Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peters
Nature and Purpose
The Teen Center at St. Peter's serves over 500 people each year. There are approximately 300 members of the Teen Center with as many as 125 youth participating in educational and recreational activities daily. Through the center, adolescents are provided with work opportunities, have access to various support services, and have a safe place to recreate. Work and activities aim to provide the skills necessary for academic success, while increasing self-esteem and enhancing the perception of teens as a positive force in the community. Some teens are selected as Counselors-in-Training (CITs) and work after school hours and then participate in the Teen Center.
Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter's is a program of Catholic Charities Greater Boston and is partnered with Safe City initiative, Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative, Cape Verdean Providers, Boston Public Schools, and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. The center serves the families of the Bowdoin Street neighborhood.
Programs offered at the teen center encompass academics, wellness and recreation, sports, career and college preparation, and family services. Academics include homework help, tutoring, coordination with schools, educational games and activities, a dedicated computer lab, one classroom for each grade level, and the Credit Recovery Program. Wellness and Recreation includes performing arts (dance and theater), fashion and talent shows, a recreation room, cultural activities, field trips, Teen Cafe, focus groups, Outdoor Club, wellness workshops, and community service. The Career Center and Family Services provide ESOL classes, a dedicated Career Center with computer lab, standardized test prep, college preparation, financial literacy workshops, referrals for family services, open houses, parent workshops, Family Fun Night, and en-of-day transportation for teens who live outside of the immediate area. The sports program offers a daily open gym with basketball, volleyball, or soccer; leagues, tournaments, and clinics which are both coed and gender-specific; field days; and a bike club.
PULSE students assist with one or more of the following activities:
- Homework Help/Tutoring: During Homework Help, teens have supervised time for homework, tutoring, and set times in the computer lab. School performance is reviewed and monitored. The role of the tutor is to help each student set an academic goal for the year and to assist the youth in completing and understanding their daily homework.
- Career Center: The Career Center is a place that provides resources and support for youth to make the transition after completing high school. The Career Center works closely with the College Prep program. The role of the volunteer is to set up workshops and maintain a database of all resources in regard to jobs, college information, and internship opportunities.
- Recreational Program: The Recreational Program consists of board games, table games, tournaments, card games, arts and craft projects, and many more fun activities. This is a great opportunity for staff and volunteers to mingle and foster relationships with youth. The role of the volunteer is to monitor and supervise activities and to engage with youth during activity time.
- Sports Program: Each year, the Teen Center attracts over 80 youth from the community to take part in its basketball and soccer leagues. Games are scheduled twice a week from 6 to 9 PM. The basketball league runs in the fall, and the soccer league runs in the spring. Our league places a large emphasis on sportsmanship and fair play. The Sports Program is in need of coaches, assistant coaches, referees, game managers, and clock and score sheet operators.
- English for Speakers of Other Languages (“ESOL”) Classes: The Teen Center offers weeknight ESOL classes for parents of its students. Classes are Monday-Thursday from 6 to 7:30 PM. Volunteers help tutor the adults 1-on-1 and assist the ESOL teacher as needed.