SCI’s mission is to strengthen communities by connecting diverse individuals and organizations through civic engagement initiatives. SCI provides communities with skills and tools to engage citizens to make a difference, with a priority on promoting youth success and healthy communities. A lean professional staff combined with over 20 dedicated AmeriCorps members and strong partners enables us to serve over 20 Massachusetts communities and recruit thousands of volunteers each year. Major program areas include:
Guided by our SCI youth leadership curriculum, SCI empowers teens in 10 youth council programs to develop initiatives to address pressing community needs. In 2021, we are launching a new Youth Grant Pitch Contest program, whereby youth are developing, presenting and implementing projects to address mental health and racial equity concerns.
Uniting Diverse Communities
While bringing diverse people together has always been an important part of SCI’s work, it has been a major focus in recent years. This has included co-facilitating community dialogues on race and diversity in 2016/17, which helped shape our agenda for the next several years. New initiatives in 2021 place a greater focus on engaging people in addressing issues of racism and inequity. Recent projects include a Black History Month Film Series, AAPI Support Vigil and co-sponsoring a Disrupting Racism Program with the Network for Social Justice.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, SCI quickly adapted its programming to meet the needs created by the public health crisis. This included pivoting its operations to a primarily virtual mode, with most of its AmeriCorps members serving virtually. However, a handful of members continued serving at front-line community service organizations such as health centers and food pantries. During this period of time, SCI coordinated community efforts to provide food thousands of people need and provided virtual support to hundreds of youth and families.
Volunteer Outreach & Community Events
SCI helps organizations increase their capacity to recruit and manage volunteers and successfully implement community events that unite diverse community members.
SCI implements community web portals, social media and community outreach strategies that connect thousands of residents to opportunities to participate in civic life.
Training Social Capitalists
SCI trains emerging adult community leaders to collaborate effectively, make connections, bridge differences, and nurture social networks to make a difference.