social capital noun. the value of our social networks & relationships

2023 Program Year Highlights

Published by Leah Mulrenan on

Our work at SCI strengthens communities by intentionally cultivating connections through inclusive community programs, partnerships, and youth and adult leadership development. We have learned that adapting to what our community needs is key to making an impact. 

While grants, sponsorships, and other funding sources provide program support, individual giving from our community is a key source of our ability to continue to grow and innovate our programming in the coming year. Your gift today will help us close the $10,000 gap to our giving goal.

Following an exciting year of giving in our 2022 program year, we saw multiple opportunities to grow and innovate at SCI. We are sharing a few of those here!

2023 SCI Program Highlights

SCI AmeriCorps Reimagined

SCI launched a re-designed SCI AmeriCorps program including two key components- an expanded training program (in partnership with Merrimack College!) and a capstone project. As we wrap up the service year this June, we had the opportunity to hear from our members, presenting their Social Capital Youth Service Project. We will be sharing more, including videos, about these exciting projects soon – stay tuned!

For many members, they found it to be an opportunity to share their passions with the youth they were working with:

Marie, serving with SCI Woburn, channeled her talent and love for art to engage teen members at the James L. McKeown Boys and Girls Club, a long-time SCI partner. In the end, 12 youth, 9 alumni, 2 community members, Club staff, and Marie all worked together to create something meaningful and beautiful

Ruby, serving at Mass Poetry, had the opportunity to further explore her interest in poetry alongside the youth she worked with on their Teen Council on their own Mass Poetry Festival event. Festival attendees aged 14 to 80 enjoyed the “You Are Here” Open Mic and Workshop!

Matt, serving with the YMCA of Greater Boston, followed his passion and gained the trust of youth members at the Roxbury YMCA. You can hear about Matt’s experience in his own words through this video of him at our SCI Connect & Inspire event!

SCI Connect & Inspire – A spin on an SCI classic!

Our annual fundraising event for years has been a Luncheon at a hotel in Boston. After the pandemic forced us to be virtual, and then hybrid, we stepped back and embraced the best of our event.
For more than a decade, the SCI Social Capitalist Luncheon provided amazing opportunities to connect across sectors and communities, as well as the inspiration of those individuals and communities we have honored. We prioritized these two areas, and SCI Connect & Inspire series was born! 
We began with a rivetting panel event, highlighted by the SCI Connect for Community Impact Award Presentation to Mayor Gary Christenson and the community of Malden.
The 2023 SCI Idealist Award was presented during our Idealist Reception to Natanja Craig Oquendo, Michael Curry, and Pam Eddinger.

The two events were a wonderful success and we look forward to doing it again next year! If you missed them, you can see clips and the full events on our Youtube page!

SCI Youth Grant Pitch Contest – Young leaders making an impact!

Eight teams of youth from across Greater Boston worked with a volunteer coach for six weeks this spring to prepare for the SCI Youth Grant Pitch Contest. Coaches dedicated their time and expertise to help their team develop and present a project pitch to a panel of volunteer judges, who award real dollars to make their project idea a reality!

All of the students surveyed shared that working with their coach was a positive experience, and reported skill development in teamwork, public speaking, leadership, and more. Another great takeaway was growth in their self-confidence! One youth participant shared, “It was, overall, a great experience which I can and will later apply to other aspects of my life.” 

Your gift supports the growth of the Pitch Contest and other SCI programs that provide opportunities for young leaders.

This program provides youth the opportunity for connection with other like-minded young people and is a chance to positively impact their community with their funded projects!

– Chelsea’s La Colaborativa pitched an idea to fund and host a podcast which challenges inequities they see in their community and in the local school systems, called “Our Voice is Our Power.”  

– Moses Youth Center used their funding to host an open house for local Cambridge youth focused on mental and physical health. Guests enjoyed crafts, activities, tours of their vegetable garden, a basketball tournament, haircuts, and food cooked up by their Executive Director!

-The Woburn Spectrum Club was awarded a grant of $1,500 to bring in an LGBTQ+ athlete to have a workshop for Coaches on Queer allyship and visibility this fall.

Juneteenth Woburn – Rain and reflection!

Despite a very wet, dreary, thunder-cloud looming day, SCI hosted Woburn’s 3rd ever celebration of Juneteenth on Saturday, June 17th! It was not the weather we hoped for, but the event was full of celebration, reflection, and inspiration.

To start off the day-long celebration, the crowd was wowed by our distinguished panel guests and their stories. With a panel titled “Black Journeys of Resilience to Excellence”, we heard of the importance of mentors in those journeys

Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell, who was introduced by one of SCI’s young leaders Kafui Kemeh, ended her keynote address by saying, “Let Juneteenth inspire you to keep forging ahead [and] to keep moving forward.” And before we moved into an unfortunately abbreviated concert, we were graced with the talent of local young leaders. 

At SCI we haven’t let anything (weather or otherwise!) stop us from the important work of bringing people together across differences, and we know that you will forge ahead with us. 

The Juneteenth Woburn event continues to grow as one of the largest celebrations in our state outside of Boston. Along with this important event, we have plans to continue to grow our events with smaller community events focused on bringing people together across differences. We need your support to get us there!

Every dollar makes a difference

At any amount when our community comes together, we all win!

15 people giving $10 covers the cost of a speaker to share their knowledge, experience and insights with emerging leaders!

10 people giving $25 provides lunch for our SCI AmeriCorps members at our monthly meetings!

4 people giving $250 supports one team of youth carrying out an SCI Youth Pitch Contest project addressing mental health and racial equity