Blog

2020 July 24
Posted by Amelia
Public housing has been an issue in Cambridge for a couple of decades. A suburb on the outskirts of Boston, the cost of renting or owning a home has gotten tremendously high. Many people can’t afford to live in the city anymore, and one of the measures to increase socioeconomic diversity is public housing. Individuals and families who otherwise would not be able to live in Cambridge are allowed to live in homes and pay rent based on their income. Affordable housing is one of the main measures the city takes to help alleviate poverty. But, there are lots of opponents.    Many don’t want public... Read more
2020 July 24
Posted by Amelia
Young people have opinions—a lot of them. They also have great aspirations, goals, and visions for the future. Throughout history, young people have often been overlooked, yet they have stood at the forefront of creating effective social change. Even today, youth activism is on the rise as young people around the world are uniting and mobilizing to push forth movements for various important causes: climate justice, racial and gender equality, economic change, among many others.    Authentic youth voice matters because the perspectives of young people matter. Young people have the... Read more
2020 July 20
Posted by Amelia
Boston, MA - Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) added Tracey West to its Board of Directors in June. Tracey West is the national director of diversity and inclusion for WilmerHale, where she leads the firm in advancing its efforts and broad initiatives of diversity, equity and inclusion. Prior to joining WilmerHale, Tracey worked at Boston College Law School where she created, implemented and managed diversity initiatives as well as programs improving inclusivity. In 2015, the National Association for Law Placement named her Diversity Champion for creating the nationally recognized LAHANAS... Read more
2020 July 6
Posted by Amelia
Joanna Lazarek is the Associate Director of Internships and Alumni Career Engagement at Suffolk University, and she has long been concerned about college students--particularly low-income students who may be the first in their family to attend college-- who struggle in school and then after graduation.    Four years ago, when she started the Ram Alumni Mentoring Program (RAMP), she realized how rewarding it was to connect students with mentors. Last summer, she spent a lot of time researching mentoring programs and connecting with professionals in college and career mentoring and realized... Read more
2020 July 6
Posted by Amelia
Greenfield Community College is located in the Pioneer Valley and leads the state in retention and graduation rates among community colleges. One of the more innovative ways they accomplish this feat is by matching students with older adults living in the area.  They have recently launched Older Adults Seeking, Inspiring and Serving (OASIS), a volunteer program that engages local seniors who feel a strong connection to the GCC community.  One important part of OASIS is the mentoring program, which recruits and trains older adults to be mentors for students, particularly students at risk of... Read more
2020 July 6
Posted by Amelia
During a recent call about the Mentoring Match Grantee line item, Representative Aaron Vega stressed coronavirus’ impact on marginalized populations: “we really need to think of those vulnerable people, those people who don’t have support.”   Mentoring programs can be pivotal in the development and mental wellbeing of young people, but food and shelter are equally as important. I have already spoken with several of my colleagues in the Boston public school system who have seen their roles completely morph over the last couple months. Ensuring the wellbeing and development of young people is... Read more
2020 July 6
Posted by Amelia
One day while scrolling LinkedIn, I happened upon a post by my alma mater, Boston College, featuring a new mentoring program, MentorOn. This program was founded by Professor Belle Liang and her students in partnership with local highschool students. This program has taken amazing advantage of e-mentoring to address the needs of youth during the pandemic, which has enabled some amazing relationships. The college students are mostly volunteers from Boston College, and the majority of the high schoolers come from Lexington High School. However, the middle schoolers taking part in the program... Read more
2020 June 16
Posted by Amelia
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Kalya Murray, Executive Director of Bethel Institute for Community Development, which runs In Your Corner mentoring program (IYC). Founded in 1992 by Bethel AME Church, Bethel Institute for Community Development, (formerly Generation Excel) began as an afterschool youth development program for high risk youth in the Greater Boston area. Its mission is “to provide educational and social services to high-risk youth and families in Greater Boston in ways that measurably transform their lives and the communities in which they live.”    The mission of... Read more
2020 June 4
Posted by Amelia
Dear MMP Family,  This has been a very difficult time for so many. I stand with you and share your concerns, your weariness and your anger. There have been too many young black men and women who have died because of violence enabled by structural racism. Like many of you, I have asked myself as a leader, what can I do to break this cycle?  We know it will take resources, courageous conversation and restorative justice to break systemic barriers and create real inclusion and opportunity for our young people. MMP's commitment is to continue strengthening our advocacy work, and I ask that you... Read more
2020 May 26
Posted by Amelia
Our mentoring and youth-serving programs have had to adapt their delivery of services, expanding into new roles such as tutors, mental health advocates, and friends. Some have even distributed meals and other necessities to youth and their families in our hardest-hit communities. We are encouraging programs to share stories of how COVID-19 has affected their organizations with members of the legislature while they grapple with tough financial decisions around the state budget. Most importantly, we want to lift up the experiences of mentees during this time. Sharing these narratives with... Read more

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