St. Stephen's Youth Programs

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October 2018
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SSYP Alum Anna Rodriguez is taking charge of the JCIT Program

The JCIT program works with younger high school students and exposes them to leadership opportunities. JCITs work with the students in B-READY’s elementary school program (LEARN), by assisting in enrichment courses, providing academic support, and mentoring the younger students. As part of the program, these high school students are introduced to the responsibilities they will have as teen staff (CIT’s), are exposed to colleges in the Boston area, and build relationships with students from Tufts University. All these activities are  prepare the students to grow as young professionals. The students work at least 5 hours a week, and receive an internship stipend at the end of each trimester. In addition, the students are provided unique opportunities each Friday to visit colleges, participate in workshops, and meet with college mentors.


This year, Anna Rodriguez, an alum of the St. Stephens B-SAFE and B-READY programs, will be supervising the JCIT program. Anna, a sophomore at Tufts, is bringing with her a unique perspective around how to best navigate high school and the college application process. She has a vision to revamp the JCIT program during the school year and build a long lasting community among these leaders. When asked about her goals for the program, she said, “I will focus on providing them with mentorship and guidance throughout their high school careers and beyond. I hope for them to realize they have an entire community supporting them and my role will be to empower every one of them. I hope to expose them to the college application process, as well as how to network and become successful young professionals while helping them both socially and emotionally.”

This program is designed for 9th graders who are looking to grow as young leaders in their community. Designed as a bridge between St. Stephen’s YLC Program and the Counselor in Training Job Program, the JCIT program is a unique opportunity for students to grow personally, professionally and academically through being exposed to new experiences. If you have any questions about this program, you can reach out to Jeremy Kazanjian-Amory, the College and Career Program Coordinator, at


Fall Cleanup in Ramsay Park

On Saturday, October 24th, the Friends of Ramsay Park spent the morning giving the park a thorough fall cleaning. Neighbors from the South End and Lower Roxbury were joined by Northeastern students (as part of the Northeastern Center for Community Service’s NU Service Day), Washington Gateway Main Streets, teens from Vibrant Boston, and members of the South End Community Church and Emmanuel Gospel Center (as part of the Unite Boston BostonServes day). They raked up dozens of bags of leaves, picked up trash, and planted hundreds of daffodil bulbs around the tennis courts and the airplane statue that commemorates Captain David Ramsay. The day concluded with a performance by the Praise and Worship team from People’s Baptist Church, lead by the rockstar Reverend David Wright of the Black Ministerial Alliance.


The Littlest Friend of Ramsay Park


Northeastern NU Serves Volunteers

​Why Can’t There Be Two Summers?


Participants from all six B-SAFE sites enjoying the fun at our Sweet 16th celebration.

It’s hard to believe that B-SAFE is over. The opening ceremony, with kids smiling and anticipating what was to come, seems like it was only yesterday. But in fact, the summer has come to a close, and the memories that were created will last for far longer than the 5 weeks we had together.

As a community, we became: experts at soccer, reptile enthusiasts, artistic scholars, and so much more. We relaxed and played at the beach, learned about the value of community service, and made lasting relationships with many people from different walks of life.
This was my fourth year as Site Director of at Epiphany School in Dorchester, and it was great seeing all the kids that were in the program four years ago. Some were still in the elementary program (LEARN) and some had moved on to our middle school group (YLC). They’ve all grown up in their own ways, but the spirit and energy they bring to program every day is the same as it ever was.
We will all now move on to the coming school year, but this summer will bring smiles to all of our faces for months to come.
Posted by Josh Donat, Site Director at Epiphany LEARN

The Last Hurrah

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Face painting at our Sweet Sixteenth!

When you think about summer internships, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Making copies and filing paperwork? Running tests in the lab? How about swimming at Hopkinton State Park, or designing inventions (like a TV that provides you with endless popcorn and soda) that will change the world?

There are no words to describe how grateful I am to have had the

Taking selfies with the St. Mary's crew.

Taking selfies with the St. Mary’s crew.

opportunity to work with B-SAFE this summer. Whether it be designing the math and science curriculums for our elementary (LEARN) participants, chaperoning Friday field trips, or participating in Taekwondo lessons with our Lower Roxbury students, each and every one of my responsibilities as an academic coordinator have allowed me to learn and grow — while having a TON of fun!

Endings are always bittersweet, but St. Stephen’s certainly hasn’t seen the last of me.

Posted by: Eileen Macomber, Academic Coordinator, Church of St. Augustine & St. Martin and St. Mary’s


Awesome To The End

IMG_1241I cannot imagine a better way to be introduced to St. Stephen’s Youth Programs than by being part of B-SAFE this summer. The past five weeks have been so eye-opening and enjoyable that I am looking forward to many future summers with the program. At camp, I learned what it means to feel CONNECTED, SAFE, and BIG. It has been AWESOME!
What made working at the Epiphany site particularly fun for me was the people. The teen CITs, Junior CITs, Leads Counselors and the Site Director were all incredible people who came from very different communities — and different corners of the world! Although my summer vacation hasn’t completely ended, I can already tell that Epiphany YLC and LEARN is going to be an experience that will be extremely hard to top!
Posted by Naomi Sanon, Teen Staff Coordinator

At B-SAFE, Learning is Fun and Engaging!


The academic rotations at St. Mary’s have been fun and engaging as well as educational. In Art the children are exploring concepts of texture. Our youngest age group saw and felt the effects they could achieve by working with shaving cream mixed with food coloring. They created beautiful and vibrant pictures which they were very proud of.

In Science, another age group built boats using popsicle sticks, straws and foil. With the help of Sonia, the Science specialist, they tested whether or not their boats would float.

Everyone has been working really hard on projects for our upcoming closing ceremony. It has been great to see how the children’s ideas about their inventions are coming to life on paper. We have quite a talented group of young people!
Posted by Gabriella Webb-Durham, Site Director at St. Mary’s

Snaps For Spoken Word

image 1 (1) (1)Week two of the teen training series started off with a bang! One common interest among the CITs was learning more about public speaking. Most of them mentioned that they have to do presentations at school and therefore were interested in practicing and learning technics for speaking well in front of large and small groups. Although I know a few techniques myself, I thought it would be helpful to bring in an outside trainer. Little did I think I would be able to contact, let alone recruit such an amazing trainer. Boy, was I excited to introduce her to the CITs!

Amanda Hennessy is a public speaking and acting coach. She is an amazing and inspiring individual who has been in movies with well-known actresses such as Sandra Bullock. When she agreed to do the training, I

Sofia Snow performing.

Sofia Snow performing.

was ecstatic! So were the CITs. They could not wait to tell their friends who they met and worked with. I was so happy for them.

Amanda taught the teens how to get participants engaged and on their feet. She also helped them experience how simple changes in posture and stance can impact their feeling and thoughts. The CITs also learned that connecting with their ‘why’ helps them connect with their hearts, surfaces the passion to their words, and keeps their minds off of themselves. It was almost as if they were meditating- they were all so relaxed.

After the public speaking training, I hosted an “open mic” night at St. Augustine St. Martin, in the hopes of having some CITs show off what they had learned. Three awesome spoken word performers came: Jessica and Evan from Project Poetry and Sofia Snow, an on-the-road performer. They performed some their own pieces and pieces from established poets. The CITs were very impressed (and I guess pretty intimidated because none of them performed). However, they were very inspired and some even came up to me at the end of the night and told me that they would love to perform the next time we host an open mic night. I am going to have to hold them to it — which means that there will definitely be another open mic night. Phew, snaps for Spoken Word!

Posted by Karl Magloire, Teen Staff Coordinator