PBHA’s Summer Urban Program is a set of 10 student-run summer camps at 12 different sites for children in Boston and Cambridge.Each summer, approximately 150 college students work in these communities.Serving over 800 youth, the summer programs are structured into mornings of curricular, classroom-based enrichment and afternoons of field trips in and around Boston.
Each camp uses the city as a classroom without walls, and the summer culminates in final trips and a show.An essential element of the summer program is community partnership; teens who are often former campers are hired as junior or senior counselors and directors, and parents and community leaders play an important role in working with the program. Many camps have been operating in their neighborhoods for decades. A brief description of each camp is listed below:
The Phillips Brooks House Association’s Leaders! program provides 95 low income Boston and Cambridge youth ages 15 to 18 with full-time teaching and mentoring for 10 weeks during the summer and engages 25 of those same teens in intensive college access, mentoring, and leadership development during the school year.
Leaders! is wholly committed to the agency of its young people. Its model is not only about service, it is about empowering young people to serve others. While other programs develop youth as leaders through skill-building workshops, Leaders!’s youth develop leadership skills through service-learning and teaching, a hands-on, meaningful application of skills like facilitation, public speaking, and curriculum design. Since each teen is a member of the community they are serving, Leaders! builds off the knowledge they already have of their communities to increase the capacity of those communities to serve themselves.
Boston Refugee Youth Enrichment Program (BRYE)
Since 1987, PBHA’s BRYE Summer has provided academic and enrichment programming to refugee and immigrant children ages 6 to 13 from low-income families in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. This summer, we will be serving about 90 children, whose families stem from all over the world, including Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Cape Verde, Haiti and numerous other countries in South America, Central America, Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia. Our staff is comprised of college students giving their summers to serve as teachers and mentors (Senior Counselors) for classes of 10 children each. We also hire qualified teenagers from the community, many of whom have been past BRYE students, who function as assistant teachers (Junior Counselors) and positive role models. Students are referred to us through Boston Public School teachers and administrators, social workers and partner community organizations. Beyond learning English, our youth also face the challenges of integrating themselves into American culture, while maintaing their own cultural roots. BRYE Summer prioritizes ESL enrichment, but also emphasizes peaceful conflict resolution and cultural diversity appreciation to mitigate the prevalence of neighborhood violence and racial tensions between the diverse ethnic groups in Boston. Please feel free to contact us at BRYE@pbha.org.
Cambridge Youth Enrichment Program (CYEP)
PBHA’s CYEP is the largest of the SUP camps and the only one in Cambridge. CYEP consists of three sites serving about 150 children with a total senior staff of 21. Our youth come from low-income families, primarily from North Cambridge, East Cambridge, and Area IV. CYEP serves youth from a wide range of racial, cultural, and religious groups, reflecting the diversity of both the immigrant population in Cambridge and that of the city’s long-term residents. At-risk Cambridge youth are often overlooked because of the focus placed on the universities and biotechnical institutions that dominate much of the landscape. However, almost all of the children CYEP serves receive free school meals and qualify for subsidized and/or public housing. As the only summer camp in Cambridge specifically targeting low-income families, CYEP’s low-cost, quality enrichment programming is in demand each summer. CYEP@pbha.org
Chinatown Adventure (CHAD)
CHAD seeks to enrich and improve the quality of life for underprivileged youth in Boston’s Chinatown community. It is committed to the academic, social, and personal development of youth by promoting personal growth among its campers and creating opportunities for developing fundamental social skills, healthy self-identities, high self-esteem, cross-cultural awareness, and social consciousness. The majority of CHAD’s campers come from low-income backgrounds that afford few opportunities for summer educational enrichment and employment. The youth of Boston’s Chinatown face many obstacles: crime, poverty, gentrification, and lack of support in the city’s most overcrowded community. CHAD is dedicated to helping our campers overcome these challenges. Senior Counselors for CHAD are provided housing in suites at Emerson College a few streets down from the heart of Chinatown, allowing them to become immersed in the community in which they work. CHAD@pbha.org
Franklin I-O (FIO)
PBHA’s Franklin I-O Summer Program serves 80 children and their families from the Franklin Field and Franklin Hill housing developments in Dorchester. The program aims to provide year-round academic support in conjunction with the Franklin After-School Education (FASE) and Franklin Teen programs; help overcome gang violence and other challenging conditions of the urban ghetto by bringing the children together in a safe, enriching, and fun environment; and foster relationships between the children and Counselors of diverse backgrounds where learning is reciprocal. The inter-generational camp brings together fun-loving children aged 6-13, ambitious local teenagers as Junior Counselors, passionate college-aged Senior Counselors, and the local elderly community. Senior and Junior Counselors engage the campers in a curriculum that works to build self-esteem and aid them in making informed decisions by supporting them in exploring their identity, values, and physical world. The curriculum incorporates math, science, reading, and writing in a dynamic way that stimulates the campers’ interest in learning and is complemented by daily exciting and educational field trips throughout the Boston area and beyond, as well as collaborations with other community groups. For the ten-week program, Senior Counselors receive training, a stipend, housing, and an unforgettable experience. Successful applicants will possess passion…for sharing… learning…service…and fun. No experience necessary. For more information, contact FIO@pbha.org.
Keylatch Summer Program (KSP)
Based upon community partnerships and student initiative, Keylatch Summer Program brings 85 students of various cultural and racial backgrounds together for an affordable and engaging seven-week camp experience. Keylatch Programming not only focuses on academic enrichment, but also helps its campers develop personal growth and community pride. Throughout the summer, Keylatch campers have the opportunity to explore the South End and Lower Roxbury communities, while also getting the opportunity to collaborate with other neighborhoods that have traditionally been perceived as rivals. Keylatch’s dedicated staff composed of ten college students and eight local high school students develop curricula that not only focuses on math and literacy, but also has students engage in service-based learning projects. Every year Keylatch improves through input from parents, community partners, experienced volunteers, and the campers themselves, while also maintaining community traditions such as the Betances Parade. Keylatch strives for long-term social change and believes that change will take place through the empowerment of parents, students, and the Keylatch staff. For a preview of the summer click here. KSP@pbha.org
Mission Hill Summer Program (MHSP)
PBHA’s MHSP serves families from Roxbury’s Mission Main and Alice Taylor housing developments, both predominately African American and Latino communities. Founded at the request of community members, MHSP provides crucial services for families who struggle to find affordable, innovative childcare. Community is a focus of MHSP–many families return year after year, and the staff lives in Mission. MHSP values both academics and working with advocacy and organizing groups in Mission Hill. MHSP focuses on violence prevention by having campers interact with youth from the South End’s Villa Victoria housing developments, a historically rival neighborhood, thus giving youth the chance to forge friendships which aim to prevent future acts of violence. For more information, please contact MHSP@pbha.org.
Native American Youth Enrichment Program (NAYEP)
PBHA’s NAYEP serves Native American children. Unlike most SUP camps, we are not geographically centered. NAYEP serves children of all tribal ancestries from all across the Boston area. We spend a great deal of time on Native culture, history, myth, and identity, as well as health and environmental issues, multiculturalism, and developing creativity. Dealing with issues of “native identity” is among the most challenging tasks NAYEP faces. Some of our campers have a well-defined sense of tribal identity, but many of them do not strongly associate with their tribal ancestry. We provide a number of unique experiences to allow children to connect with their native ancestry, ranging from lacrosse lessons (a sport first played by Native Americans) to a camping trip on Mashpee tribal grounds in Cape Cod. NAYEP@pbha.org
Refugee Youth Summer Enrichment (RYSE)
PBHA’s RYSE today serves more than 100 students from various Greater Boston communities. The mission of RYSE is to create a small yet intimate environment to provide affordable ESL instruction to high-school refugee and immigrant students. As a seven-week intensive summer program that runs five nights a week (Monday through Friday), three hours each night (4:30-7:30), RYSE provides ESL instruction in the context of a cultural exchange. We hope to provide a concrete and cultural understanding of the language by utilizing both formal and hands-on teaching methods, and by incorporating community service projects and educational field trips into the curriculum. RYSE continues to support the educational development of its students, not only through classroom instruction, but also through enriching field trips and our annual College and Career Fair. Please contact RYSE@pbha.org.
Roxbury Youth Initiative (RYI)
PBHA’s Roxbury Youth Initiative is designed to give academic enrichment and personal support to campers aged 6 through 13 from the Roxbury community. All summer long, the camp provides daily morning classroom academics, which are geared toward teaching fundamental concepts in math, science, and literacy as well as teaching concepts and ideas in the areas of government and history. The afternoons are spent participating in field trips and activities that supplement the learning received in the classroom, as well as provide a source of recreation for the children. The goal is to not only promote academic achievement, but also to cultivate excitement about learning, to expose Roxbury children to a world not yet discovered by them, to foster an understanding of how integral they are to the world, and to give the children concrete tolls that they may use later in life to participate and better this world in its greater sense. Roxbury Youth initiative initially began as two separate camps serving the communities of Academy Homes and Dudley, which are both in Roxbury. These were eventually combined allowing the program to serve Roxbury as one entity. RYI@pbha.org
South Boston Outreach Summer (SBOS)
PBHA’s SBOS provides a summer day camp for young people aged 6 – 13 from the Old Colony, Mary Ellen McCormack, and West Broadway public housing developments in South Boston. SBOS strives to empower youth through hands-on enrichment activities that emphasize academic confidence, conflict resolution, interdependence, prevention of risk-taking behaviors, and respect for diversity. Campers attend camping trips and field trips to explore their own community as well as the larger city around them in order to understand their own ethnic heritage and to appreciate the diversity of Boston. SBOS utilizes substance abuse prevention and service-learning curriculums to support the academic achievement and positive youth development of our 50 campers. SBOS@pbha.org