 2021, Mayor Walsh has committed $1,000,000. 

Below are the grantees awarded funding from the 2021 Youth Development Fund. Additional funding will be available in the spring as part of the Fund.

Continuum Support Grantees:

Boston Medical Center Corporation: Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP) will provide victims of gunshot and stab wounds between the ages of 16 and 24 with wraparound case management services, job and educational training needed to redirect their lives and avoid future violence.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, Inc.: BGCB’s YouthConnect Social Workers provide gang and at-risk youth confidential, voluntary community-based mental health supports and resource coordination, including via tele-health sessions. 

Codman Square Health Center: Programming to support young people aged 13-18, and their families, through targeted leadership development programs, mentoring, and healthy lifestyles education.

Fathers' Uplift, Inc.: Targeted support for the Youth Enrichment program and clinical therapy services for young men ages 18-30 who are fathers and/or at-risk, with the aim to end cycles of fatherlessness; key approaches used are coaching, mentoring and clinical therapy.

RFK Children's Action Corps, Inc.: Alternative to detention programming for medium- to high-risk 14-17-year olds, in Suffolk County that allows youth to remain at their home, in the community and in school.

Violence in Boston: Violence in Boston will provide proven-risk young men, ages 15-28, wrap around services such as housing resources, food access, music therapy, education and legal assistance. 

Violence Prevention Grantees:

Action for Boston Community Development, Inc.: ABCD’s SummerWorks and WorkSMART programs serve both in-school and out-of-school youth, providing them critical employment skills through weekly intensive work readiness workshops followed by job placements.

Artists for Humanity: AFH provides teens from Boston opportunities to learn and earn income through paid employment in art and design

Boston Asian Youth Essential Service: Boston Asian YES provides services and programs for at-risk and high-risk Asian youth, ages 13-22. It is the only Chinatown community agency that provides outreach, prevention and intervention services to this cohort and has a long history of partnering with BPD, alternative education programs and other social service providers.

Boston Showstoppers Girls Academic and Athletic Program: Serving ages 8-18, the program aims to help student-athletes achieve their academic, athletic, and professional dreams through a mix of coaching and mentoring.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester, Inc.: Partnering with BDP, the Club supports programming that forges positive community-police relations and teaches young people alternatives to violence; summer programming provides enrichment activities such as field trips.

Chica, Inc.: Chica provides culturally responsive programming addressing a range of areas, including mentoring, community building/civic engagement, leadership development and college access programming.

College Bound Dorchester: Boston Uncornered aims to engage Core Influencers, individuals who have the most influence on gang-involved and at-risk youth, with College Readiness Advisor to take them away from street corners towards a pathway to education.

East Boston Ecumenical Community Council: EBECC assists at-risk Latino students struggling in school through integrated academic and psycho-social programming, which  promotes healthy lifestyles, problem solving skills and independent thinking. 

Elevate Boston/ Teach 1 Youth Development Collaborative: Elevate provides supplemental mentoring, academic tutoring and athletic activities to BPS students; summer programming will also feature digital technology/fabrication training and social-emotional activities. 

Foundation for Boston Centers for Youth & Families: BCYF programming teaches social-emotional skills, the competencies needed to excel in the 21st-century workplace and empowers young people to develop the project management, leadership, and financial literacy skills needed to be successful in college and career.

Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI): IFSI addresses violence among Haitian young people by teaching protective skills and behaviors that enable them to express their needs and concerns in a safe space, providing them tools and creative methods for approaching and resolving conflicts.

Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA): IBA prepares young people aged 13-18 for school and life success by offering an employment-based program, centered on arts education, that fosters meaningful relationships and experiences integrating community organizing, social and emotional supports.

Justice Resource Institute, Inc. dba STRIVE Boston: Programming provides proven-risk youth with support, leadership and work experience opportunities that will help them to become productive, responsible and law-abiding. 

MBK617: MBK617 is supporting a range of youth development activities for young people in Dorchester and Roxbury that allows them to create and maintain healthy relationships with other youth regardless of where they are from in Boston. Their efforts focus on supporting the psycho-social development of young people through peer mentoring, youth support and other enrichment activities.  

More Than Words: MTW programming empowers young people to move their lives forward, supporting them access the education and employment services they need to build healthy, safe, and self-sufficient futures.

Phoenix Multisport, dba The Phoenix: Phoenix Boston helps young adults in recovery find supportive, sober communities and provides them stability and consistency during high-risk transitional periods.

Roca Boston: Roca’s programming aims to help high-risk young men leave streets and gangs and go to work through population-specific programming that changes behavior.

Soccer Without Borders: SWB advances uses soccer as a vehicle for positive change, engaging newcomer refugees and immigrant youth in East Boston and surrounding communities.

Sociedad Latina, Inc.: Sociedad addresses four key focus areas towards youth success: Education, Workforce Development, Civic Engagement, and Arts & Culture, and aims to build deep relationships with families to move students through middle school, high school, and college.

Somali Development Center: The SDC promotes social, educational and economic development programs at the Islamic Society of Boston to immigrant young people and engages caregivers who are bilingual and struggle with supporting their kids as a result of their language proficiency.

Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center: STEC is a year-around, youth centered organization offering tennis, academic and enrichment programs for K-12 aged youth; programming supports closing the achievement gap.

The Center for Teen Empowerment: TE’s violence prevention and youth arts groups meet online (and/or in person, when possible) to implement initiatives that engage peers and adults in addressing community violence, educational equity, racial equity and mental wellness.

The Clubhouse Network: The Clubhouse encourages young people to explore the creative uses of technology and develop professional and life skills such as problem-solving and teamwork; students learn computer-generated art, develop scientific simulations and design animations.

Uphams Corner Community Center DBA Bird Street Community Center: Bird Street provides a space where young people, under structured adult supervision, can focus on positive, productive activities and identities. Funding will enhance the Center’s capacity to effectively address young people and their families’ exposure to community violence and support the development of emotional coping skills to address trauma. 

West End House Boys and Girls Club: West End House is expanding past its foundational programs in academic success and the arts to develop and implement new, year round social justice activities. Teens — including those invited from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester — will receive a generous weekly stipend for participation in the program being administered jointly with City Mission. 

Youth Guidance: BAM is a school-based counseling and mentoring program that improves the social-cognition and behavioral competencies of predominantly young men of color who have been exposed to stressors and face social, behavioral, and/or emotional challenges.

YWCA Boston: YW Boston is combining two initiatives focused on girls – the Girls Health Program and a social justice education and leadership development program – in order to provide high quality courses that teach girls advocacy and public engagement skills. 

YMCA of Greater Boston: The YMCA will support summer employment for teens: last year the Y hosted 934 young people; and continue with Academic Credit Recovery where students can “recover” academic credit and so they can graduate on time. 

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