Major renovations on the Youth Community Development Center begin.
Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley submits a proposal to officially designate Hyde/Jackson Square “Boston’s Latin Quarter.”
Collaboration with Double Edge Theatre and Charlestown Working Theater produces a “Spectacle” program on the Blessed Sacrament Plaza and throughout the Latin Quarter.
Named one of 38 ArtPlace America nation-wide grant recipients for work with businesses and artists in Boston’s Latin Quarter. ¡Viva! el Latin Quarter uses the richness of Afro-Latin arts and culture to bring together people from different social, economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds, while building small businesses’ capacity to expand their customer base. ArtPlace selected HSTF from a pool of nearly 1,300 applicants.
Efforts to preserve the Blessed Sacrament Church building for community use is the topic of a Boston Globe opinion piece, “Must all our churches become luxury condos?”
¡ACT! (Acción Community Theater) is created as a new youth team that combines community organizing with international social-justice theater.
Through its affiliate organization, the Jamaica Plain Arts and Civic Center, HSTF purchases the Blessed Sacrament Church building. The building sits on a campus that has been redeveloped since the parish closed in 2005.
Recognized as “Best Nonprofit Agency” in the annual Best of JP Awards by the JP Gazette for the fourth time.
The New York Times publishes an article about HSTF youth leading the effort for a new wellness policy in Boston Public Schools.
Youth lead a successful city-wide effort to pass a new wellness policy for Boston Public School students, which is unanimously approved by the Boston School Committee.
An HSTF Alumni Council is formed to more effectively engage our growing alumni network.
The high school civics elective course, “Civics for Boston Youth: Power, Rights and Community Change,” which HSTF youth successfully advocated to be included as part of the BPS curriculum, is listed as the fourth most popular social-science elective in BPS. In addition, more than 15 local community-based organizations collaborate with high school civics teachers to carry out community-action projects.
The music program expands, now including Musicians in Community (MIC), wherein teens work to improve their own artistry and are trained to bring music performance and education to audiences of all ages.
Youth Community Organizers (YCOs) conduct the second of two city-wide surveys asking teens to grade MBTA police interactions with youth. The YCOs present the police with their findings at a press conference at Jackson Square T station. Read Boston Metro’s Teenagers to Transit Police: You’re failing at your job.
Named in the “Top 100 Places to Work” by the Boston Globe.
John Wiley and Sons publishes Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice by Sherman & Jacobs, which features a chapter on HSTF youth organizing.
Awarded the “Massachusetts NonProfit Network Advocacy Award” for organizing work.
The Huffington Post publishes an article about HSTF’s sexual education campaign.
Named a “Neighborhood Builder Award” recipient by Bank of America.
Youth launch a campaign for comprehensive sex education to be included in Boston Public Schools. The campaign receives national attention, including a major segment on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 show.
Root Cause recognizes HSTF as one of the best college preparation and success programs in Boston.
Music Clubhouse participants form La Voz, a group that writes and performs original music to create social change.
Teen leaders advocate for a high school civics class in Boston Public Schools, and their curriculum is piloted in four schools and eventually expanded to 10 BPS high schools.
At the annual MassVOTE 2009 Civies Awards, HSTF receives the “Super Civie” in recognition of overall achievement in civically engaging and serving youth in Boston. Oscar Brazoban, a Youth Community Organizer, and Jesús Gerena, Deputy Director, are both honored with individual awards for their outstanding work in the field.
HSTF purchases the Cheverus School, a former elementary school on the Blessed Sacrament Campus. The building, now known as the Youth Community Development Center (YCDC), offers arts activities, community classes, meeting space, college prep, and leadership and organizing training for hundreds of youth and community members each week.
Youth successfully lobby the city for more than a half-million dollars to renovate Mozart Park. The redesign includes new playground equipment, a performance stage, sprinklers, and a sculpture. The teens also repaint the park’s mural. The sculpture represents the arms of immigrants reaching new heights and includes quotations from youth about their immigrant experiences.
After multiple homicides in the neighborhood leave the community shaken, youth partner with community artist Sidewalk Sam on the “Paint for Peace” project. Together, they paint more than 40 peace doves with the caption Stop Violence Create Peace in the Hyde/Jackson Square neighborhood to reaffirm messages of peace in places where violence has occurred.
Angeiris Encarnacion, youth leader in Ritmo en Acción, receives the 2008 Massachusetts Arts Education Collaborative Award for “Outstanding Student Leader.”
Oxford Press publishes Youth-Led Community Organizing by Melvin Delgado which features a chapter on HSTF youth community organizing.
Awarded the “Coming Up Taller Award for Excellence in the Arts” for its Ritmo en Acción Afro-Latin and contemporary dance program. The award, given by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, is the nation’s highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs. Ritmo en Acción members travel to Washington, D.C. for a ceremony where they perform and accept the award, presented at the White House by First Lady Laura Bush.
Youth mobilize hundreds of residents to defeat proposals by developers to build luxury condos on the site of the Blessed Sacrament Campus. A key victory is achieved when the campus is placed under community control with affordable housing, small businesses, and community space.
HSTF receives a “Public Health Hero Award” from the Boston Public Health Commission for youth work in promoting the new Tobacco Health Ordinance.
HSTF’s Coalition to Educate, Mobilize and Vote! receives a “Good City Civic Leadership Award” from the Boston Foundation.
Youth Organizer Lashay Shepard is one of 25 winners chosen from hundreds of nominations from around the world as one of the Tomorrow 25. The Tomorrow 25 students appear in a national ad in TIME magazine.
Between 2000 and 2004, teens help to mobilize hundreds of area youth and adults in the planning process regarding a $250 million urban development project proposed for vacant land on the Roxbury/Jamaica Plain border in Jackson Square. After the public stabbing of a 14-year-old at the Jackson Square T-Station, HSTF youth work to create a safer and friendlier atmosphere at the station and successfully lobby the MBTA for more than $200,000 of capital improvements, which includes public art created by youth at the station. The rich, colorful images throughout the station represent Jackson Square’s diversity. In 2006, the Roxbury Crossing T-Station is painted as well.
HSTF is featured in United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley promotion materials as a “cutting edge” agency whose impact “on one of Boston’s largest youth populations is palpable.”
In response to a youth campaign, the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council unanimously votes to lower the community voting age to 16. The first two youth representatives, Kimberly Chacon and Oscar Vega, are elected to the Council.
Youth Community Organizers win “2000 Progressive Leadership Award” from the Commonwealth Coalition.
Together with UrbanEdge and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, HSTF forms the Jackson Square Partners. This LLC oversees the $250 million transit-oriented development on the border of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. The Jackson Square project includes major youth facilities, mixed-income housing, and community friendly commercial and retail space.
When Kmart tries to move into Jackson Square, teens rally in opposition, and the Youth First initiative is born. The teens mobilize hundreds of supporters, conduct over 500 peer surveys, and win the support of elected officials. According to a 2004 Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) report, HSTF youth signify “a level of youth participation . . . unprecedented in recent history.”
HSTF receives the “City Excellence Award” in the category Innovations in Education from the Boston Management Consortium. Superintendent of Boston Public Schools Tom Payzant states: “This inspiring collaboration has brought together every party with a stake in the community’s well-being. This is a leadership model that we would like to see repeated throughout Boston.”
HSTF spearheads the Mozart Park Clean-Up, making the notorious drug-dealing area cleaner, safer, more beautiful, and more welcoming.
The Kennedy After-School Program launches, with teens tutoring and reading with elementary school students.
Hyde Square Task Force is incorporated.
The first meeting of concerned residents at Blessed Sacrament Church is cut short by firebombing of a nearby Centre Street storefront.
Three hundred neighbors, led by HSTF activists, march on Centre Street, confront drug dealers, and demand that the mayor and police commissioner take action to make the neighborhood safer.