For the sixth consecutive year, the John Hancock Non-Profit Marathon Program has awarded West End House with bibs for the Boston Marathon. The generous support of John Hancock allows us to select 4 runners for our Dawnn for Peace Marathon Team, founded in memory of West End House alumna Dawnn Jaffier.
Dawnn was a lifelong member of the West End House whose passion was improving the lives of young people across Boston. Before becoming an innocent victim of violence, Dawnn was a mentor and role model for hundreds of young people at the West End House and beyond.
Our Marathon Team plays a vital role in funding programs that support West End House youth. Each year we seek mission-driven individuals to represent our 2021 Boston Marathon team and our mission.
West End House is an innovative, outcome driven, youth development and college success organization. In 2020, we served 893 young people between the ages of 8-24 from Boston’s most under-resourced neighborhoods. Our programs are designed to empower our young people to succeed academically, explore and master the arts, develop career pathways, and adopt healthy lifestyles. West End House provides critical social-emotional support by building positive peer-to-staff and peer-to-peer relationships that positively impact their education, health, creativity, and overall resilience.
Our target population is young people ages 8-24. Currently 60% of our members reside in Allston-Brighton, 25% reside in Roxbury/Dorchester/Mattapan/Hyde Park and 15% reside in Fenway/Roslindale/South Boston/East Boston. Shared family information indicate that 75% of our youths’ families earn less than $25,000 annually. Our membership is 40% African American; 34% Latinx; 8% Brazilian; 7% multi-racial; 6% Asian; and 5% Caucasian.
We have adapted our programming due to the pandemic, providing physically distanced, in-person (and virtual) programming to position our young people for long-term success. Our core programs include:
*Academic and College Success: Literacy and STEM programs; tutoring; and social emotional skill development. In the early stages of the pandemic, we focused on distribution and access to technology and Wi-Fi for our young people. Our College Success Coaches provide 1-on-1 and group coaching for 250 alumni currently pursuing a college degree.
*Leadership and Career Development: We provide employment program that provides youth ages 14-24 opportunities to progressively bolster career readiness skills, engage in on-site and virtual employment experiences, and complete career-aligned paid virtual internships with corporate and nonprofit external partners.
*Visual and Performing Arts: Our programs engage young people in visual arts, digital arts, music, and dance. We provide high-quality instruction (virtual + in-person) to help youth develop mastery-level skills via progressive learning.
*Sports and Fitness: We engage our youth in a range of physical activities that keep them moving (ideally for >60 min/day). Distanced yoga and other non-contact sports are now offered in-person.
*Family Food Program (Launched March 2020): To meet the incredible demand for many in our community who are food insecure, we launched a full-scale grocery delivery (and grab-and-go) program serving over 1,135 people from 210 families.
*Learning Hubs (Launched September 2020): We are providing on-site access and support for our members to come in during the school day to be in an environment conducive to learning, with the full support of our staff members. Healthy, fresh, scratch-made breakfast and lunch are provided to our students. The learning hubs currently operate four days per week from 7am – 4pm.