In the City of Boston and across the surrounding areas, many youth face an array of challenges, including gang violence, drugs, social issues and lack of access to basic needs.
With “back to school” on the mind for many across our communities, we want to highlight some of the many ways that we support youth at Catholic Charities of Boston. We are committed to aiding people of all ages and backgrounds in the communities in which we serve, and proudly provide programs and services to support the health, wellness, educational and recreational needs of hundreds of youth in our neighborhoods.
While things look different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain optimistic that each of our youth-focused programs will be back up and running at full-capacity very soon. Here’s a highlight of some of the amazing youth programs that we offer to support young people in our communities.
- The Teen Center at St. Peter’s: Serving teens ages 12 to 19 from the Bowdoin/Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester, there are approximately 300 members of the Teen Center annually, with as many as 135 participating in education or recreational activities daily. The Center provides after-school support services, a safe place for recreation and work opportunities for teens in the neighborhood. Activities aim to provide the skills necessary for academic success, while also supporting the whole family with certain basic needs services when necessary.
- T.E.A.M (Together Engaging Adolescents through Mentoring): TEAM matches South Boston youth, ages 8-16, with adult mentors to meet once a week. The mentors serve as role models, provide support to the youth, and participate with them in monthly group activities.
- Youth Tutoring Youth: YTY provides a free after-school program to South Boston students. Teenage tutors help younger students in grades 3- 6 with homework. The program provides a safe place for these at-risk youth to spend after school hours while instilling a sense of belonging and fostering a heightened level of academic achievement.
- Counseling: Our Family Counseling and Guidance Center has many trained professionals who provide behavioral health services to over 600 individuals each year, including children and youth as young as 3. Our program serves clients with a variety of mental health and developmental concerns, guiding children and youth through life’s challenges in a fun and supportive environment.
- Sunset Point Camp: For over 100 years, Sunset Point Camp has provided a dream vacation at the seashore to over 40,000 low-income, at-risk children aged 6-13 from Greater Boston and the South Shore. Nearly 450 city-based boys and girls travel to Hull, MA each summer for a one or two week overnight camp experience where they are involved in a variety of programs designed around life-building skills promoting teamwork, sportsmanship, and good health, while cultivating a sense of leadership, self-discipline and self-esteem.
- Youth Mentoring: A program for Brockton youth whose families are involved with the Department of Children and Families, Youth Mentors serve as role models, getting the youth, ages six to 13, involved in social and community activities, encouraging them to make safe decisions and avoid risky behaviors, boosting their self-esteem, and monitoring their progress at school and at home.
- Child Care: We operate five center-based child care sites and close to 90 subcontracted family child care locations that serve over 1,100 infants, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and school-aged children each year. Our child care centers offer a supportive, educational and fun environment for children and youth.