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Nature and Purpose
Tenacity is a rapidly growing non-profit youth development organization providing intensive literacy, tennis, and life skills development programs to Boston youth. Our Middle School Academy (MSA) is an intensive 3-year program serving middle school students from 6th grade until they graduate in 8th grade. The ultimate goal is to prepare our students for success in high school and beyond. In MSA, students spend equal amounts of time on the tennis courts and in an academic literacy block. The focus of our academic program is an interactive skill based curriculum that's main goal is to strengthen a student's reading comprehension, vocabulary and writing skills while exploring themes of self-identity and community engagement.  Life skills such as communication, respect, and responsibility are developed in both the literacy and tennis curriculums.  The foundation of our approach is that strong, consistent relationships between tutors/staff and students are key to the success of the program.

PULSE students will serve as tutors, mentors, and overall program assistants. This includes being on-site at an after-school program two days a week, helping the Academic Coordinator implement our literacy and life skills curriculum. PULSE students will work regularly with a reading group of 1-3 middle school students, engaging in literacy activities and helping students with homework. PULSE students may also be asked to write back and forth regularly to their students in a journal to help foster a mentoring relationship.

Students might also be expected to help with transportation from school to the program site, as well as transportation at the end of the day. While at the school, students might help Academic Coordinators prepare lessons for the day and/or meet with teachers to check-in on the needs and progress of the middle school students.

There is also a strong emphasis on employing the Cooperative Discipline approach to behavior management. Tutors are a key in teaching and modeling positive behavior to the students. PULSE students may have the opportunity to play tennis with their middle school students. When possible, we encourage them to take this opportunity, even if they do not consider themselves tennis players! Getting to know our students in multiple contexts is a great way to further develop relationships.

All PULSE students are required to attend initial and ongoing training throughout the year.  All students are expected to create and deliver some culminating project whose objective is to bring together the Tenacity and BC community in a meaningful way.  This could be in the form of a trip to campus where PULSE students give Tenacity students an orientation to campus, it could be in a community service project at BC or tenacity involving BC and Tenacity students, or it could be a lesson/activity facilitated by PULSE students.