David B. Crowley's blog

Closing the Civic Achievement and Social Capital Gaps

We are all too aware of the academic achievement gap, which has rightfully stirred much effort to close the gap and create equal educational opportunity for students of all backgrounds. New research indicates there is also a disconcerting gap on civic achievement and social capital that is of particular concern to us here at SCI. Read more

5 Ways You Can Build Social Capital in 2014

Networking at the Social Capitalist Luncheon
We thoughtWe thought we'd need to send one final message today to reach our year-end fundraising goal. Thanks to generous supporters like you, we are happy to report that we reached our target last week! If you didn't get a chance to donate yet, we can certainly still put your contribution to good use--click here to donate by midnight on December 31 to make a 2013 tax-deductible donation or mail a check to the address below with a 12/31/13 postmark. We thought we'd focus our final message of the year on 5 ways that you can build social capital in 2014, and to share a recap of what we accomplished with your help in 2013. 
We thought we'd need to post one final message today to reach our year-end fundraising goal. Thanks to generous supporters like you, we are happy to report that we reached our target last week!
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Top 9 Social Capital Blog Posts of 2013

The approaching new year is a nice time to pause and reflect about the past year. We try to use our blog to highlight important developments related to the broader concept of social capital and to share best practices that emerge from our work in local communities. With that in mind, we offer some of the best and hopefully most helpful blog posts we shared over the course of 2013. Stay tuned for a post on some of our programmatic highlights of the year. Though "top 10 lists" are popular, we thought we'd keep our list to nine, and ask: "What would you add for a 10th post that you saw this year having to do with a social capital?"

Building Social Capital for Youth Success and Healthy Communities Provides background on the strategic plan focus we adopted earlier in 2013. In addition to targeting our social capital building to address two key issues, the plan has an ambitious growth target to serve 30 New England communities.Read more

Building Social Capital for Youth Success and Healthy Communities

Healthy Chelsea teens enjoying a nutritious lunch

Earlier this year, the SCI Board adopted a new strategic plan for the organization, certainly one of our most important developments in 2013. The new plan has been referenced in several places here on the site, including the updated summary of our programs and services. But I realized we hadn't blogged about some of our thinking behind the direction of our new plan, so wanted to do so here. Before getting into that, let me say a big word of thanks for Eric Curtis, who did a great job facilitating our strategic plan development!Read more

Training Boston Teen Leaders

Mattapan Youth Council member helping at holiday event.

Last week, our campaign to empower youth got off to a great start on #GivingTuesday. We’ve raised $631 and had over 25 social media shares about the campaign. This week, we’re focusing on 3 Boston SCI affiliated youth councils. Our goal is to raise $700 over the next week to cover the private funds SCI needs to train 60 Boston teen leaders.
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Empowering Youth to Lead Change

children harvesting celery as part of SCI & YMCA Giving Garden project.
What connects you toWhat connects you to your community?
We have reached our $2,100 fundraising goal for this campaign! Thanks to all of our supporters, our goal was reached a week before our 12/31 deadline. We can still use your support, if you're considering final 2013 contributions. Additional funds would cover activities such as our showcase event that brings together youth from all 9 projects and other enriching experiences for our young leaders. Donate here on our Square Marketplace page to support SCI!
 
What connects you to your community? Here at SCI, we know that you are already someone working at strengthening our communities.
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Answering the Call to Service

President Kennedy in the Oval Office.  (Cecil Stoughton photograph)

What was President Kennedy's greatest accomplishment? A good case certainly can be made for avoiding a devastating nuclear war in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but his call to service has to be right up there.  During one of yesterday's JFK remembrances on WBUR, I was reminded of the role University of Michigan students played translating JFK's rhetorical call to service into the establishment of the Peace Corps. As described on this Michigan website, when JFK asked who among the students would be interested in serving, over 1,000 students eagerly responded by signing a petition calling for the creation of the Peace Corps; a name they suggested. Pretty powerful example of how JFK's idealistic speeches moved people into concrete action. Today, over 210,000 have served abroad in the Peace Corps, and countless more have been inspired by JFK to serve their communities and their country.Read more

General McChrystal Discusses His Call To Service in Boston

Retired General Stanley McChrystal discussing national service

Today I had a chance to join other AmeriCorps program leaders to talk with retired four star General Stanley McChrystal about his call for universal, voluntary national service. Gen. McChrystal (he insisted we call him Stan today, but I'm sticking with General here!) first began discussing this idea at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival, where he noted the lack of shared sense of responsibility when less than 1% of the population has been on active duty during a period when our nation has fought two wars. As he said at today's event, "our sense of citizenship has weakened". Gen. McChrystal makes a compelling case that military service and civilian service through programs such as AmeriCorps are "two sides of the same coin," and that ramping up national civilian service can help reinstill a sense of common purpose.Read more

Help welcome and feed our new SCI AmeriCorps members!

SCI AmeriCorps member with a group of children
We are about to begin ourWe are about to begin our SCI AmeriCorps year with our new group of AmeriCorps members. As a former AmeriCorps member, I can tell you from experience that the start of AmeriCorps service is an exciting but financially daunting time. As a group, these AmeriCorps members will commit over 34,000 hours of service in our communities. The AmeriCorps stipend is a modest living allowance of about $1100 per month (before taxes). We thought, what better way to welcome them to the SCI family than to offer them meals during their trainings.
We are about to begin our SCI AmeriCorps year with our new group of AmeriCorps members. As a former AmeriCorps member, I can tell you from experience that the start of AmeriCorps service is an exciting but financially daunting time. As a group, these AmeriCorps members will commit over 34,000 hours of service in our communities.
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Refreshing Our Website for the coming fall.

In an effort to make our website more helpful and user friendly, we are making some layout changes as well as adding features. We'll be rolling out some additional elements in the coming weeks, check back for more! We want to thank Maryann Haraldsen volunteering her talents in the the design process and Andrew Gibson for the implementation of the new features. We would also like to thank the AmeriCorps members, partners and other stakeholders that gave input during our redesign meetings. If you have any questions or suggestions please contact us using our contact form.

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