Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Hood Park LLC Grant Provides Summer Employment for Charlestown Teens

Thanks to a generous grant from Hood Park LLC, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and Charlestown Coalition/Turn it Around are partnering in 2019 to provide employment for Charlestown teens and free Harbor Island cruises and other free programs to Charlestown residents. This is the first of a five-year partnership supported by Hood Park LLC. Thanks to this support, Save the Harbor is hiring four Charlestown teens from the Charlestown Coalition as Junior Program Assistants (JPAs) as part of the Youth Jobs and Leadership Program in 2019. In addition, Hood’s support will help Save the Harbor connect hundreds of Charlestown youth, teens and families to Boston Harbor, the Boston Harbor Islands and our region’s public beaches with free events and programs.
Pictured: Tani Marinovich, President Save the Harbor/Save the Bay; Charlestown Teens Zaire Richardson, Fatima Fontes, Anthony Morgardo and Che Hanks; Bridget Ryan, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Lead Teacher; Kristen Barry, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Youth Program Director

The JPA position is a paid seasonal job open to Boston residents ages 15-19 who are interested in working in an outdoor, hands-on youth environmental education program. The program runs for nine weeks during July and August where they help run the Youth Environmental Education Programs that are the cornerstone of our efforts to reconnect underserved youth and teens and low-income families to the harbor, waterfront, beaches and islands. JPAs will help lead two free Youth Environmental Education Programs; All Access Boston Harbor and Boston Harbor Explorers.

All Access Boston Harbor (AABH) offers young participants from Boston area youth and community organizations free day trips to Spectacle Island and Georges Island in the Boston Harbor Islands. The day begins at Rockland Trust Pavilion in Boston’s Seaport with an interactive presentation about Boston Harbor's history and the marine environment featuring touch tanks and lobster traps, followed by a cruise to the islands. While on the islands, program participants take part in recreational and educational activities led by our summer staff including STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities such as island hikes, fishing, crabbing, ball sports and swimming, exploring historic Fort Warren, guided wrack line walks, hunting for archaeological treasure, storytelling by the sea and creating art on the shore.

Boston Harbor Explorers (BHE) is an experiential learning program that develops leadership skills through engaging young participants in exploration of the marine environment of Boston Harbor. Junior Program Assistants (JPAs) use tools such as fishing rods, crab traps, lobster pots, seine nets, field guides, water quality testing kits, archaeology and art on the shore to spark interest and environmental stewardship through healthy outdoor activities. JPAs will become familiar with our Boston Harbor Curriculum Guide and forge lasting relationships with each other helping to lead a group of young people through environmental activities each day.

This summer, hundreds of youth, teens and families from Charlestown will join us on these free cruises and on our beaches as part of All Access Boston Harbor and Boston Harbor Explorers. The grant is part of Hood’s IAG, Impact Advisory Group, that represents residents of Charlestown to determine community benefits as a result of the permit approvals granted to Hood Park LLC.

About Save the Harbor/Save the Bay:
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is a non-profit, public interest Boston Harbor advocacy organization made up of thousands of citizens as well as civic, corporate, cultural and community leaders and scientists.

As the region’s leading voice for clean water and continued public investment in Boston Harbor, the region's public beaches, and the Boston Harbor Islands, our mission is to restore and protect Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay and the marine environment and share them with the public for everyone to enjoy.

Since its founding in 1986, Save the Harbor have successfully advocated for the completion of the state of the art Deer Island sewage treatment plant and the Mass Bay outfall pipe, led the effort to create the Boston Harbor Islands National Park, and transformed the South Boston beaches into the cleanest urban beaches in America. Over this period, the organization has helped make Boston Harbor, the waterfront, the region’s public beaches and the Boston Harbor Islands a destination for companies, residents, and visitors.
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay works with civic, corporate, cultural, scientific, philanthropic and community leaders, with government at all levels and with more than 120 youth and community groups from all of Boston's neighborhoods and the region's beachfront communities to strengthen the connections between local communities and the harbor and increase the recreational and economic value of Boston Harbor to the region's residents and businesses.

About Charlestown Coalition/Turn it Around:
The Charlestown Coalition is a community-based organization committed to improving the health of Charlestown residents. We are advancing communities and transforming lives by developing and supporting activities that promote health and bring about change to help end the cycles of addiction, poverty, violence, and racism. Over the past seven years, our youth component, Turn It Around, has given back to the Charlestown community in many ways. They have organized drug take back events, taking more than 185 pounds of unused prescription medications off our streets. They’ve hosted Annual Youth Basketball Tournaments, Christmas Time Givebacks that may include hat and glove giveaways, and an Annual Recovery Month BBQ and Resource event. They have also volunteered at the Charlestown Halloween Parade, Holiday Stroll, Harvest on the Vine Turkey Give- Away and even assist teaching LifeSkills to younger generations at the Charlestown Boys and Girls Club. This past year, Turn It Around led a strategic park-development revitalization project in Charlestown to secure a space known as the “Charlestown Peace Park” to honor loved ones affected by community violence and substance use as well.  We also offer free resources including counseling, housing assistance, job placement, food, tutoring and mentoring. We work to increase the youth protective factors that are proven to reduce the risk of substance use, delinquency, school suspensions and school dropout.

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