Program of the Week: Massachusetts Promise Fellowship

The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship is a ground-breaking and successful program that is creating more available resources and opportunities for youth in Massachusetts and is featured in Transforming Communities through Service, our 2014 report on the most innovative AmeriCorps and Volunteer Generation Fund programs.

Photo credit: Massachusetts Promise Fellowship

Photo credit: Massachusetts Promise Fellowship

As a result of the high school dropout epidemic in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship works to provide youth development services to engage youth, particularly in grades 4-12. For 14 years, this program has worked to keep the promise of providing the necessary resources and opportunities to all youth in Massachusetts in order for them to be successful. The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship program partners AmeriCorps volunteers with non-profit organizations, city agencies and schools to identify community needs and create out-of-school time initiatives in order to increase youth academic engagement. Some of these activities include mentoring programs, after-school tutoring programs, college exploration groups, youth led and created community service projects, and city-wide leadership councils. Another innovative aspect of this program is their relationship with Northeastern University. In addition to being located on campus where it is able to recruit volunteers and where AmeriCorps members are able to take free courses with Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies and receive 3 college credits for completing MPF’s 10-month professional development program, the Non-Profit Leadership Institute program. To learn more about the impact of the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship and their AmeriCorps volunteers go to: Transforming Communities through Service: A Collection of the Most Innovation AmeriCorps State and Volunteer Generation Fund Programs in the United States or http://www.masspromisefellows.org.

AmeriCorps member, Donald Brown, serving with the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship discusses his experience working with a student at an afterschool program: “A student felt unsure about her future and that she was not ‘college material.’ After a few months in the program and a field trip to UMASS Dartmouth, she thinks that going to college one day may be a ‘possibility.'”