Since its creation, SCI has been a leader in demonstrating how communities can systematically weave a stronger social fabric connecting its members. SCI increases social capital by training and supporting young leaders; using the Web to make it easier for individuals to find community activities and resources; recruiting volunteers to welcome people new to the area and encouraging them to participate; and running events that build bridges and spark a community spirit.
Here are some of our accomplishments from the 2010/2011 program year:
- SCI AmeriCorps members recruited 2,581 community volunteers and a total of 69,443 residents of Dorchester, Boston, Fall River, Milford, Lynn and Woburn have benefitted from their service. The AmeriCorps members & volunteers served a total 48,626 hours--that's a value of $1.27 million! (value calculated based on Independent Sector rates for volunteer service)
- 240 youth and other emerging leaders developed Social Capitalist skills with SCI this year.
- Over 4,015 food & clothing items have been generated by SCI AmeriCorps members and volunteers for people in need during these difficult economic times.
- Over 12,500 individuals use an SCI community portal every month to connect with local civic happenings.
- 59% of the 2009/10 AmeriCorps members were hired as staff by their host agency and/or stayed on for a 2nd year of service.
Of course, numbers are an important part of reporting; but they only tell part of the story. Here are some anecdotes that provide some greater insight into what our AmeriCorps members have accomplished:
- Jennifer helped the Milford Youth Council develop "Find Yourself Fridays" as a safe and positive things for teens to do on Friday nights. The activity combines fun activities with service-learning projects on different social issues. The program has received national recognition from the United Way and continues to thrive this year after the initial grant funding ended.
- Morgan collaborated with other local Woburn organizations to recruit 14 volunteers who served 3,164 lunches to needy kids this summer, at a time when these services are so needed. Without Morgan, this program wouldn't have happened. Read more about this program here.
- The SCI Lynn AmeriCorps team, along with the youth they served, helped organize a foreclosure prevention & community resource summit in the Highlands neighborhood of Lynn. The event connected 400 residents to valuable resources to help them weather these difficult economic times.
- Kevin reported that he had many Youth Council alumni share with him about the lasting impact the program has had, including this anecdote from a parent who told him about how the program contributed to her daughter's college success.
- One Youth Council member summed up the program, "I've learned that I can make an impact in my community by standing up for what I believe in."
SCI's strategic focus on "Developing Social Capitalists" says that the most important way we will have impact over the long-term is by providing emerging leaders with community building skills and tools they can use not only to have impact while serving with us, but that they can draw upon in a life of active citizenship. Here are a few reflections from AmeriCorps members about what they have learned with SCI:
"I now know how to network, connect people with resources and use my resources effectively."
"My facilitation skills, along with other professional skills, have really improved over the course of 10 months."
Many thanks to all of the funders, partners, board members, staff and volunteers that made this success possible.
SCI has received widespread recognition for its outstanding programs.
- SCI's Outreach and Technology AmeriCorps Team was highlighted as a national model in the white paper "Five Strategies to Revive Civic Communication."
- SCI's programs were highlighted as promising for replication in two Boston Globe opinion pieces and in the Patrick/Murray Transition Civic Engagement Working Group report.
- The SCI Woburn and Dorchester Youth Councils have both received national recognition as Daily Points of Light Award Winners.
- SCI was chosen as a Social Innovator by the Social Innovation Forum in 2003.
- SCI was featured in the Boston Globe, Mass High Tech, and the National Civic Review.
- SCI was asked to present on civic engagement, social capital and using technology to build community at dozens of conferences.