We support youth as they…
Explore, master, and celebrate Afro-Latin culture through art;
Learn, grow, and achieve academically and in life; and
Develop into changemakers and advocates for themselves.
HSTF was founded on the belief that communities are stronger when we take care of our youth. By harnessing their potential, we not only help youth navigate adolescence, but support them in becoming the changemakers of today and our future. HSTF was formed in the 1980s by a coalition of neighbors and leaders coming together to address the growing violence and related challenges facing the Hyde/Jackson neighborhood of Jamaica Plain. Now known as Boston’s Latin Quarter, our neighborhood has transformed. Despite the progress, like in other urban neighborhoods, our youth continue to struggle with high levels of poverty, community violence and low-educational attainment.
Over the years, HSTF’s Jóvenes en Acción/Youth in Action program has evolved into a high-quality and innovative approach of working with mostly Latinx, immigrant and first-generation college going youth. Our College Success Program ensures they then have the supports they need to earn a college degree. Our Creative Development and Community Engagement work amplifies the voices of youth through advocacy and organizing and uses Afro-Latin arts to bring neighbors together to strengthen the social fabric of the Latin Quarter.
We envision a city where all youth reach their full potential and are reflected in Boston’s culture and leadership.
These core principles guide our behavior and decisions:
•Respect & Inclusivity: Even though we focus on and celebrate Latinx culture, we include and welcome everyone no matter their background or identity. We value the voices of youth, their power and creativity.
•Curiosity & Creativity: We are curious about our world, asking as many questions as we give answers. We use our creative minds as tools, valuing artistic expression, and its beauty and diversity.
•Awareness & Action: We fight inequity, injustice, and privilege. We educate ourselves and work to empower everyone to advocate for a more just and equitable community, city, and world.
•Community & Compassion: We are a family, providing the love and support necessary to feel safe, grow, and be healthy. We build the mutual trust and understanding that strong relationships, teams, and communities require.
•Honesty & Integrity: We communicate openly and honestly, and make decisions collaboratively. We admit when we are wrong, and are willing to learn from it.
•Excellence & Accountability: We challenge ourselves with high expectations, and are responsible to each other and to our community. We set clear goals and regularly measure our success.