National Impact Community: Boston, MA

Mass Mentoring Partnership, Inc.

About the Applicant

Mass Mentoring Partnership, founded in 1992, fuels the movement to expand empowering youth-adult relationships across Massachusetts. They believe all young people have the right to have positive developmental relationships to reach their full potential. The Partnership serves over 275 mentoring and youth development programs, supporting more than 35,000 young people in mentoring relationships. They assess programmatic needs and organizational capacity and provide customized strategies that empower youth, families, and communities.

About the Project

Mass Mentoring Partnership will work as the backbone organization for this initiative, in collaboration with the MBK Boston, Youth Options Unlimited, Boston Public Schools, and subgrantee programs. Together, they will mobilize citizens across Boston, connect them to evidence-based mentoring organizations that will train mentors and match them with mentees. The Partnership will work with mentoring programs to achieve measurable, tangible impact; build up the mentoring pipeline; and seek to provide boys and young men of color with access to real college and career opportunities to significantly reduce the school-to-prison pipeline.

The program implementation will focus on three tiers. First, the Partnership will engage existing mentoring providers with culturally relevant training and technical assistance. Second, they will focus on youth who are at risk of chronic absenteeism or dropping out of Boston Public Schools by implementing programs at five Boston Public Schools (one of the programs, Success Mentors, led to an average increase of two weeks of school per year among chronically absent students). Third, the Partnership will adapt a credible messenger mentoring program called ARCHES into its existing programming to focus on youth who have been involved in the criminal justice system (The ARCHES program in New York cut participation reconviction rates to half those of their peers).

Mid-Year Update

Mass Mentoring Partnerships is helping to develop and implement mentoring programs for court-involved youth. Using a transformative mentoring model, the organization has created curricula for mentors and mentees to practice skills together aimed at retaining employment and reducing the likelihood of recidivism into the court system.

The workshops cover topics including clarifying your values and choices, mapping one’s social network, and conflict management on the job site. Youth have the opportunity to practice the skills that accompany each workshop with their mentors, who will be comprised of staff and community members.

Since becoming an MBK Alliance National Impact Community, one partner organization—Youth Options Unlimited—has added mentoring as an additional layer of support for their workforce development programming. Youth Options Unlimited has provided mentoring relationships to over 60 young people.

Mass Mentoring Partnership is also working with the City of Boston and MBK Boston to highlight, connect, and convene people and organizations who are already mentoring boys and young men of color within the city. By offering training and technical assistance—and more importantly create a community to share best practices—they’re working to break down barriers and toward policy and institutional change.

Key Implementation Partners

  • MBK Boston
  • Youth Options Unlimited
  • Boston Public Schools – Office of Opportunity Gaps
  • City of Boston – Office of Public Safety
  • All Here