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Steps to Give our Youth the Opportunities they Deserve

Steps to Give our Youth the Opportunities they Deserve

We know the important role of youth in our communities. We also know that young minds need stimulating opportunities in order to grow and become leaders. This is why at our Youth Development Program young people participate in dynamic workshops, thought and planned yearly in accordance with their interests. Our youth is also very politically involved. To facilitate this, our staff gives them the tools to effect change and speak their minds for what they believe in, organizing rallies and discussing policy with government representatives. Last year, they succeeded in obtaining a Youth Pass, so that young people can use public transportation in Boston for a significantly reduced fare. They do all of this while developing 21st century skills and exploring their artistic talents with photography, spoken word, fashion design, and more. You can see their works in their upcoming yearly exhibition “Paredes en Fuego.” IMG_9182 Unfortunately, our program has limited spots, but we are excited to announce that this year one of our funders, The John Hancock Foundation - Martin Luther King Summer Scholars, made more slots available. Furthermore, we believe that the earlier our youth can receive a valuable education and be exposed to positive role models the better! We are proud to say that in this regard we have come a long way, and received The Youth Serving Partner Award from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay (BBBSMB) for our outstanding partnership that has resulted in six of our little ones (from 3rd grade until 6th) being assigned a mentor to guide them and provide additional support. IBA has various programs for the younger ones: a Bilingual Preschool and Afterschool and Summer Learning Program geared towards 1st and 2d graders. But, we noticed a gap in services for those children who are not preschool or early education ages, yet are not old enough to be eligible for our Youth Development Program. Thus, we set out to fill that gap with Big Brothers Big Sisters, an organization that partners positive mentors with interested children. Children graduating from IBA's Preschool Since 2014, we have been working closely with the organization and have several upcoming matches in addition to the ones that have already started. The success stories were almost immediate, as was the case of Eliaz Medina, a child from Villa Victoria who has gained a strong male role model thanks to this wonderful program. His mother is excited about the prospect and is looking forward to seeing the benefits his mentorship will bring. “It is normally just Eliaz and mom, and it is time for Eliaz to be independent in a friendship and take opportunities outside of his immediate environment,” she said. eliaz The Youth Serving Partner Award granted by BBBSMB was an immense honor. “The other organizations who were recognized represented some of the best in terms of the city’s work,” said Jenna Gabriel, director of Youth Development Programs at IBA. “To me, the biggest impact is that these kids are getting to participate in a program like this.” We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us and our youth, our community relies on you. To help us keep on expanding our programs and providing more opportunities for the youth in our communities make your contribution, right here....

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