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

Connections and Leaders

Published by David Crowley on

Building social capital is perhaps even more important today than when we started SCI 20 years ago. Your gift today can help us continue this important work in 2023 and beyond.

I had a chance to chat with SCI’s founding board chair, Dain Perry, in our latest Coffee Conversation. Dain emphasized how pressing the need is to build social capital in our deeply divided society.

But it’s not just Dain & I talking about this need. Recently, WBUR’s On Point Radio spent an entire week exploring “Essential Trust”. The series concluded with Bowling Alone author Robert Putnam, talking about how we can rebuild the social capital we need to address the problems confronting us. Click here for more SCI/ Bowling Alone background!

That conversation reminds us that SCI’s programs that intentionally cultivate connections are what it takes to strengthen our communities. Youth mental health is surely one of the biggest areas of concern these days. For the past two years, teens in the Leaders for an Equitable Tomorrow (LET) program have been building relationships, exploring mental health issues and coming up with ideas to improve youth well-being.

Last week, we had a group of LET teens come together to discuss their ideas for how teen mental health can be addressed at the state level. The thoughtfulness and insight they brought to the conversation was very compelling – not a surprise, if you take a listen to one of them, Kafui Kemeh. (Learn more about LET and Kafui’s experience with SCI by clicking here!)

With your gift to SCI, you can help teens take action to address problems in our communities. In 2023, we will be implementing an expanded version of the SCI Youth Grant Pitch Contest. This program starts with teams of youth from throughout the Boston area with an idea to improve youth mental health (or another need they identify). SCI will match them with volunteer coaches from the business community. The youth teams will prepare and deliver a presentation to a panel of volunteer judges for a chance at a grant to implement their project. With your donation, you give SCI the resources needed to build this program.

Weaving relationships among local teens and adults looking to support their healthy development is essential. To manage the programs that make this happen, it demands a significant amount of staff time to do it well. Fortunately, we have been able to expand the SCI staff recently, greatly increasing our impact.

But to continue to build our staff and achieve impact, we need your help. Temporary and one-time funding has helped us grow our team, but individual donations will bridge the gap to make it long-term.

 Over 40 generous individuals have given towards our goal of raising $30,000 by the end of the year. But we still have a long way to go. Help us get there with a donation today!

Interested in learning more about Dain and Constance’s work? You can reach Dain at or 978-817-2188.

David Crowley

David Crowley founded SCI in Woburn, his hometown, in 2002. Under his leadership, SCI has grown to serve 20 communities in the region while continuing to make a difference in Woburn. Prior to SCI, David was the Executive Director of Boston-based Generations Inc. (now Literations). He has been involved in AmeriCorps since the program began in 2003, and served as the founding Director of the Kentucky Community Service Commission, which oversees the program for the state. David currently serves as Steering Committee Chair for the CHNA 15 regional healthy communities network. David graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government. Unsure of his long term plans, and after many service activities in college, David set out to do a year of service in rural Kentucky, which began his career in service! In his free time, he enjoys cooking for his family, reading and walking nearby Horn Pond. He also shares his kitchen creations on his food & wine blog, Cooking Chat.