St. Stephen's Youth Programs

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Category Archives: B-READY 2010-2011

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Our 2011-12 B-READY Blog Has Moved!

To this new address:  See you there!


To Woods Hole We Go!

Last week, during April vacation week, members of the Youth Leadership Corps (YLC) took part in an amazing overnight hosted by the Church of the Messiah in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

The students spent their time visiting the Woods Hole Aquarium and participating in hands on activities at the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Students were able to touch a variety of marine species such as Horseshoe Crabs, Blue Lobster, Skates, and many others which are used for medical research. (more…)

Freshman Year of Service

The college professors I keep in contact with are always surprised by my decision to give up art history and museum education pursuits in order to volunteer with children and youth for a year.  Right after graduation, I was offered an opportunity to work as a Lead Counselor and Technology Coordinator for St. Stephen’s Youth Programs through TechMission Corps.   TechMission is an AmeriCorp program wherein members commit to one year of direct service.  As a staff member of the B-READY after-school program at St. Stephen’s, I worked with Kindergarten to 2nd grade the first two trimesters, and now I am enjoying my afternoons with the older elementary (3rd through 5th grade) students.

The first month, I was overwhelmed. I doubted myself and questioned my decisions. There were a lot of “I could have…” statements lingering in my mind.  I was surrounded by so much energy from the children that sometimes I could not keep up.  But then I realized I am here to support them in every way so if that means I have to run and chase them when playing tag, I would.  If that means dancing to cloying Justin Bieber’s Baby, I would join them in chorus!  (more…)

St. Stephen’s Youth Adventure to Pat’s Peak!

On St. Patrick’s Day, St. Stephen’s Youth Programs and St. Stephen’s Church had a wonderful ski trip to Pat’s Peak.  You can read all about it here.

Networking Works!

Over the last trimester, the Youth Leadership Corps (the YLC, our middle school program) has been reaping the benefits of our growing relationships with partner organizations. It has been a personal goal, to connect my students with new and exciting opportunities in the area, in order to broaden their skill set and their options for future endeavors. This year, through networking with Squashbusters Inc. at Northeastern University, Kidding Around Drama from Emerson College, Kids Can Cook, and YES (Youth Enrichment Services), the YLC was able to take part in a myriad of unique field trips and workshops.

Our relationship with Squashbusters, Inc.  has blossomed over the last year.  Jenn Lillis, Academic and Community Coordinator at Squashbusters, was so impressed with the maturity and level of participation of our youth,  that we were asked to return to take part in a Nutrition and Squash Workshop a few short weeks ago. Students were shown snacks and beverages they eat daily and ask to compare nutrition labels on each. (more…)

Sophomore Year of Service

Michael with three of his LEARN students on their student service day!

Hello, everyone! My name is Michael Lavelle, and I’m the Academic Coordinator for the B-READY after-school program. I’m here to reflect a little on my experience of being a second year Jesuit Volunteer. As some of you may know, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps consists of a one-year commitment to service.  However, due to my immensely positive experience last year at St. Stephen’s last year, I elected to extend my service for an additional year. It was a difficult period of discernment for me as I decided about doing an additional year.  (more…)

Inside the Culture for Change Project

“Being bullied makes me feel INSECURE.” By Franceska

The Culture for Change project was a lot more interesting for me this year.  We worked on photography, and we each decided to work on a piece that had to do with bullying.  Being asked not to take pictures of people confused us at first, but it helped to challenge us and to make us work beyond our comfort zone.  My word was insecurity.  At first, thinking that I would photograph a person, I was confident, but after learning I couldn’t use people, my ideas had to shift.  The first thing that came to mind was a mirror.  Then after the mirror came paint.  For me, it was only right to use the two together.  Insecurity was portrayed by me using a broken mirror and paint as emotions.  Aside from all the working, I got to hang with my friends, and I got to meet new people.  It helped to meet and work with other people; it was fun, and I loved it.

Contributed by Franceska, teen member of the St. Stephen’s Place of Opportunity for Teens (The S2POT)

Note:  You can view the photographs of all of our teens here: 
CfC Bullying Photography – Landscape
and here: CfC Bullying Photography – Portrait.

About Culture for Change (from their website):  “The Culture for Change Project (CfC) is an initiative of the Barr Foundation in partnership with Health Resources in Action (formerly The Medical Foundation) that aims to support an ongoing collaboration between artists, youth workers, and young people.  At its core, it values self-empowerment for young people and enhanced creative skills for all.  CfC endorses authentic inquiry and youth voice as critical components of youth programs working for social change.  It uses the arts to explore social issues, and hopes to encourage leadership, self-expression, and self-discovery for children and teens of all races and ethnicities in Boston neighborhoods.”   You can learn more on the CfC website: