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Goodwill's Youth Initiatives

morgan memorial goodwill industries


Nature and Purpose

Goodwill’s Youth Initiative serves youth in grades 4-12 from all over Boston, with most attending from communities surrounding Goodwill’s Roxbury headquarters:  Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, and the South End.  During the school year, the Academy will serve 50-60 students in two single-sex programs: the Academy for Girls and the Academy for Boys.

Goodwill created its Academy for Girls in 1996 after teens attending Goodwill’s Fresh Air summer camp identified the desire for programming geared toward girls’ sensibilities and interests.  Fifteen years later, Goodwill’s after-school Academy inspires girls to dream and gives them the support, skills, and resources to reach their fullest potential.

Goodwill’s Academy for Boys follows a similar model to that of the Academy for Girls. The students all have snack together and attend the same field trips, although the programs themselves will operate separately.

Services include intensive academic supports and access to technology, both of which are needed to achieve in school, pass standardized tests, gain admittance to college or vocational school and make productive career choices while conducting themselves with pride, civility, and authority.  At the same time, it is important that the students learn to recognize and use resources on their own so they can continue to be successful after they have moved on from the Academy.  For this reason, the Academies’ career ladder approach to leadership and independence helps students assume increasing levels of responsibility within the Academy and in their community.  Mentoring provides access to role models. The Academies’ also develop effective relationships with parents/guardians and school staff, helping them to provide girls with consistent encouragement and guidance and ensuring that the students feel fully embraced and supported. 

The Academy runs from September through June from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday, with weekday extended hours as needed to help students with school projects and tutoring.  On some weekends and during school vacations, programs include field trips and college visits.

Male and female PULSE students will work in the Boys or Girls Academy, respectively.  PULSE students' primary responsibilities will be to serve as mentors and run workshops for the students enrolled in Goodwill’s Academies. Activities will include tutoring and homework support, co-facilitating or leading workshops, projects, and community service efforts, assisting with college research and applications, and establishing positive relationships through consistent involvement and engagement with the girls. PULSE students will be encouraged to share their interests and knowledge with the students by leading workshops or activities, including but not limited to, dance, theater, art, or athletics. PULSE students will also assist the staff with projects or assignments as directed and requested.