Teen Center at St. Peter's

A program of Catholic Charities Greater Boston, the Teen Center at St. Peter’s serves teens ages 12 to 19 from the Bowdoin/Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester. There are approximately 200 members of the Teen Center, with as many as 80 participating in educational or recreational activities daily.

Through the center, adolescents of the mid-Dorchester corridor are provided with work opportunities, have access to various support services, and have a safe place to recreate. Work and activities aim to provide the skills necessary for academic success, while also increasing self-esteem and enhancing the perception of teens as a positive force in the community.

Catholic Charities’ Teen Center at St. Peter’s is part of a unique collaboration with St. Peter’s School and the Bowdoin Street After-School Program. The three programs, all housed in St. Peter’s School, have worked together to serve the families of the Bowdoin Street neighborhood for five years.

Teen Center in the News:

Safe havens for youths — Boston Globe, July 15, 2013

Dorchester teen center celebrates 10 years of service — Boston Globe, July 11, 2013

Programs and Activities

Activities at the Teen Center begin at 4 p.m. with focus groups and homework help and continue into the evening with recreational activities.

Homework Help: Teens have a supervised time for homework, peer tutoring, and set times in the computer lab. School performance is reviewed and monitored.

MCAS Preparation: Specialized and remedial tutoring is provided twice a week in math and English to prepare high school students for graduation requirements.

College Preparation: Tutoring is offered in both math and verbal skills to help with standardized tests. Workshops are provided on topics such as financial aid and application assistance. Tours of local colleges are arranged.

Computer Literacy: Classes focus on basic principles of word processing, spreadsheets, internet research, and web page design.

Focus Groups: A male and female focus group meets once a week to address adolescent developmental issues and the multiple challenges that confront youth today such as sexual activity, drugs/alcohol, family conflict, immigration issues and deportation, diversity and racism, gang participation, violence, and planning for the future.

Economic Literacy: These classes focus on managing money wisely. Teens set up a no cost bank account and learn to cut spending and increase savings.

Teen Center Council: Teens meet regularly to discuss pertinent issues affecting youth, seek resolution to conflict among members, and help develop and implement programs. Chosen leaders participate in the Teen Center Council and selected members will participate in the community’s Youth Council.

Performing Arts: Artistic programming throughout the year include classes in African Dance and expression through poetry and music.

Outdoor Education: In partnership with the Sierra Club, the Teen Center participates in hiking, canoeing, and over night camping trips in all of the New England area.

Recreational Activities: Planned activities include sports, dances, fashion shows, tournaments, cultural activities, and special field trips.

Youth Mediation: Trained by the Attorney General’s Office, teens help their peers resolve conflicts and disagreements without violence. This program offers students the skills needed to interact with each other at school, home, and in the community.

Counselors in Training: Counselors in Training are paid positions with job responsibilities in the St. Peter’s after-school program and the Teen Center, working 10-15 hours a week. Counselors help with the supervision of youth, homework, arts and crafts, and other projects. Counselors in Training are expected to perform well in school and take advantage of the Teen Center’s services.

Community Service: All teens have the opportunity to carry out supervised community service projects to increase their knowledge of the community and its needs, foster a sense of investment in their neighborhood, and develop positive values of service and contribution.

Family Fun Night: Events are held periodically offering games, cultural activities, and refreshments to involve members’ families.

Family Support: Referrals for community services are offered to the families of participating teens in need of outreach, mediation, and other services.

278 Bowdoin Street
Dorchester, MA 02121
(617) 282-3614

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