A program to help our young men of color access
college and career success
The Boston Coalition is a cross-sector collaborative of nine Boston public, charter, and faith-based schools formed in 2014. Our primary purpose is to expand opportunities that lead to improved post-secondary outcomes (college and career) for young men of color in our schools.
In the Coalition’s key program, Young Man with a Plan, Black and Latino students from our schools join together, under the guidance of strong program leaders and school-based mentors, to develop confidence and create visions and Success Plans for post-secondary success. Young men meet weekly, out of school time, to form a brotherhood, develop critical thinking skills, learn about themselves and the world, and support each other as they become more directed over the course of this program, which continues through their 12th grade. They participate in community service, learn about college options and career paths, get assistance in securing summer jobs, and attend a N.H. wilderness weekend. In 2019-20 we will continue our two 12th grade groups (serving 40 total) and two new 10th grade groups (serving 40 total).
In 2018 our very first group of graduates fulfilled their Success Plans, with the majority going to four-year colleges. They study engineering, business, education, computer science, fashion design, and psychology. Others participate in Year Up, Bunker Hill Community College, BFIT, and Aviation Mechanics. While starting the program “in the middle,” over the course of four years, 34% took honors and AP courses and >75% improved their GPAs. Many in our current senior class are achieving at even higher levels and all are growing socially and emotionally.
In 2019-20 we are piloting an Apprentice Mentor Program. We will train four YMWAP alumni who are attending college in Boston to be near-peer mentors, assist at groups, share what they have learned about college, and design and deliver a workshop. We are also deepening career awareness through sharing more information on growth fields in Boston and holding our annual Men of Color Career Night. YMWAP has also introduced a three-part financial literacy workshop.