Program highlights from 2008/09

OK, so no one likes reporting, do they? (if you do, please contact me for volunteer opportunities). Typically, when I hit "submit" as I did last night with about 4 hours to spare before the 11:59 p.m. deadline, I'm simply glad to be done and move on. But as I was working on our AmeriCorps final report for the 2008/09 year, I realized I needed to pause after getting it done and share some of the good stuff about what we accomplished.

Some of the facts:

  • 18 AmeriCorps members joined SCI for a year of service in Dorchester, Lynn and Woburn, contributing 26,753 hours of service. 100% told us on their exit survey that they gained leadership skills and made a difference in their year with SCI. They are right about that!
  • The 18 AmeriCorps members leveraged an additional 1,698 community volunteers over the course of the year; and a total of 20,867 were served through the program. The AmeriCorps members trained 232 teen leaders, who in turn recruited 3,955 of their peers to participate in service and other positive community activities.
  • In addition to daily service at our 3 "flagship sites", some of our experienced members helped replicate SCI technology and youth leadership programming in our 6 newest locations.

Of course, numbers are an important part of reporting; but they only tell part of the story. Here are some anecdotes that provide some greater insight into what our AmeriCorps members accomplished.

  • Morgan collaborated with other local Woburn organizations to recruit 14 volunteers who served 3,164 lunches to needy kids this summer, at a time when these services are so needed. Without Morgan, this program wouldn't have happened. Read more about this program here.
  • The SCI Lynn AmeriCorps team, along with the youth they served, helped organize a foreclosure prevention & community resource summit in the Highlands neighborhood of Lynn. The event connected 400 residents to valuable resources to help them weather these difficult economic times.
  • Kevin reported that he had many Youth Council alumni share with him about the lasting impact the program has had, including this anecdote from a parent who told him about how the program contributed to her daughter's college success.

SCI's new strategic focus on "Developing Social Capitalists" says that the most important way we will have impact over the long-term is by providing emerging leaders with community building skills and tools they can use not only to have impact while serving with us, but that they can draw upon in a life of active citizenship. Thus, it seems fitting to wrap up this post with a few reflections from AmeriCorps members about what they learned with SCI:

"I now know how to network, connect people with resources and use my resources effectively."

"My facilitation skills, along with other professional skills, have really improved over the course of 10 months."

Many thanks to all of the funders, partners, board members, staff and volunteers that made this success possible. Special thanks to the members who provided a year of service to SCI and our community partners; and to our partners at the Mass. Service Alliance without whose support, none of this would have happened.

Speaking of support, if you've read all this and are thinking, "Wow, this is great, what can I do to help?", you can always donate here to help us keep up the good work!